My friend over at Big Binder has been blogging for the past week or so about her quest to eat only locally grown/made food. Please head over to check out what she is doing and enter her contests promoting local businesses. I should warn you some of her contests are only applicable to those living in West Michigan, but some are for anywhere.
Because of her blog, I have also begun to think about how eating local is also frugal. Do you know that the food you eat travels and average of 1500 miles to reach your plate. Think about the fuel and cost it takes to transport food. You better believe that cost is baked into the price you pay at the grocery store. Also, I have learned that when you buy food that isn’t made locally only an average of $43 stays in the local economy as opposed to $73 when you buy locally produced products.
Now I am not suggesting that you directly pocket that $30 savings, but I am suggesting that when the economy in your town is strong, your pocketbook most definitely benefits. It is much easier to get jobs which pay well, our schools benefit (which means you don’t have to pay for a private education) and everyone isn’t seeing taxes soar to make up for a sagging economy.
Right now you might be thinking, “Wow, she is really smart, talking about economics, politics, mathematic equations and geography.” You would be oh so right. OK, actually, I found all this information at a great website, Local First, which is promoting this Eat Local Challenge.
I admit, I am not taking the full challenge, but I have discovered a few ways I can make and impact that are easy and frugal.
- Start a garden:What is more local than your own backyard. We took our first stab at this and the results are admittedly mixed (we have a watering problem, as in- we forget to water plants). We have however had a lot of success with some pricey herbs and a whole lot of peppers. Best of all, minus the small initial cost of the plants, they are FREE!!
- Check out the local Farmer’s Market: We have a great one and the produce is such good quality and often times much cheaper than the store. Also because it hasn’t traveled half way across the country, it stays fresher longer, which means no throwing rotten food away. What a waste!
- Eating Local requires planning: As I have mentioned before, when I plan my meals I save a lot of money because I avoid all those tiny runs to the store to pick up one thing. Let’s be honest, we never pick up just that one thing and I always buy stuff I don’t need.
I would love to hear other people’s ideas of things they have tried to do to eat locally and do it frugally. I am going to be making a meal on Sunday that is entirely from locally produced food (Cheese Kurls, Cole’s garlic bread and beer from the local brewery?) and will post about my results. I am excited to give this a try. I am also planning on tagging a few of my loyal readers to try it to so watch out. Let me know if you are interested in hopping on-board for the Eat Local Challenge.
For more Frugal Friday ideas, head over to Biblical Womanhood.