June 3, 2012

Quantified Awesome: Back to buying our own fruits and vegetables

June 3, 2012 - Categories: quantified

We decided to skip the community-supported agriculture program this season in order to try buying the vegetables ourselves. Without the commitment device of a box of vegetables turning up at our doorstep once every two weeks, would we still buy and eat the same amount of vegetables? For comparison, the CSA programs typically cost $25/week.

To analyze this, I delegated data-entry to a virtual assistant who typed in the line-item details from all our grocery receipts. Total time: 2:10 for a total cost of USD 1.38, so I gave him a bonus. I used VLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel to map the line items to descriptions and categories.

Anyway, here’s what the data says.

Grocery item Total
Baking $26.65
All-purpose flour $9.77
Whole-wheat flour $7.49
Sugar $7.41
Unsweetened medium coconut flakes $1.98
Bread $12.46
Tortilla wraps $6.98
7 Grain Bread $3.99
Hot dog buns $1.49
Breakfast $5.98
Steel-cut oats $5.98
Canned fruit $2.34
Pineapple chunks $2.34
Canned vegetables $1.38
Pizza sauce $1.38
Cheese $16.95
Mozzarella $11.96
Cheddar cheese $4.99
Condiments $15.60
Seaweed $8.97
Barbecue sauce $3.94
Mayonnaise $2.69
Dairy $63.95
Organic milk, 3.8% $36.96
Unsalted butter $15.51
Skim milk powder $6.49
Organic yogurt $4.99
Deli $10.58
Salami $10.58
Dessert $8.99
Ice cream sandwich $8.99
Eggs $8.58
Extra-large eggs $8.58
Fish $34.64
Tuna $22.00
Atlantic salmon (fresh) $12.64
Frozen food $8.26
Frozen fish $5.99
Frozen fries $2.27
Frozen vegetables $2.99
Frozen soy beans $2.99
Fruit $78.48
Apricots $25.19
Clementines $14.97
Apples, gala $7.11
Navel oranges $6.68
Apples, ambrosia $5.69
Tangerines $4.99
Pears $4.83
Bananas $4.39
Lemon $3.20
Strawberries $1.44
Meat $80.00
Lamb shanks $50.30
Extra-lean ground beef $12.43
Hot dogs $12.27
Ground pork $5.00
Mushrooms $3.66
Cremini mushrooms $3.66
Nuts $12.66
Walnut pieces $5.99
Almonds $3.98
Cashews $2.69
Pasta $9.98
Pasta $4.17
Spaghetti $4.15
Fusilli $1.66
Poultry $7.21
Chicken legs $7.21
Snacks $3.99
Granola bars $3.99
Spices $4.33
Cinnamon sticks $3.69
Garlic $0.34
Ginger $0.30
Vegetables $7.77
Organic spinach $2.99
Sweet peppers (green) $2.72
Sweet peppers (orange) $1.44
Carrot $0.62
Grand Total $427.44

$78.48 on fruits and $7.77 on vegetables?  Yeah, we need to work on that. Partly it’s because we made large batches of lunches using the frozen vegetables in the fridge that we’d bought the other month, so that wasn’t counted in this month. I’ll track for a few more months, and we’ll keep trying to build the habit of eating more vegetables… =)