That about wraps up the market experiment

I spent €60 at the market this afternoon, plus €17 at my local organic butcher’s, and €6 at the market yesterday during my lunch break (when there were different stalls including an organic bread stall that I didn’t discover until after I’d bought bread. I’d have spent much more if my lunch break had been longer) . It’s safe to say that my food budget has exploded this week.

I’m not going through an itemized list this time, but I do want to mention that some of these expenses were one-offs. The biggest extra expense was tortilla chips plus four kinds of dip to go with them; the plan is for me to reverse-engineer and then improve on the dip I like the best (which is probably going to be the chilli), so that’s €8-10 that I’ll only spend once. I also bought enough cheese to last for three weeks, plus fresh cilantro, which I usually do without.
I’ve located milk! But I didn’t buy any as it was €1.30 for half a liter. Locally produced and organic, so probably very good, but the price was one I’d expect in a cafetaria, not in retail. I can technically afford to pay € 2.60 a liter for milk, but only if I still save money overall, which I’m not doing.

Going back to the original purposes of the experiment, I ended up buying a lot of things that weren’t whole food staples but prepared foods: melba toast, the dips, chocolate nuts, the tortilla chips which by Michael Pollan‘s definition are edible, foodlike substances. So the experiment’s purpose was defeated entirely and I might as well get those things from the supermarket again. On the plus side, shopping at the market is a lot more fun – you’re outdoors, there are bargains to be had and new products to try, and the smells from some of those stalls is just divine. Goat cheese in particular taunts and tempts me whenever I pass it, as do Moritz’s olives, sun-dried tomatos and feta.

Experiment over! It would have been fun and interesting to do this for a couple of months; describing your shopping in great detail is the sort of thing that’s dull if you do it once, but becomes more interesting if you keep it up until patterns become visible. But the pattern that’s showing up already is that I spend more and don’t stick to the experiment’s purpose, so to protect my wallet, I’m cutting it off here. I’ll be splitting my purchases between the outdoors market and the supermarket like a sane person.

2 replies on “That about wraps up the market experiment”

  1. I’m afraid love, expensive organic foods are for the well to do… either that or raise it yourself.

    I’ve been blessed that the local mom-and-pop store here is actually cheaper than Walmart when it comes to beef. They slaughter local grass fed cattle. Getting lamb is far more difficult. You either get what ever is at Food Lion like we did while you were here, or you gotta raise it yourself (quite the possibility). Chicken though… I can’t find free range chicken anywhere locally (maybe I’ve not tried hard enough). I could eat Feral, but I’ve grown to like her. (for those who don’t know… Feral is my hen)

    Maybe it’s time to look into more chickens… but to be honest.. the 1.50 a pound price makes it cheaper to buy them dead than it is to raise them. A chick is about the same price as a dressed bird in a plastic bag— and the ones in the plastic bag aren’t going to wake me up in the morning and irritate me.


  2. Actually, the organic food is affordable. THe more I think about it, the more I think the dips were a mistake. I said I was only going to buy them once, the the whole idea behind them wasn’t working, because I just don’t like tortilla chips as much as I like plain old potato chips. The chips and dips together were 15 Euro to replace an expence of about 3 Euro if I’d allowed myself to go to the supermarket.

    I like chickens. I don’t mind the noise. But I’d just as soon raise lambs.


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