So – schwhateva on that $100/week for groceries not including the CSA box thing . . .
When my mother (who is a thrifty shopper) said it couldn’t be done, I should have listened. Listen to your mother! She said she spends over $100/week in groceries for just her and my Dad, so she doubted I could do it for us four – especially with two growing (and prosciutto-loving) teens/tweens.
Well she was right. There I’ve said it: It’s a little over halfway through February and I am over my $650 for the month. I have some stuff in my freezer, but not enough to feed us through the month, right? Okay, time for real-time freezer inventory. I’m at the freezer now (this could get embarrassing):
Bag of frozen peas
Bag of frozen corn (okay, I’m going to stop saying each thing is frozen)
Pint of vanilla ice cream
Container cranberry cocktail concentrate (I had an idea about margaritas – didn’t pan out)
Bag of leftover homemade latkes
2 bags leftover homemade pancakes
Miscellaneous Go-gurt tubes of undetermined vintage
Gallon bag pork barbeque (dated September 2011)
3 bags of 1.5 quarts homemade chicken stock (that’s money, baby)
Gallon bag of undetermined beige substance – here, you guess:
Post a reply if you have an idea – now back to the list:
2 1lb packages grass fed ground beef (on sale at $5.99/lb so I bought extra)
Another unidentified bag of something appearing to be of tomato-sauce origin
2 quart bags homemade veggie soup (made this last week, it’s really good)
2 qt leftover beef soup from January 2012
1 qt bag of undetermined – again tomato-ey in origin
Box Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burgers
1 pint bag of pomegranate seeds
1 whole pomegranate
1lb ground coffee
One-half loaf Ezekiel bread
One lego dude frozen in a jar of water.
Oh my gosh – I feel so exposed. But I also feel heartened – I have some food I can use to keep my expenses down this month. I am taking the pork BBQ out for dinner tonight. We can have the frozen peas since we don’t get a new infusion of green until the CSA box tomorrow, and I’ll have to make some potato thing for a starch, since I don’t have buns (the potato latkes?). . . okay you all don’t need to hear me thinking aloud. You already know what it’s like cobbling a dinner together.
So, thanks for going on this impromptu adventure with me. I doubt I can go the rest of the month without buying groceries – but I am going to use up stuff in the freezer. After all, I froze it to use it. And of course I will keep freezing as I go. I’m not ready to give up on my $650/month goal just yet, and I will spend the rest of February keeping very close track of things. That way, I can have more information to decide whether or not it’s feasible for next month.
And maybe the extra expense for food could go into the “wants” category. . . . The food we eat isn’t just calories to fuel our bodies. Dinner is really our one regular family activity. Sure, we go on the occasional outing together (we call them RFT – random family trips), but on a regular daily basis, dinner is where we all come together. It’s not that we sit around discussing current events and Shakespeare every night – sometimes we play a card game or watch an episode of Chopped. Sometimes it’s a homework dinner and sometimes it’s reading night – be we are all together. And the food brings us there. Beyond the calories, vitamins and minerals we need to survive, I want the food experience to be as fun and tasty as possible. So it makes sense to put some of the extra expense into “wants.”
By the way, I will let you know what the undetermined stuff is. Hopefully it’s tasty!
P.S. I also realized that when I use my bank records to add up my grocery bills (I use a bank card for everything), I can’t distinguish between food and non-food items (dish soap, toothpaste, etc.) that I buy at the grocery store. I’m going to have to start saving receipts . . . just what I need, more paper around the house.