Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday Night Round-Up: Week 31


This is promising. Is this my first week of making my goal? I think so. But the parameters of my experiment have changed. I must admit, I did not include the trip to the liquor store in this figure. I'm ditching that idea. It was not wise in the first place. Nor was it realistic.

Like Kjersti commented on my post last week, the government thinks it possible to feed her family of five on $200 worth of food stamps each week. Both you and I know that they are expecting their participants to purchase the "cheap" food. To the best of my knowledge, quality brands and organic produce are not supported by food stamps. So indeed, if the government sets their standard at $200 then my goal of $150 for this special needs diet is certainly a challenge.

My curiosity got the best of me and I plotted an investigation into the cost disparity between normal American food and our special allergy friendly diet. Here are my findings:

On the top of the list are items that I used to buy at the grocery store. No, these are not the only things we ate. That would be gross. This is just a small sampling of what I would consider the norm in this country. At least it's what I see filling my friends' cupboards.

Beneath these are the items that I have (in the not so distant past) bought in place of normal food. These are the premade/prepackaged gf/df goodies that I've searched high and low for. The list here represents my favorite gluten-free dairy-free finds. We've spent years refining our selections to only the best of these specialty items. You better believe that we've spent a pretty penny on gluten-free/dairy-free foods that tasted like cardboard with sugar sprinkled on top, or worse.

(Note: For comparison sake, I've calculated the prices for equivalent packaging sizes. As you may imagine, the prepackaged size of some of these gluten-free items would be hardly enough to feed a large bird, let alone a full family. It's easier to compare apples to apples here.)

Store brand milk (1 gal) $1.98
Rice Dream (1 gal) $7.38

Store brand bread $0.99
Millet bread $3.99

Honey Nut Cheerios (12 oz) $1.88
Glutino Honey Nut O's (12 oz) $6.83

Pasta bulk (1 lb) $0.99
Tinkayada rice pasta (1 lb) $3.69

Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup $0.50
Health Valley GF Chicken Noodle Soup $2.99

Ritz crackers (16 oz) $2.50
Glutino crackers (16 oz) $14.51

Cake Mix
Pillsbury cake mix $0.79
Betty Crocker GF cake mix $4.19

Store brand frozen waffles $1.77
Nature's Path Wildberry Buckwheat frozen waffles $3.69

Quick Kid Food
Kraft Mac & Cheese (7.25 oz) $0.69
Road's End Organics GF/DF Mac & Cheese (7.25 oz) $2.89

Ice Cream
Haggen Dazs Ice Cream (14 oz) $2.79
Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Ice Cream (14 oz) 3.49

Granola bulk (16 oz) $2.49
GF Granola (16 oz) $7.99

Store brand bagels (4) $2.00
Kinnikinnick bagels (4) $5.39

Lunch Meat
Store brand lunch meat (16 oz) $5.00
Nitrate Free lunch meat (16 oz) $10.99

Snyder's pretzels (16 oz) $1.99
Glutino pretzels (16 oz) $7.30

It's possible that you have not have followed me all the way down this list. That's ok. You may not care.

But I set out to investigate why it seems so difficult to meet this $150/week grocery challenge. And now I have an inkling as to why this challenge is proving to be tough.

Normal = $26.36

Special = $85.32

Three times as much mu-lah to complete the same grocery list.

Enough said.

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