Day 363–Our Year In Review


What is going on with the time? It seems like the months are moving in warp speed. It is hard to believe our year experiment is almost up! I’ll be reworking the blog a bit (and hopefully not crashing everything!) and returning on January 1 to start again, this time with a new challenge and a slightly different twist.

This is the time of year when everyone is doing some kind of retrospective on the past 12 months and since we started out with a year challenge, it seems fitting that we will do this, too.

The goals of our family challenge were threefold:

  • Eat at least 75% of our food from local and/or sustainable sources
  • Spend no more than $100 per week on groceries
  • Increase our walking destinations.

How did we do?

Well, we did pretty well for our first time out! Overall, we kept our average spending to just under $100, but missed our mark of 75%. Here’s how the numbers break down for the 43 weeks that I recorded our budget and menu (I’m missing 9 weeks due to schedule craziness, vacations, and whatever else was going on, but I believe those weeks would probably even out to about the same numbers).

  • Total amount spent on groceries:          $4,199.51
  • Grocery $$ spent on local food:             $2,684.91
  • Percent of food budget that was local:  64%
  • Average spent per week:                            $97.66

That averages included our Christmas and Christmas Eve feasts, which were way over budget (but also supremely awesome). I did not include trips to Whole Foods as local, although they were organic and sustainable, because they did not reflect a direct payment to farmers. So for the year, almost $2,700 of our food budget stayed within our community. I’m pretty proud of that!

Where we have not done so well is increasing our walking to local destinations. That is definitely going to be on the agenda for next year.

I personally had some good health outcomes this year. I dropped 15 pounds, lowered my overall cholesterol by 17 points and raised my good cholesterol by several points.

More importantly, I have met some wonderful new people, reconnected to eating seasonal foods, reignited a love of cooking, learned how to can my own food and all around, just had a great time!

What’s next?

Here are some goals for next year:

  • Work on my food photography skills
  • Incorporate more plant-based dishes into our diet
  • Visit our local farms and include our experiences outside the farmer’s market

What would you like to see in this blog for next year? More recipes? Fewer recipes? More research-based information?

I’ll see you back here in 2013–just a few short days away. Have a happy and safe New Year!

Leave a comment


  1. Deanna! Just keep it up! Your blog is consistently one of my favorite reads. Your recipes are always spot-on. And I’d love to see more photos! The food photography ebook for sale on my page is INSANELY helpful. I love it. The health benefits you’ve seen are super! Reconnecting with the kitchen is the best part, though. It really doesn’t get any better than farm to table food.

  2. Congrats on doing so well on your 2012 goals! Very admirable indeed. Best of luck in 2013!


     /  December 28, 2012

    Deanna, I really enjoyed your blog. The recipes were particularly good. Six weeks ago I sent your blog to a lot of my friends – by any chance did you get any new subscriptions in the last six weeks from Colorado, Oklahoma, California, Ohio, Penn, Florida or Georgia?

    Happy New Year! Tad

    • Hi Tad! Glad you enjoyed our journey! We will continue with a new blog going live next week! I can’t tell where my followers are from, so it’s hard to tell, but I certainly appreciate you sending people my way!

  4. Congratulations on some kick ass results! You’ve inspired us this year with your commitment – can’t wait to see what you have in store next! I love your budget/menu posts – and you’ve shared some great recipes! Reading from CA, the farmer profiles are less relevant but very interesting. I actually read all you post, so you’re doing something right :). Happy new year!

  5. I really like your blog. I hope you’ll share more plant based recipes and love the idea of “field trips” – especially if you can focus on people who are close to the land and making ends meet. I love an entrepreneurial focus.


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