Follow-up about spices

Just a wee, quick blurt regarding the price comparison between buying spices in bulk versus in the shop.

So, the cheapest readily available allotment of ground coriander they’ve got at one of the grocers I frequent is $3.29 for 28gr. If we multiply that out, we’re looking at roughly $12 per 100gr ($11.75, for accuracy).

Compare that to the bulk store, who charges $14.30 per kilo, or $1.43 per 100gr. So I got 75gr for $1.07. And also, in addition to that, I got to bring my own packaging.

Conclusion: the grocery store charges literally 10x as much as the bulk store for the exact same thing. Neither of these are sale prices, but often the bulk store has a blanket 15% off spices, along with coupons for $3 off $10 (before taxes).

Seek ye the bulk shop! Save a fortune!


$30 Challenge – Week Four

It’s all over, baby! Our experiment is completed, so it’s time to review our progress and draw our conclusions. The hypothesis was that two adult people, living in downtown Toronto, could survive on $30 of groceries per week, along with $50 combined for miscellaneous personal spending. Read More

$30 Challenge – Week Three

Can’t talk… Too hot…

Apologies for the late summary, but yesterday reached upwards of 40C (nearly 100F). If I’d tried to perch the laptop on my legs, as I usually do, I might have caught fire.

The plan had been to limit cooking and make a journey to the farmers’ market. Neither of those things seemed to happen. I even baked bread (!) on Sunday morning, for reasons I will never fully understand. I mean, it’s not unheard of for me to bake bread on the weekend, but it is entirely insane to turn the oven on at any temperature for any length of time during this heat, let alone cranking it to 450F for nearly an hour.

Happily, though the loaf was slightly underbaked, it had a delightfully crispy crust and was thoroughly edible. Read More

Setting up the books

There are those who do not track their finances; who spend every penny (and then some), living for today and leaving little for tomorrow. There are those who construct budgets, carefully arranging and balancing categories of expenditure until the hallowed zero balance is reached. And then, there are those who keep books.

I figure, it’s all well and good to have the budget written down, to know – at least in theory – where the money’s going month to month. And while budget apps are fine for some, there’s really nothing quite like a set of household books for tracking finances and keeping spending in check.

Ready to take your budget to the next level? Read More

$30 Challenge – Week Two

A sweltering hot week that has gone easy on the cookery. There were enough leftovers from late last week to last until Tuesday. That meant a trip to the farmers’ market on Wednesday that netted enough bounty that we’ve not finished it yet. Still, I plan to hit the grocery store tomorrow to lay in supplies before my will to live is evaporated by the cruel September sun. Read More

$30 Challenge – Week One

We’ve had our highs and our lows this week, but above all it has been interesting. I would say by far the biggest hurdle has been the personal spending/entertainment portion of the budget. However, let’s start with something simple: the grocery budget.

Our $30 was spent on a selection of fresh veggies, as well as two bags of frozen fruit for desserts. The breakdown looks like this: Read More

Small things making big differences

I keep thinking about calories. Mostly, I think about how little we seem to know (or understand) about usefully quantifying the food energy we consume. But I also think about how the general public is taught (or not taught) about caloric measurement, individual needs, and calorie ‘burning’. That education is laughably lacking, which is sad given how important it is to understand such things.

We’re often told about a 2000 calorie diet. The assumption by many is that this is the number of calories one ought to eat in a day, somewhat regardless of mitigating factors like age, body composition and sex. As I’ve pointed out before, this number is entirely arbitrary. It was based on averaging self-reported calorie counts from a wide variety of people with widely varying needs, which is not exactly the most accurate method of data collection. Then, the value was rounded up by the powers that be in order to make calculating daily nutrient values easier.

Sure sounds scientific to me. Read More