I've been leaving a few important things out of each of my thrift hauls; veggies! I hunt nearly exclusively at flea markets, and since it's a weekly trip, I scoop up fresh veggies for the week while I hunt down vintage. It's cheaper than chain grocery stores for the same quality. Scooping up a small amount weekly means I can devour the vegetables before they go bad, which always happened when I bought veggies monthly at the grocery store.
I always bring home a big bag brimming with veggies for $6.00 to $8.00:
My Pantry Purge Challenge: In early October I realized my pantry and freezer had plenty of food I'd neglected to eat. I kept buying duplicates of bags of pasta and lentils or cans of tuna and they'd piled up. Not to a Hoarder's level- but enough to feed just me for a while! I was already successfully Buying Nothing New, so why not try a Buy No Food Challenge, too?
Here's what I did (well, what I'm still doing. I'm STILL working through my pantry and freezer bounty!)....
1. I shopped for fresh veggies at the flea and farmers markets: You still need fresh produce!
2. I shopped the grocery store for necessary supplies only: Like toilet paper, my kitty's supplies, and my favorite chewing gum. Gum's a necessary item, I tell you!
3. Prepared grub using staples from my fridge and pantry: I've been making vegetable stews from all the frozen veggies I'd neglected in the freezer, lentil soup, pasta, and a little over two months later I still have cans of tuna, a big bag of brown rice, and a big bag of white rice and more to feast on!
I'm still pretty busy so I make simple snacks and dinners. I'm mostly vegetarian.
I'd love to get back into growing as much of my own food as possible, but I don't mind supplementing my diet with inexpensive flea market produce and chomping through what I already have in my house in the meantime. I'm saving a ton of money this way, too. I set my January Grocery budget at $80.00 but I'll probably only spend $60.00.
So if you're like me with a freezer and pantry full of grub that needs eating, I challenge you to a pantry purge. Work through the overflow the fun way; eat it! And you'll have a fresh new pantry to stuff with food for the New Year.
Where do you buy your vegetables? Any tips for cheap eats to share? I'll be writing more about cheap eats and price comparing healthy eats this year. Hint: If you value organic produce more than anything, Whole Foods sells it for about $1.00 to $2.00 more on average.