As you know I did a slow month which started on February 4th. In my original declaration, I stated that I was not going to grocery shop for the entire month. My consumerism side of my personality had just gotten way out of control. I needed to reality check. A lock down on my carte bleue . I just needed to stop. The first day, I realized we didn't have bread. I didn't have yeast to make bread and this was one thing my husband was going to have a hard time being without. Riana has pointed out to me the electricity that would have been used to make the bread would have cost more than the baguette we could buy at our local boulangerie. This got me thinking about our electricity consumption and I started to realize that I have a bad habit of leaving the lights on. Our electricity bill came and it was over 200 euros. I was floored.
As I became more aware of our consumption habits, I made an effort to change. I am trying to cut the number of loads of laundry I do by 1/4. I wear my clothes for another week or two. I still have the habit of throwing them in the wash after only wearing them a couple times. I'm really not that messy of a person unlike my son who spends his day crawling around on the floor. But cutting my laundry down only afforded me to do more loads of my son's cloth diapers. I do a load every other day. In the end, are we saving money? This month's bills will tell us. But for the first time in my life, I am aware of these things and that's a good thing, right?
As we ran out of fresh foods, I dove deep into our freezers to make meals. I found some interesting things that I had forgotten about. I made a list of everything we had and went through it little by little. One of our freezers is almost completely empty. But after nearly a week of eating from the freezer and panty, I craved fresh food. By now we had not grocery shopped for two weeks. We were out of yogurt, cheese, and had only two eggs left and one bottle of milk. I decided that on Sunday we'd go to the market and we'd only spend 20 euros. That first weekend market trip was hard. We got fresh veggie and fruits, cheeses, cream and eggs but also came home with pork ribs and a chicken which bumped us over our budget by 15 euros. The ribs and the chicken were too much. I made the best of the chicken. We ate it for three days and I used the bones to make a nice broth with I later turned into a nice hearty vegetable soup using that huge cabbage I had at the beginning of the month. That soup lasted us three more days until it was again market day. The second week at the market we did much better to sticking to our budget. And also, we went to market at the end of the day when you can bargain and almost every kiosk owner threw in an extra this or that because they needed to move their produce.
Doing this slow month taught me to change the way I shop for our food. Instead of doing two massive trips tot he grocery store every month, we do one little trip every week and only buy what we need. I take the hand basket and if I can't carry it home then I've bought too much! I looked at the receipt from the last massive grocery trip I made and I was embarrassed at all the crap I bought. My mind must go into auto pilot, walking up and down the isles just throwing things in the cart. I go to the caisse and then hand over my carte bleue and an hour later it would all show up at my door step all neatly packaged. It has gotten easier and easier to consume these days and I've fallen into the trap.
Well, no more! We spent half of what we usually do last month and we did really well. Our freezers are empty now and I will defrost them and clean them out to prepare them for the freezing of yummy spring/summer fruits and veggies. Because of this slow month and all the cooking I've done, we've eaten better. And I've actually lost some weight. For those of you who did the a slow month, how did it go for you?