Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confessions of a (Food) Shopaholic

I am not a man but I probably have
 that blissful look on my face while shopping.
There, I admit, I am a food shop-a-holic.  Even though I just live in a little town with not much variety for shopping, I feel my day is not complete unless I do some grocery shopping, no matter how little.   It is so easy to shop and fun.  It gets me out of the house for a little while, I am able to be in different surroundings, I bring home food and I enjoy it.

What's wrong with that?

Well, one thing is we really can't afford it.  Some days I spend more than others and since switching to gluten free, I find I spent a lot more this week than I should of.  It just seems like we never have anything to eat, mainly because there are a lot of days I just don't want to cook!  I am trying to get away from packaged foods in general but right now I'm using them as a bridge (crutch?) to a new way of eating and hoping to wean us off soon.  Unfortunately, these foods are more than what we usually spend and it's adding up.

Second is I realize that I am getting more and more away from local eating.  Our family will never be 100% for a number of reasons, availability and cost are the two big ones.  But while the cereal the kids like is made in Canada and so are other things, I know I need to make more of an effort to make things from scratch and try to get more local ingredients.

Another is I should be finding other things to do to occupy my time to get out.  That is hard.  I'm a very shy, introverted person.  I find it hard to make friends and when I have friends, I don't like doing things.  There, I said it.  I am also getting too old to feel terrible about it.   Yeah, I said it, lol!   I am not going to be a fakey person for the sake of having friends, IYKWIM.

Well the reason I'm thinking about these things again is I submitted my application for our CSA on Saturday.  A deposit and a whole years worth of post dated cheques.  Mark wasn't very thrilled but he consented.  Right now because of my shopping habits, we tend to waste more food than I care to admit.  Some is from cooking disasters, other waste is from not planning.  Some of it is a case of it looks good in the store but we either forget about it when we get it home or we don't feel like eating it.  So yeah, he's scared of the waste.  Waste of food and waste of money.  I only signed up for a half share, which is $68 a month which I think will be plenty for us.

See, my thinking is if we get a CSA I can cut down on a lot of my shopping.  I won't have to run to the store to get overpriced produce, some that isn't local, I won't have to buy it from the farmer's market and since we are signed up for a full year, we will have produce available in the winter too.  We won't have to go on produce hunting farmers market trips, which often end up in wasted food (as what happened last year).  I expect to have to supplement it some, like fruit, but I think it will cover most of our needs.

If we get a side of beef and a side of pork or two and figure out a way to afford pastured chicken, we would almost never have to shop in a grocery store!  I would do some bulk shopping for my baking needs at the health food store or bulk barn and watch the sales for our dairy. Oh and I found someone with cheap free range eggs (Dad told me about him; it's where he gets his eggs and they're a dollar cheaper a dozen than I was paying!)

That brings me to my biggest problem; I don't plan well enough.  I have been suggesting to Mark for a long time we need a grocery budget.  I don't even know how much I spend right now.  A lot.  It is for groceries and entertainment, my entertainment.  I need boundaries or I will rebel and spend.

So I am hoping it all comes together that we can get real food, spend less money than we're spending now and instead of shopping for my entertainment, I can plan, cook and clean with the delicious reward of knowing I am feeding my family well.  Sounds good, let's see if I can stay on task with that!!


contradictoire said...

How about going for a walk instead? It'll get you out of the house, seeing different surroundings...