Bartering to the Tiniest Grocery Bill

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While buying our Walnut Hills steaks at the Nashville Farmers' Market, we talked with owner-operator Doug Bagwell, who mentioned that he barters his grass-fed beef for vegetables and other groceries.

He says he's gotten his grocery bill down to $50 a month. Not a typo — $50 a month. In contrast, a three-person family I know spends around $750 a month — they buy a lot of food in single-serving packages, a lot of premium products and pricey vegetables, and enjoy a nice piece of meat for dinner most nights, with wine and a good baguette from Provence or Bread & Company.

The project I launched in January to save grocery receipts then tally them only worked halfway — I saved receipts for four months but haven't totaled them yet. Safe to say, though, that the total is somewhere between $50 and $750.

How much do you obsess over your tab at the grocery? Do you even pay attention? And if you do, is it worth your while to obsess over it?

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