In this blogging neighborhood, there’s Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Photo Challenge, Food Friday and Friday’s Ark- but are we ready for Saturday Shopping?
This from someone who is hopelessly shopping challenged. I really dislike it and, more than that, the lights and commotion and people and city parking are all enough to set me on the edge of seizures. Heaven forbid I should have to take off clothes in a badly lit stall under camera surveillance.
I would be okay if a certain few fine food stores would let me make a private appointment to go shopping at say, midnight, after everyone else has left, they’ve thoroughly cleaned the place, I’m done eating and mellowing out for the day and ready to dream about cooking. That could work.
As it is, my best shopping time is Saturday morning market. I also try to put in a little time deadheading and tidying up the Oz Park gardens on Saturday mornings so I go to the market early before that. The last few, I’ve been challenging myself to see what twenty dollars will buy. Here’s what I got yesterday:
(we already had the cat)
Because we are traveling the end of the week I didn’t focus much on food. I splurged on 2 plants and I had to count the yard sale purchase made on the walk across the park to the market. (There aren’t many yard sales around here and when I find them they have an urban flair: Italian silk ties, designer handbags and 500.00 imported baby strollers.)
-a new, never used Pottery barn photo shelf: 3.00
-a flowering maple to put in a planter outside the front door: 6.00
-an accent purple vine for same: 1.50
-small bouquet of cosmos and peonies: 2.00
-4 tomatoes, one of them green, greenhouse grown by my favorite farmer in Michigan: 3.30 (I fried the green one almost immediately- yummm.)
-the big spend of the week, blueberries for pancakes in the morning and delicious snacking: 4.00.
This week I had twenty cents change. Last week I used my twenty dollars this way:
- Fresh sugar snap peas, 2 boxes for: 5.00. We ate those all week and then, on Friday, I tossed the few remaining in a teaspoon of butter and a tablespoon of brown sugar and sauteed them for a brief moment- as though they weren’t sweet enough. We had them for dessert.
-fresh loaf of Ciabatta bread: 4.25
- a giant head of red leaf lettuce, stump on, stayed fresh all week and we used it for three different salads: 3.00
-sweet peas: 1.50
- a small piece of the best artisan cheese in town, semi-hard, a cross between a Parmesan and a Gouda: 3.80
- and then, running way over my budget, but planning ahead: 3 quarts of the sweetest freshest strawberries: 12.00.
I justified the strawberries on the grounds that I was going to make some preserves for that time when they aren’t fresh and local, but really I ended up making strawberry shortcake for us, the neighbors and then, on that Monday, everybody around the table at the zoo.
We eat well. Sometimes, when I think of much of the rest of the world, shamefully well. And, as the economy tightens and we are beginning to think about that and feel it here in our own household, local fresh food is one of the last pleasures I want to sacrifice. But we are talking about and thinking about our economy, both big picture and personally. It’s not unusual for conversations with friends to lapse into somewhat anxious future scenarios with lots of questions about what retirement will look like for us.
Recently, we had some discussions with our financial guy and the bottom line was pretty mind-boggling to me. I was already thinking about the future, partly because I am always concocting a plan that is linked to my sense of insecurity and partly because Robin Andrea over at New Dharma Bums had a thoughtful (photo-shopped) post that touched on the notion of communal living. And then yesterday morning, Rich had breakfast with an old- and older and wiser-friend, a comfortably set and very successful retired architect. He said the only thing that makes sense right now is small bills, under the mattress and many small pieces of negotiable gold. Hmmm.
Anyway, for me, I’m definitely on the self-reliance, make-do, save and conserve, recycle, eat locally and fresh bandwagon. How about you? Are you feeling the pinch? Anyone want to join the Saturday Shopping challenge and see what you can do with 20.00? Let me know in the comments and if several folks want to take it on, I’ll post links. Next week is the holiday so we’ll start the Saturday after and I’ll put up a reminder a few days ahead. Shopping Saturday: What you can buy for 20.00.
Okay. Now it’s Sunday and I have to make blueberry pancakes and rest.