by Jen Maiser
Can a single woman in San Francisco eat local foods on a budget of $68 a week?
Yes and no. Yes, if she's willing to eat every meal at home and forgo a social life that revolves around eating out.
During my Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge week, I spent $153.10. That included a couple of splurge meals -- most notably $42 at Hog Island Oyster Company one night. Given my target budget, to say that I was way over is an understatement.
While I was committed to the idea of the challenge and kept scrupulous notes during the week on the amount I spent, when a close friend who I hadn't seen for months was in town for about an hour one night, I had a bit of a dilemma: do I opt not to see her? Go somewhere less expensive that kept me in my budget but threw ethical eating out the window? Or go to a restaurant that, if pricey, made me feel good about where my money was going, and was a nice place to take an out-of-towner to boot?