This here challenge is turning out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be in some regards, but already we are hitting the skids on the budget part of things.
So, for the first week of this challenge, I spent $104.95 on food groceries (starting the Saturday before the first of the month) with only buying a few non-organic/sustainable or non-local items mostly because I just wasn't thinking straight when I went shopping. I am such in the shopping mode for buying with cost in mind that I wasn't thinking about the sustainable part. It wasn't until I got home that I realized I could have easily just purchased the same items (they were all produce) in the organic section. Duh.
Yesterday I spent $106.30 on food for the upcoming week+ and bought all local and/or organic foods. I really had to wrap my brain around going to the right sections for food, since I tend to shop a bit on autopilot. But, I'm really happy that I bought everything that fit within the guidelines and it didn't cost much more.
Now for the overall budget thing. Going over the budget has little to do with actual food shopping, but more to do with the fact that we bought Indian food the other night. It was enough for two nights worth of dinners, but it still ended up being an additional $50 (does anyone know a decent Indian restaurant in North Seattle that doesn't totally suck and isn't outrageously overpriced?).
We also went out a few times to coffee shops. Since the kids were on spring break last week we were more apt to eat out since our schedules were a bit off. And, normally, we never eat out anymore. But, I suppose this is more realistic in terms of the challenge - under normal circumstances we occasionally eat out. I can't say the Indian food was at all local or organic in origin, but the restaurant is a local one, so at least we are supporting the local small businesses.
According to the allotment chart, we've got $588 to spend this month for four people for food. So far we are up to $275 and we are only five days in. But, to be fair, I'm calculating based off of the month starting the Saturday beforehand, so this total is really for two weeks (not counting any coffee, etc. that may be consumed this week).
One last thing I wanted to mention is that food prices in metropolitan areas are going to be higher, so on one hand it will be harder to stay within the allotment, but on the other hand you'll most likely have more access to sustainably grown foods since you'll probably have more shopping choices.
How is the challenge going for you so far? I know it's only a few days in but, have you hit any snags yet?