Food Spending Review
Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I have read throughout mommy blogdom of families spending $35 a week, or even $20 a week, on groceries. I though I would try my hand at it. Of course, we have nine people, not four, so $75 a week might be a better figure. I don't break down our food and diaper/laundry detergent/misc. Stuffmart purchases, and this includes birthday expenses (we have about one per month). I had been trying to stay under $200 a week, but to challenge myself I had arbitrarily set $160 a week for household expenses.

I am reevaluating our budget. We eat a lot of fruit and vegetables around here, and even though I cook a lot of things from scratch, our bill is high. We have a special diet - only very certain brands of salad dressing can come into the house, if I want boxed mac n cheese it must be organic (Kraft and knockoffs are full of Yellow #5.) Two boxes of Annie's at Big Lots is still cheaper than making it from scratch with real cheese and milk - $4 a gallon! I am working this year on eliminating partially hydrogenated and trans fats; shortening is out and butter is in. I use applesauce for most of my baking and that costs more than oil.

According to the U.S. Government, my family on the thrifty plan should spend $1,041.50 a month on food. That is more than our rent! The liberal plan? $2,012.80. I cannot even imagine spending that much. My house would not hold $500 worth of food every week. Crazy! (Check out the discussion here.)

In January, I spent $690 for everything (including two children in disposable diapers, birthday presents, and all household spending.) This month I am going to up it to $800 a month.

I think we eat fairly luxuriously! We have fresh fruit every day. We eat boxed cereal with fresh milk. I cook with olive oil and butter. I select every day which kind of meat to prepare - chicken? fish? beef? The only limitation is what *I* feel like cooking!

Someone else bakes our bread, and slices it. Someone else prepares our yogurt, and packages it. Someone else grows our vegetables and freezes it for our convenience.

I think it's a matter of perspective. Most of the world would agree we are very rich and eat like kings!

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 2/19/2008 08:09:00 AM | Permalink | |