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Wednesday, June 12, 2013


When I was first out of college and not married I budgeted $15 a week on groceries.  Those were the days when a quart of milk lasted me two weeks and I ate pasta with jarred $1 sauce at least 3 days a week.  After Kevin and I were married I don't really know what our budget was....those first few years of joint budgeting were a little hazy but I can't imagine we spent much more.  Our go to meal was a boxed pasta (10 for $10!) mixed with a can of tuna.

Subconsciously Kevin and I must have decided that after we became parents we should improve our eating habits and move from heating up to cooking, so in the months after Emma was born, and with the help of Food Network we started cooking real food.  This made a pretty big impact on our food budget but for many years we maintained a $50 a week grocery budget.  It was hard but very doable, especially when we occasionally went to Sam's and spent $150 on staples added with the leftovers my mom would send home with us and the mountains of food my dad and Kyra bestowed on us with every visit.

Fast forward to last Wednesday.  We spent $160 on groceries (and I went to Aldi), I bought no meat other than turkey for sandwiches and no alcohol, we didn't host a big party, I wasn't stocking up on anything, we were just trying to feed 3 smallish kids.   I cannot even imagine what a family of 3 or more big kids must go through.  I think you'd have to have two refrigerators or go to the store more than once a week (BOOOO!!!) I'll  definitely be in the market for another fridge in a couple of more years because I just can't see going to the store more than once a week-yuck.

 I was determined to make it a full week before we returned to the store even though yesterday morning our fruit consisted of one plum and a half pint of blueberries.  The kids are so excited to go to the store today (a first!).  I'm hoping we can come in under last week outrageous number but more than anything it makes me thankful that we can buy food for our kids, even when it costs 10 times as much as it used to (literally.........10 times as much!).
Curiously,  I did a quick search on food stamps after last week's blow out.   Even though we spent a lot I still relied on staples I had including ground beef (thanks, Dad!) and pork chops I had in the freezer.   It just made me really wonder how in the world families without means feed their kids.  The research I found stated that most families receive about $131 per month per person in benefits or for my family of 5, $655 per months or $163.75 a week.  What we spent last week!  I have absolutely no problem with that, in fact it makes me grateful for a system that helps to make sure ALL kids get nourishment.  And I also know it still must be hard (but not quite as hard as I feared) to make that money stretch because like I said, I have a well stocked pantry and freezer to round out each week.  Families in poverty also have to shop in convenience type shops where the food is much more expensive.  But I'm curious to know if that is really number is really accurate?  I'll keep researching.

***post shopping update

Everything's been refilled.  Wanna know the total?  $66 at Aldi (not including a beach umbrella and a baby pool) and $116 at Dierberg's but I did buy $30 worth of coffee (it will last us 6 weeks) plus I needed a few special ingredients for a Father's Day cake that was requested and there was some beer.....some kinda expensive Father's Day beer for a special someone, of which three bottles were broken on the driveway.  So we're looking at $182.  We're totally going in the wrong direction plus we're planning to eat out 3 times next week. Ouch.  I think this is the end of this depressing post I'll forevermore refer to as "why I get my haircut at Great Clips".   

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