So, I know I owe you guys a post on why I asked about your grocery budget. Sorry it has taken me so long, but I went straight down the rabbit hole in my own head and haven't quite gotten out yet. But you were all so kind to tell me, and honestly I am so fascinated and intrigued by your comments that I keep going back to re-read them.
Here's the thing. Chris and I watched Food, Inc. a couple of weeks ago, and man but that movie was horrifying. I have never in my life been so glad to be a vegetarian as I was watching that movie. I could barely even sit through it. And it got me thinking: we are already vegetarian and I already avoid most processed foods and have already declared war on high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils and the children already get only organic milk and yogurt and eggs, but I can do better. I want to do better. I can buy organic butter and cheese too, even though the prices make me weep in pain. I can buy more organic produce, I can cook more, I can bite the bullet and make my own damned spaghetti sauce and salsa (but not bread, I hate making bread). And so I am gradually trying to make some changes to feed myself and my family in a way with which I am more comfortable. Fine, whatever, this is not about me.
My grocery bill is already outrageous - at least $1000 a month, usually closer to $1200. Like many of you, I don't know exactly how much of that is food vs. toiletries vs booze, but I know that is a lot of money to spend on food. I know that buying more organic food and trying to eliminate processed food will mean spending even more money. The idea doesn't thrill me, but I can afford it. And trust me, I know how very lucky I am to have the luxury of even considering $6 a gallon organic milk, much less going through eight to nine of those gallons every single month. This is my choice, we make sacrifices in other areas, again this is not about me.
At the end of Food, Inc. there was a "what you can do" bit that recommended things like buying organic, buying local, buying sustainable, buying in season. All great ideas. All expensive ideas. It made me wonder how many people could really manage that. How many people had enough room in their budgets to step out of the abundant and cheap but in many ways not ideal food supply that we have in this country and do it another way? I suspect that for a great many of us, this is not an option. And since I am and always have been a hippie at heart, I think it sucks that rich people can have safer, healthier food than everybody else.
None of that turned out to have all that much to do with what you guys spend on food, or at least it didn't without the additional details of what, exactly, you spend your money on, but your responses are still amazing. And I heard from many of you who do what I hope to do on much less than I spend, so you have inspired me to both eat better and spend less.
Now, wasn't that worth waiting for? (No, don't really answer that, my delicate little ego can't take it.)