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Shopping today
Today I went shopping to pick up supplies for next week's Fresh20 meals.

Their estimate for the Fresh20 items: $63
My receipt total: $117.32

So once again, it looks like my shopping costs were double their estimates. That, however, doesn't tell the full story.
The full story in numbers can be seen at the Google Drive Spreadsheet I'm making to track these things.

In brief, their Fresh20 items estimate was $63, but one of their items was optional (sliced black olives), and is only used in a dish that I'm perfectly willing to leave them out. So their estimate for just the things I'm going to use was $61. I also planned to get basil from our garden, and we have cucumber left over from last week. Their estimates for those two items were $5.50, so their estimate for the things I was going to actually buy was $55.50. The price I actually paid for those items? $55.29. So their estimates are just about spot-on.

Of course, few, if any, items were exactly on the estimates, and the cashier forgot to ring up the avocado (which should have been an extra $2, and I put it into the spreadsheet that way, leading to a frantic "why won't things add up" search until I found their error), but the idea of estimates is errors one way cancel errors the other way.

So where did the remaining $62.03 go? That's over half the bill?

One thing I did was to stock up on the Fresh20 Pantry items I didn't already have: grapeseed oil, white wine vinegar, tomato paste, whole grain pasta, brown rice. The other 15 items I already had, some bought last week. Some of these were needed this week (the vinegar, pasta, and rice), but I bought more than I needed for just this week (except the pasta). As such, I'm building up my pantry. That ate up $21.56

I also bought seltzer (I always need seltzer, 7.99+0.60deposit), two reusable shopping bags ($0.99ea), a small but accurate measuring cup ($6.99), and more Sistema-brand storage containers (4@4.99ea), and paid the tax-man (2.95). That ate up the remaining $40.47.

I messed up and got 8 tortillas instead of 12, but I suppose I could make up for it with the left-over corn tortillas from last week (they say they are corn, but they look and taste like flour).

Next week I shouldn't have to get as much pantry items, and I'll eventually have enough storage containers ;-). So I expect the costs to come more in line with the printed estimates.

Zahde and Marilyn will be dining with me on Labor Day.

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I'm glad you're like this and are planning on continuing. The food you are making is much better for you than restaurant food which depends so heavily on sugar and salt. Plus you can make things that are seldom availble at a restaurant because their prep doesn't lend itself easily to restaurant techniques. You are right that even with larger grocery bills, you're spending less than eating out or grabbing junk food. We used to spend a ton on that kind of thing. Every night it seemed like we were spending 20 to 40 dollars on food. It's much less now even though the diet we're on is very meat heavy.

I'm also enjoying reading about it. I hope you keep posting.

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