Today, I’m the epitome of Mothers Who Do Too Much. Due to poor scheduling and a backlog of household tasks, here’s what I have on for the day:
- Grocery shopping (at two different stores)
- Laundry (six loads)
- Dentist appointments for me and the older two kids
- Gal Smiley and Captain Jelly Belly’s first soccer game of the season
- Evening powerwalk with the ladies on the street
All this on top of the usual making of meals, tidying of meals, homework, and shouting at Little Miss Sunshine to PUT IT DOWN. It’s a busy day.
My grocery shopping trips lately have been guilt-ridden and confusing. My problem is that I have been reading Muddy Boots and Amy has been making a series of amazing posts featuring her weekly groceries and the meals that go with them.
She has managed to cut her grocery bill down to $100 or less per week. That boggles my mind. I can literally see the food she buys in photographic form, I can see the meals she makes with it, and yet, I can’t wrap my head around it.
I’m ashamed to say this, but here goes…I spend about $250 per week on our family’s groceries. That includes all our toiletries, so things like toothpaste and shampoo, diapers for the Little Miss, toilet paper, and nutritional supplements for the Captain.
But even if I took all that kind of stuff away, I’m sure we spend close to $200 per week on food alone. That’s double what Amy spends on her family, which is the same size as ours and features three boys of about the same age as our own kids. What the hell is up?
So now when I visit the grocery store, I find I’m constantly second guessing myself. I feel a little embarrassed at the stuff I’m throwing in the cart. I feel ashamed when I pull out my ten bags and two bins at the checkout.
I guess it’s good to be thinking about how to spend less, especially with Sir Monkeypants’ job always in danger. A couple of years ago I did some research and identified the Superstore as having the overall best prices — maybe not the best on a specific item, but low enough and competitive enough that I felt confident shopping for everything there on a regular basis. I also went to a meal plan, to cut down on our food waste.
Another thing we did was buy a big freezer, so we could stock up on favourite foods when they went on sale, and also so we could freeze more leftovers and save them for another meal.
Now, though, I feel like I should be doing something more.
I couldn’t possibly bring myself to list or display my weekly groceries online, because I know I’d be opening myself up to all kinds of comments like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you feed your children Vegetable Thins!” which I know I just could not take. But here are a few things off the top of my head that I think I could do to save on our grocery bill:
- Stop buying individual yogurts. We usually buy the small little yogurts because it’s easier for Little Miss Sunshine to feed herself. I think she can handle a bowl now, though, so time to move to the bulk size. I should also probably start buying a cheaper brand — we buy a very expensive brand because it’s the only kind Gal Smiley will eat, but she’s kind of off yogurt these days anyway, so I think I’ll try the Little Miss on something new.
- Put fresh fruit instead of dried fruit in the kids’ snack boxes. Fresh fruit isn’t always that cheap, especially in the winter, but I think it is cheaper than dried.
- Try some different brands of juice, or juice from concentrate.
And now, do me a solid and tell me what you spend on your weekly grocery bill. Am I at the top of the heap? Are we way overspending? I need help!