Michael Ford

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since Jan 03, 2017
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Recent posts by Michael Ford

Shaz Jameson wrote:

Rebecca Norman wrote:

Michael Ford wrote:
3) We need to stop buying hygiene stuff at the supermarket (couple of small exceptions based on price).  And we could also try harder to source hygiene from the apothecary.



If you've got space for storage at home, maybe some high shelves that are otherwise unused, one possibility is to stock up on the non-perishable items that you need from the supermarket, like toilet paper and soap, so that you don't have to go to the supermarket as often for those.



That's a good idea, especially because bulk hygiene stuff is more likely to be on offer. We have this a lot with toothpaste, we always buy months worth when it's on offer.



Thanks for posting this, Shaz - this has turned into a whole mini-project at my house.  

There are many things that we used to buy and then started making at home - like granola, peanut butter, cleaners, etc.  There are lots of other things we want to add to that list, but you know... inertia.  But, since we're taking a closer look at our regular shopping lists & schedule anyway - we're going to bump several of those things up to start right away.  So far homemade crackers, some snacks, and frozen pizza dough!  And as long as we're fiddling with things we're trying to optimize things from a packaging/trash perspective too.  We're also going to look at bulk pricing for some non-perishable things like Rebecca said.  So... thanks for the nudges  
3 years ago
Sure, I'll share.  Our current circles are:

1) Garden
2) Supermarket
3) Weekly farmer's markets
4) Food co-op
5) Specialty/ethnic

Our ideal circles are:

1) Garden
2) Weekly farmer's markets
3) Food co-op
4) Supermarket
5) Specialty/ethnic

When we wrote out the things that we buy from each source - we saw that the reason the supermarket was in spot #2 wasn't necessarily food.  

Garden - eggs, herbs, seasonal veg
Supermarket - milk, yogurt, veg, fruit, beer & wine, toilet paper, soap & vinegar, hygiene, bags & jars
Weekly farmer's markets - veg, fruit, milk, cheese, honey, meat
Food co-op - grains, beans, canned & frozen, veg, fruit, milk, butter, cheese, baking  
Specialty/ethnic - ethnic groceries, apothecary

The only things we intend to buy at the supermarket are toilet paper, waste bags, soap, etc.  But then we buy other stuff there - because convenience - most often milk, yogurt, butter; sometimes produce for a specific recipe, fish.  This looks like the biggest thing that's out of place.  Here's our ideal:

Garden - eggs, herbs, seasonal veg, fruit
Weekly farmer's markets - veg, fruit, milk, cheese, honey, meat
Food co-op - grains, beans, canned & frozen, veg, fruit, milk, butter, cheese, baking, hygiene
Supermarket - beer & wine, toilet paper, soap & vinegar, bags & jars
Specialty/ethnic - ethnic groceries, apothecary, hygiene

So we need to do several things:

1) We need to cut out the convenience buying at the supermarket - a "no supermarket dairy" policy would almost fix our whole thing.  I guess this is pretty predictable.
2) We need to get more food coming from home - especially fruit.  Many fruit trees are coming along in pots and a few will be able to go in the ground this year.  And we've got two new spots prepared for blackberries, so when they go on clearance this spring we're gonna go nuts.  
3) We need to stop buying hygiene stuff at the supermarket (couple of small exceptions based on price).  And we could also try harder to source hygiene from the apothecary.
4) There are 2 community gardening opportunities that we haven't taken advantage of yet.  We're going to start one this spring, and we'll look into the other to see if it's something we want to do.  

Bumping the co-op up to #2 is as easy as scheduling a regular weekly trip.  I used to take piano lessons next door to the co-op every week, so we know this works.  It's just something we have to add to our schedule and then stick to it.  

The thing that seems most likely to trip us up is yogurt.  We eat a lot of yogurt.  We've made our own several times but we've never really stuck with it.  I guess this is as good a time to fix that as ever...
3 years ago
This is helpful.  

My family ran through this exercise over dinner tonight.  We've got an ongoing back-and-forth about optimizing our food shopping.  We have some nice options nearby that make it easy for us to get high-quality food - it's the scheduling that kills us.  Sometimes we manage it well, and other times it gets out of control.  When we made nifty pictures like yours, a couple of opportunities for improvement jumped right out at us.  Thank you.  
3 years ago