Last week I talked about some recent changes to my life and shared a new plan. So today I set out to shop for the week. Well I did a bit more shopping than that (I needed a lot of staples in the house like rice and whatnot) but I only included the total for the things on my list. Let me begin by say this: I am a cheap person. I call myself frugal, money conscious and a million other things but it all boils down to me being cheap. I hate to spend money. I am never the person who goes crazy in a clothing store or racks up a bunch of credit card debt. It just isn’t who I am. I view grocery shopping no differently. In fact I see it as a challenge. Ever since my sister showed me how to coupon I cant help but go after deals. Also, with being a stay-at-home mom I view any money I save my family as pretty much an income I bring into the house. So all that to say my normal grocery budget is pretty low. Not as low as some people but relatively low. I usually allow myself $75 a week for groceries, $100 if its one of those weeks where I am out of everything, and $50 if I’ve already got all the meat I need in the freezer.
I went out today hoping to spend around $75. I did not come close. Those people who tell you it costs the same to shop fresh as it does to shop processed LIE. Or their food budget is much bigger than mine. Or they somehow know how to get better deals than I do. Is it better for you to buy all fresh foods? ABSOLUTELY. Will it be worth it in the long run? OF COURSE. But is it the same cost or even cheaper? NOT A CHANCE.
I got everything on my grocery list but dill, they were out.
I spent $123! And the only meat I bought was some salmon. This was no where near where I wanted to be budget wise. I can’t tell you how many people I have heard come down on people who use food stamps. They ride on them for using the system but also a lot on how all they buy is processed junk. This is why. I was one of those people on food stamps. We had no extra money to add so what we got was what we got. The hard facts are for $5 I could buy two small containers of fruit or 20 packages of ramen. Which is going to keep my kids from going hungry?
Luckily my family is in a much better position now. Mike and I sat down and agreed that this change was in the best interest of our family and increased our food budget to $125 a week. That an increase of $100-$300 a month for us (like I said I was spending $50-$100 a week depending on what I needed). Mike’s recent raise at work will more than cover this but we will have to cut back in other areas in order for me to feel okay about this increase.
While I am ok with this change, I can also give you about 100 things I would rather spend this money on. All I can say is if these recipes suck I will not be a very happy person. I’ll let you know how it goes.