Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Concluding the No Grocery Store Challenge - Involve the Kids

The Guidelines:

1. All grocery (read: food) purchases must be made via Farmer’s market, roadside stand, small shop or  private purchase.

2. $30USD (before tax) is allotted – for the entire 28 days – to purchase various items that cannot be found at aforementioned venues.  All food purchased with this $30 should be organic/bio, if possible.

Well, I did it – four solid weeks with only one trip to a Grocery Store.  Actually, it’s been six and a half weeks total.  In the spirit of personal competition I’ve unofficially continued my NGSC and have managed to eke out 2 ½ additional weeks with no extra grocery store shopping.  I am darn proud of myself.  I will never again enter a grocery store and absent-mindedly scoop items into my cart.

Gimme all your Veggies!
In retrospect, what was my favorite part of the Challenge? My daughter's exuberant and enthusiastic participation.  She LOVES to go to the Farmers’ Market with me.  The timing of my challenge coincided with her school’s two week summer closure (yes, I am LUCKY – the Kindergarten here in Hungary is AWESOME and year-round!!) which means she tagged along with me when I visited our local market several times a week. 

Why I Loves Me Some Lil Lampshade/Mommy Lampshade Farmers’ Market Trips:

1.  No Barbie section or candy aisle.  I don’t think I need to explain the awesomeness of that.

2.   Instead of begging for Skittles and lollypops, she requested apricots and red peppers.  I let her have the freedom of picking out whatever she liked, which empowered her. 

Mrs & Little Lampshades' Market Baskets
3. Lil Lampshade has her own basket and it gets loaded up with goodies.  One thing I’ve learned is that merchants can’t resist the adorable charm of a toddler with their own veggie-collecting vessel.

4. Lots of flowers - cheap.  They may not be perfect or the most beautiful, but to Lil Lampshade they are worthy of a table set for a fairy queen.  And the upside is that she’s learning the names of flowers.  She also LOVES to arrange her own flowers in a vase.   

5. Her favorite thing to do after leaving the market is nosh on her stash.  She usually eats her entire RDA of fruits and vegetables by the time we get home.  

6. The colors. The textures.  The smells.  The sounds.  The tastes.  "Mommy, STOP! Smell! Do you smell that? It smells wonderful!!  I’m starving – can I have a cucumber?"

My initial goals were to involve myself with local culture and commerce (ACHIEVED!), eat healthier (DONE!), and save money (SAVED!).  And for  you accountants out there - I spent $24.76 of my allotted $30.  I did everything I set out to do and gained the habit I’d hoped to take-on at the end of my four weeks.  My NGSC is “officially” over but I will be participating for the rest of my life.

A huge, heart-felt THANK YOU to Take Part & Food, Inc for their support of my NGSC.  If you have not seen Food, Inc yet, please move it to the top of your Netflix queue or look for it when it airs on PBS.  It’s like watching an episode of Hoarders when you’ve been putting off cleaning the pantry.  It will change your life.  Best of luck to all of the current No Grocery Store Challengers.  You are making a difference. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...