Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Grocery Bill

I thought these pictures of Hunter eating were appropriate for todays topic. These are a pics of his space ship bday cake which turned out ok.

Here is a pic of Hunter eating an "elephant's ear"
I am in charge of the grocery shopping and so when I watched Julie and Julia the first thing that popped into my head was, "how in the world can she afford to buy all those ingredients?" I mean butter alone while a staple in my fridge isn't cheap and fresh herbs and spices...good grief. Sometimes I take my mad money just to buy a block of "fancy" cheese from our local farmers market store.

I like to cook, but I have to keep it all in balance in order to stay on budget. This last week was a disaster. Brian and I take out cash for our food we call it the "food budget" because we not only use this money to buy groceries but to go out to dinner or run for Dairy Queen etc. I never want to use the entire thing up at the grocery store because I like to have a safety net in case we run out of diapers or something and we always eat lunch out after Church on Sundays. So imagine my surprise when after pre-buying diapers, light bulbs, and some other things with my baby sitting money, and sitting down and making a very conscious effort to plan "cheap" meals that not only did I go over what I normally do, I used up all the money every last cent. If Brian hadn't been there I would not have been able to pay the bill (I had left my purse and credit cards at home). I was horrified totally steamed and I felt like such a failure as I consider this a part of my stay-at-home duties to buy thrifty.

What caused this balloon in bill you ask? I have no idea I have been over it and over it. There were a few things that could have been cut out, craisins and almonds, and some things that we don't buy every week dog food, toilet paper, olive oil (which I get cheap by the way) but even if you added all those things up we'd be back where we normally are and normally we buy diapers so then we're right back to using up all the money. To quote my current favorite show "what the frack?"

Since Conner has been born we had to add in more diapers (though Hunter is only wearing his to bed now) and I have made a real effort to buy more fruits and veggies. I know fruits and veggies aren't cheap but they're so good for you and what is the cost of your health if you don't eat well? Please don't think I stock my kitchen full of chips, cookies, sodas and snack cakes we don't ever, only for very special occasions and this week was not one of those occasions. I buy almost all off brand unless the brand-name is on sale (my mom would die if she knew I don't buy JIFF, but meijer brand really does taste almost as good and is like half the price) and really try to stock up on staples when they're on sale...So what's the deal?

My poor husband has already upped the food budget twice since Conner was borne, I mean I really feel like we're not poor or anything. I just feel frustrated. And after two days of thinking about it over and over I read one of my favorite blogs (Hazelnut Cottage) and she was talking about her dream to own a small home and showed a picture of a house where she lives that is a little smaller then mine that was listed for over $600,000! Her husband is a teacher so they're probably making right around what we are. And I know that God provides for us we have some angels that send us a little money every month, without which we would "get by" but that is all we would be doing...God has a way of asking us to count our blessings doesn't he? It's like every winter when they do a "families turning down the heat because of the cost of oil" segment they always show the family turning it down to like 72 degrees which is like what?! We keep ours at 68 in the winter I always wonder "who are these poor two car giant home owning people that have to put on a long sleeved t-shirt to stay warm?" (sarcasm dripping from my thought FYI) But now I see I am one of those. I had a bad grocery week, big deal, I'll do better next week and so what if I have to add in some of my own mad money, I need to stop feeling so self righteous about it and realize it's our money and I am helping my family, and God has blessed me with this ability. (Still would it kill them to cut the cost of nuts?)

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