The $20 Challenge: week 1

So, with the new year as a blank slate, I'm trying to get on track with lots of things - cleaning, organizing, finances, meal planning. I decided that each week I'm going to stop at the local farm stand and spend $20 and see what I can get. I'm doing this for a few reasons.

1) To help me eat more fresh fruits and veggies. I'll still pick up other stuff on the trips to my local grocery store, but I sometimes don't go there every week, so this will help fill in the gap.

2) I'm supporting a local business. Instead of buying all my produce at the place I normally shop at, which is not only out of town, but out of state, I'm buying from a local business.

3) Because along with all the other things I'm trying to get a good start on in the new year, one is the food budget. This should help a little.

So, I'm going to make Wednesday my farm stand day. That's because one of the kids has a music lesson Wed. afternoon and I have a free half hour while he's there, which is plenty of time to get in and out of Jansma's Farm Stand, which is just down the street.

As soon as the Farmer's Markets return in late spring, I'll start visiting them on a weekly basis. Until then, I'm lucky to have a farm stand in town.

This week I got 11 items for $20.19. Not bad. Here's what I got:

2 bananas
2 pink lady apples
a cantaloupe
sliced mushrooms
an onion
an avocado
a tomato
a package of grape and cherry tomatoes
Baby arugula
Labriola Tuscan Pane
Labriola Pretzel rolls (4 pack)

Here's why I got what I did:

One new year's resolution is that I will eat something for breakfast. I almost never eat anything for breakfast, so this will be hard for me to do. I figure even a half of a banana is a good start to the day.

The mushrooms were a bargain at 99 cents and looked so fresh. They'll be great in a salad with the onion, avocado, tomatoes and arugula.

I also plan to use the arugula on some paninis. That's what the loaf of Tuscan Pane is for!! I can't wait. I love Labriola breads and I love to make paninis. And arugula is awesome on paninis!!!! The bread was a bit of a splurge at $3.99 for the loaf, but it's one of the only places that carries breads from Labriola, so I had to grab it while I could. Also, this is the only place I can find arugula. None of the area supermarkets around here carry it!

I also got a 4-pack of Labriola pretzel rolls because I figured I'd use them for burger buns and make some burgers this week.

So, I think I got a good variety for $20. What do you think? I'd love to have some of our fans join me in this weekly challenge. See what you can get at your local farm stand for $20 and post a pic and your buys!!!! Here's to eating well in 2013!


  1. I wish that we had a farmers market during the winter months, but we barely have one in the summers. That is what happens when you live in a small town. Your produce looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing and I think you did well. Newest follower now.


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