Friday, February 22, 2013

My Local & Organic Challenge: One Year Later

Exactly one year ago today, on the launch date of my book, I issued myself a Local and Organic Challenge: how much local and organic food could we cram into our family's $400 a month food budget? In case you're wondering, that's for four people, including two teenage boys with voracious appetites!

As I look back over all the changes we've made in the past year, I'm amazed at how far we've come - and we didn't even bust our budget (too much). We did go slightly over our target of $400 per month, coming in at an average of $437 - still about half of what the average family here in Ontario spends on groceries.

I promised you all an e-book update detailing the changes we've made to where and how we purchase our food and what's that meant in terms of changing our food costs. I'm hard at work on it, and I plan to have it ready in the next week or two. It will be available FREE to anyone who's purchased my book - all you have to do is email me at abundanceonadimeATgmailDOTcom and tell me what the second word is on page 50 of my book and I'll send you a copy of the e-book update. I promise not to do anything dastardly with your email address :)

Some of my favourite finds from the past year:

Oak Manor Oats: I buy these Ontario-grown, organic oats in 12 kilogram bags from ONFC at a price of $2.66/kg (that's pretty much on par with the going price for conventionally-grown oats around here).

Dutchman's Gold Honey: I've been using their honey for quite a while; I discovered that if you bring your own jars to their Honey Shop, you can get them filled for just $7.25/kg.

VG Meats: This local, family-owned business offers great quality meats raised without hormones or antibiotics at fabulous prices.

Mountain Rose Herbs: A huge selection of high-quality organic herbs, spices and teas at really great prices (that's an affiliate link; since I love their stuff so much I signed up for their affiliate program!)

Que Pasa Tortilla Chips: Canadian-made and organic, great quality chips for *less* than the national non-organic brand.

Bulk organic sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds: I am buying these through ONFC for less than I was paying for conventionally grown ones at the bulk food store.

And probably my most favourite of all so far:

Super Amazing Local Free Range Eggs!! I am so, so happy about successfully locating a small-scale egg producer that I can regularly buy eggs from. Our little egg group is now purchasing over 40 dozen eggs every other week from this farmer, and I've helped get a second group up and running that will buy from her the alternate weeks that we do. The producer is thrilled to get a steady, reliable income from her eggs, and we are thrilled to have her amazing eggs for only $2.50 per dozen (I have it on authority from one of our members that these eggs are better than the free range, organic eggs that sell for $7.29 a dozen at the grocery store).

Those are just a few quick highlights; I'll share many more details in my e-book, so don't forget to request a copy! Remember, it's FREE if you've purchased my book :)

 Want to know more about the specific food products I use and where I buy them? Check out my new "What's In My Pantry" board on Pinterest. I will keep this board updated with current information on what products we use, where we're buying them, and how much we're paying. It's a work-in-progress, and you can find it HERE.

DID YOU KNOW? I now have an events page! Come find out where you can catch up with me at a signing, seminar, workshop or food demo HERE.

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