When I was buying food at local stores, I was constantly conscious of price, and individual items are definitely more expensive at local stores. Yesterday, I tallied my spending for November--most of which was spent buying food only at local stores--and I was stunned to see that we actually spent less for food in November than we did for the past several months. In November we spent $895.24 on food. In October, $1106.83, in September, $925.97, and in August, $1018.86. This is for six people, two of whom are teens.
By "food" I mean food and not toilet paper or toothpaste or dog food or any of the other things you can buy at the supermarket. "Food" also does not include alcoholic beverages. Food bought in restaurants is a separate line item on my budget. Interestingly, in our month of buying local, we spent far less at restaurants too.
Why was shopping local cheaper even though prices are higher? I think it's because I stayed away from packaged foods, which are expensive anywhere, but are especially pricey at stores like Foods of All Nations.
I am once again rethinking how I buy food in Charlottesville.