Economizing with a grocery splurge

With the holidays approaching we are going to have some pretty major food item sales. Things half price, buy two get one free, buy one get two free, and all sorts of other specials will be on hand. I’m starting to make a list. Honestly, I wish I had one of those big freezer units that were so popular with my neighbours in Georgia (granted they used theirs to store things like an entire deer carcass) because with the sales that will be on, it would make a huge savings to buy the bulk of food for a year. My freezer space only lets me save for a couple of months at max storage. I am planning to buy for five months (almost half freezer, a bit more than half not) with 400 shekels.

Now, granted, the 400 shekels will not cover all my food expenses for five months. I have, for instance, an addiction to diet coke. I go through half a 1.5 litre per day, a 120 shek/mo habit. That is in addition to the bottled water, homemade sweet tea, and fruit juices I regularly consume. I also will need to supplement with fresh veggies, bread, eggs, and cream for my coffee. Oh yeah, coffee too.

The garden, however, is seriously cutting into my grocery expenses. I’ve not bought a tomato since the end of April. I’ve diced, braised, and frozen enough garden sweet peppers and hot peppers to last for nearly 6 months in cooked meals and will have at least 5 more sweet and 36 hot for fresh eating. I’ve got enough sliced and frozen green onions left to add to about 12 meals and the fall fresh green onion season is about to be upon us. Lettuce, spinach, broccoli and Brussels sprouts will have to be bought until early November (and the sprouts all year as I’m not growing them –they are a major favourite of mine, however). The garden provided free fresh lettuce for 6 months last year and I’m hoping to see the same and more this year with the addition of spinach, collards and broccoli. Ok, I’m not putting a lot of money in bets on the broc.

If the garden fulfills its promise with eggplant and okra, I should be able to get my weekly grocery bill, taking advantage of those sales, down to about 70 sheks per week for the next 5 months. I’m all for that!

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