I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

How much do we really spend?

Rob is working and dinner is in the oven. Seminole pumpkin is roasting to be turned into soup and beets are roasting with rosemary to be served on fresh garden greens as a salad.  A healthy and oh- so yummy meal.

While working on dinner the thought crossed my mind that even though we are "frugal" it is hard to determine how much we really spend on food. The garden is an interesting example. It is a source of great joy so is some of the cost considered "entertainment" or is it all allocated to "food." Working outside in the sunshine keeps me active and provides really wholesome food so does it also go under the heading "health and wellness?"  Do we add in the cost of fertilizer to the food cost or to the household maintenance cost?

When home canned goods are made do we need to compute a cost per hour of the person canning? Or just the cost of food? Do I compute the cost of the jars? Amortize them? Write them off after a few uses?

Additionally, I have no idea what people normally pay for groceries. We buy some items online and in bulk (gluten free flours, herbs, spices, dehydrated fruits). Some items come from farmers markets and most are cooked at home. Then there is what Rob buys. Many times he stops on his way home and for bananas or some single item and comes home with hummus or another item that was "buy one get one." Nothing wrong with that only I have never added it up.

Do we add in meals out? How do we figure freebies from meals with family?

This month I am going to attempt to track what we are truly spending. This will not include money spent for cat food, cleaning supplies, household goods or any non edible items.  

If all goes well at the end of the month I will post what we really spent and in what categories.

Happy February to all-

1 comment:

  1. Good luck on that, it's going to be a big job.

    My mother used to keep detailed records of what they spent. It was easier in some ways, as then there were no "super centers" where you might have groceries jumbled in with mouthwash, shoes, electronics and so on in the basket. But harder in others: no computer.

    I think I would count the things I do towards developing the garden as "home improvement", since having an established garden area may be a plus when it comes time to sell the house. So also would be pantry improvements. But yeah, canning equipment and jars would go in with the cost of food, although they do retain some value depending on what you could get for them if the day comes when you no longer use them. Utilities, yes, but I don't know how you'd capture that. As to cost of your time, consider what you would be doing if you were not growing a garden, and putting up that which grows in it. If you would be at work producing an income during that time, then yes, add that cost. But if it's your recreational time, your "down-time", then you shouldn't count it, because if you weren't gardening or cooking, you wouldn't be earning any money during that time, anyway.

    I buy 'way too many seeds, and I have spent too much on things that didn't do well here, so I think I probably would be better off paying those high prices for things at the Food Co-Op and the farmer's markets. I really don't want to know, I'd probably get sick from the sticker shock. Heh.

    I tell Hubs all the time how lucky he is that my hobby is my garden. I could be into recreational shopping.

    Hugs, Ilene


Your comments are always appreciated and I love to hear what you think. Especially my overseas reader! Have a great day!