One of the perks of city living I was most excited for when we moved to Ottawa was the availability of fresh, local food. This has become the way we shop for food. When I make our grocery list these days, I go over what we can get at the farm stand down the street, what we can harvest from the garden out back, and what we can take from our freezer supply of free range and hormone-free meat. The rest comes from the independent grocery store around the block (or, once a month now, Costco).
I don't say this to brag or flaunt. Buying our groceries this way (or any way!) is a big cost, one we manage and balance. All told, our garden costs are cheaper each year after the initial costs for materials. Buying local produce from the farm stand is definitely cheaper and more nutritious than the grocery store, so that's a no-brainer for me. (It's open every day during business hours, so I don't have to remember which day is farmer's market day! Score!). And our ethical meat costs a lot upfront (we pay for a year's supply each fall), but after looking at our spending, we spend the same amount monthly that we were at the grocery store on meat, so it evens out.
|Farmer's stand carrots|
|Our first ever homegrown potatoes!|
|Butternut squash soup all made from local ingredients, pre-puree stage.|