Thursday, 16 July 2009

Cheap Tricks

Here's a somewhat startling statistic in this article, although A) it's slightly dated (2007) and B) American not Australian.

$3,300.00USD annually is the grocery bill for the average household.

I tried to think back to 2007, and what our household was spending then - $7,000.00AUD is roughly what I came up with.  Given that in that year I think the Aussie dollar was quite up there with the US dollar, that means either that the cost of groceries in Australia was almost double that of the US at the time, or else that we were buying almost twice what the average US household was.

And we were back then not exactly wasteful, in fact I'd say we were downright frugal about our shopping.  Most of those tricks mentioned in the article, we'd been using for years already.  In addition to counting additives and sugar and fats, since T was/is a type 2 diabetic.

In today's inflated and battered economy, I'm spending almost $3,000AUD just for myself, and can assure you that there is very little ever wasted or thrown out.  And I also have a home garden for some of my supplies.  A typical household in Australia today must be spending close to triple that.  I seem to recall that average grocery bills are around $175/week now, can't remember where I saw that but it's recent.

Two things seem to come from that.  One, our prices in Australia must be quite high compared to the US.  And two, growing stuff takes you out of the loop of paying for processing and pesticides.  Healthier and cheaper.  (And yes, I include the cost of the seedlings/seeds in my grocery prices - because I only have to buy seedlings about every month or so)

Also, I think, growing some of my own vegetables gives me the feeling of having some control over my food intake.  It's a growing trend, with people once again getting back to growing preserving and processing their own foods.

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