November 7, 2010 by Leah
A trip to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market (in L. A., not Portland) this morning gave me a good chance to compare shopping habits with the last time I priced out a farmer’s market trip in July.
Granted, the July trip represented a lack of impulse control on my part, but it should still be a useful exercise.
In July, I spent $97 one Sunday on:
Today, we went to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and spent about $70 on:
Plus Brussels sprouts. I forgot I’d stuffed the Brussels sprouts in my shoulder bag until after the photo op.
The amount we spent is “about $70” because I can’t account for $3. Then again, we left the house before 8 a.m. so I may not have had all $72 I thought I was carrying with me. That’s part of my strategy: only carry as much money as you’re willing to spend. I’d also mapped out a budget based on what I knew about the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, specifically that I would be purchasing an amazing pastured chicken that ran $4.75 per pound. (They were actually $4.25 per pound. Score.) At the last minute before leaving the house, I added $12 to my stash of cash in case we saw a fishmonger. Turns out, the guy from whom I always buy seafood at the Long Beach Farmer’s Market has a large family and stalls (manned by said family) all over the place. Like in Hollywood.
We bought a dozen eggs at the same place we bought the chicken and Aaron’s sharp eye caught a stall selling pastured pork and lamb, so we bought two pounds of pork sirloin. (I can’t wait to pair the pork sirloin with roasted sweet potato.) By this point, we had $20 left to blow on vegetables and fruit, and did an admirable job of getting some nice, organic, bang for our bucks. With the three to four ripe garden tomatoes I expect to have this week and the leftover peppers, tomatoes, and onions in the fridge (not to mention about half a cup of sliced leeks and a ton of cooked green beans), I think we’ll be able to last the week.
The biggest difference between July and now (other than the fact that we’re not really tempted to impulse purchase pita since a friend turned me on to a great recipe and we can now make it at home) is that we came home with seven pounds (plus a dozen eggs) of protein for $50.50, instead of coming home with three and a half pounds (plus a dozen eggs) for $53. The “buy cheaper fish” tactic is working (and we get to have mussels for dinner – over linguine, swimming in white wine sauce, and with homemade bread – yes!). As is doing research and planning ahead.