Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Grocery Bill

Ruby, Eliza Claire and I went grocery shopping this morning. They do great for about the first half of the trip and then they are ready to be done. Today I was a bad mom and gave them unwashed grapes to keep them happy. Yes, I understand that I didn't pay for a couple of ounces of grapes and that my children may have ingested pesticides or other toxic substances. But I needed to finish shopping and it was the first thing I found in the cart that wasn't going to require me to explain to the check out person that "yes I was aware the box was open because I opened it to feed my starving children so they wouldn't scream in your store." Not to mention it was Ruby and Eliza who make a sport out of seeing what they can find on the floor to eat!

Going into to the store today I thought this would be a cheap week at the grocery store. I didn't think we had that much on our list. But when the final bill was tallied after coupons it was $142 and some change. Ugh! How do I trim the bill? Last week was a big trip - it had been a week and a half since we had been to the store - and it was $160. It appears we spend roughly $150 a week on groceries. That is $600 a month and doesn't include all the things we buy at Sam's (diapers, cat litter, laundry detergent, dog food, about 1/2 of our meat, etc.)!

So how do I reduce the bill? I try to buy meat on sale. I use some coupons. I buy a LOT of store brand items. I try not to buy too much prepackaged stuff - today I did buy juice boxes, sponge bob crackers, and propel that were prepackaged. I try to only buy the produce that is in season. I did buy strawberries today but only because they were finally under $3 a pound.

I did notice that all of the dairy items have gone up significantly in price recently and we seem to eat quite a bit of dairy. I probably purchased $40 of dairy products alone - that included block cheddar, shredded cheddar, 4 gallons of organic milk, and six containers of yogurt- it seems like there were other items but I can't think of them now. I know I'm paying more for the organic milk but at the moment feel like the extra $6 a week is worth it to not have growth hormones and antibiotics in my kids milk. Maybe not, I'm really still on the fence but that $6 a week isn't the problem.

So where do I cut? I feel like we are doing a good job of eating at home and packing our lunches instead of eating out but I feel like the grocery bill is still too high. I think I do a good job of price comparison and buying store brands. I try to use coupons when it makes sense. So what else can I do? Or is this just what it costs to feed a family of six?

Off to finish putting away groceries.

1 comment:

Sherri said...

If you are not eating out, that is good for a family of that size. I am having the same problem and there are only 3 of us.