Budget Day 15: Hillbilly Produce and Harris Teeter

Guess how much I spent at Hillbilly Produce on those two big boxes of local apples all which have some sort of small bad spot or mark (click to see picture)? One dollar each!! So two bucks for all of those apples, which leads me to my next question. How much do you think I paid for everything in the picture? $14.75! I actually came in under budget and got more than I expected (including some ground pork)…and everything I bought was local. Now that is a good deal, and I love good deals these days.

I had about $6 left after that purchase on Saturday and also some change left from the week before. I somehow managed to spend almost every last penny of that at Harris Teeter later that day. I picked up some organic whole-wheat flour, raisins, and bananas. So here is how things totaled up last week (ending on Sunday)…

This week started today with another lovely dose of $125, and I decided to try to do most of my shopping at Harris Teeter. I was annoyed that (with the exception of 1 package of string cheese) they did not have a single organic cheese option (much less grass-fed cheese). And I also really struggled with my tomato selection. I needed something to make spaghetti sauce with and originally thought about getting a can of crushed tomatoes. Harris Teeter has a decent line of store-brand organic stuff, but the canned goods are just packed full of way too much sodium. And I swore I would never buy fresh tomatoes again unless they were from the farmer’s market, but I suddenly found myself back in produce staring at the tomatoes (which were conventional, but did have a tag that read “Local N.C.”). So it came down to a can of sodium-filled precooked organic tomatoes or “fresh” so-called local conventional tomatoes (that may or may have not been ripened with ethelyne gas like most grocery-store tomatoes). You can see what I reluctantly purchased below. Here is a list of everything else I bought today for a total of $33.07, and all but 4 things were organic (the tomatoes, cheese, fruit leathers, and Triscuits)….click to see picture...

  • Mayonnaise $4.89
  • Triscuits $3.49 (on sale)
  • 2 Lb bag flour  $2.99
  • Dried dates  $5.49
  • Fruit leathers   $1.38
  • Bananas  $0.67
  • Roma tomatoes $2.14
  • Garlic  $0.50
  • Carrots $1.49
  • Mushrooms $2.99
  • Butter $4.39
  • Cheddar cheese $2.00 (on sale)

Now I still plan to go to my beloved Earthfare tomorrow for a few things that I just won’t buy anywhere else (like seafood). But, if I reserve money for milk, the farmer’s market, a whole chicken for later this week, and sandwich bread from Great Harvest (which I am now out of) that means I can only spend about $15 – $20 at Earthfare tomorrow…yikes! Here is our dinner plan for the week…

  • Monday: Spaghetti with about ½ lb. of ground pork cut with a lot of mushrooms, carrots, green bell pepper, and celery
  • Tuesday: Some sort of seafood with an apple/sweet potato side item and some greens out of our garden
  • Wednesday: Matzo ball soup (after making chicken stock)
  • Thursday: Something with leftover chicken from Wednesday
  • Friday: Don’t know yet…

Our fridge was feeling pretty empty before my purchases today, but I did manage to come up with some chili for dinner last night. I used a ½ lb. of the ground pork that I got from Hillbilly Produce as well as some black beans and cans of diced tomatoes I found in my pantry. Lots of you have suggested I start using some beans (even though I am not a big fan), and I am trying! I also had some whole grain corn meal in the freezer, which made for a nice side of corn bread! The chili was delicious (if I do say so to see picture), and I seriously cannot believe we are making this budget thing work on week 3 and counting….