Money Where Your Mouth Is: June-August 2012

After not only one but two majorly epic failures in the kitchen yesterday, I thought I’d start off today with an easy, food budget update. I started the year off posting monthly, but as winter slid into spring, spring into summer, things got busy, and I’d suddenly find myself half-way through the month and still didn’t have time to post about my edible expenses from the previous month. In fact even this month, I’m clearly not posting until halfway through, but since this too is an accumulation of three months, I tossed up my hands and decided to post anyway.

And, as I discovered when looking at my graphs this morning, I’m glad I did. June, July, and August have, for the last two years, been a very unusual time for me. Brad has been away on internships both summers, which leaves me living a life of full of single lady meals at home and, frankly, a lot of take-out. I also traveled rather a lot, grew a lot of food in the garden, and canned copious amounts of summer produce that I otherwise would not have purchased. In some ways, my graphs reflect a bit of back-sliding from the previous installment of the rather fortuitous months of March, April, and May. Here’s how things shook out:

On the grocery front, things stayed pretty steady. I was somewhat surprised by this particular chart since I collected quite a lot of food from my garden and thus was expecting the blue segment to grow. However, I also spent a fair amount of cash on canning supplies, produce for canning, flours, sugars, and butter for wedding cake practice cakes, and so on. Evidence also seems to suggest that I made a lot of oh-poofles-I-forgot trips to the Harris Teeter by my apartment (it falls in the purple pie, large-scale corporate). Seems I was kind of a scatterbrain. Still, the vast majority of my groceries were either grown by me, grown locally, or purchased at the local co-op, so at least there’s that.

Here, however is the true backslide. During the spring months, I had cut my corporate restaurant budget down to 20% of this graph, but look! Back up to nearly half, something was terribly amiss. The most logical conclusions I have are these: one, when I did eat out this summer, it tended to be quick stops on my way home or lunches on campus when I was too frazzled to pack my own. Two, it’s REALLY obvious when I traveled. After a week with 1-2 restaurant trips, suddenly there are six airport purchases from long days of travel flying across the continent. Oy. Must do better this fall.

Summer was strange. As I move into fall, I’m curious to see what develops. Brad is back now, I’ve been much better about planning ahead so I am less tempted to stop for takeout or to order lunch on campus, and the farmers market is still chock full of new produce. Here’s to hoping for getting back on the local-eating horse!