Everything else, it seems, is fair game. Your politics, your gripes, pictures of yourself after working out, what you ate for breakfast - even really personal sex-and-love-related things are OK.
But we are all very, very private about our money. And although I understand it, I wish it weren't the case. I wish we could talk openly about money questions, because I have a burning one.
And it is this: How much do people spend on groceries/food every month?
I want to ask this question of smart, reasonably-normal, healthy people with families because the groceries problem seems to be one with no good solution, and I know that can't be the case. Somewhere, someone has to have the groceries issue figured out!
Here's my problem. We spend SO much money on food. So much! And I feel like we are doing a lot of things right. At least I think we are, but how would I know because no one will TALK ABOUT IT!
We are generally very good budgeters, and most weeks I try to do pretty decent meal-planning so that every weekend, when we go to the grocery store, we're mostly buying only:
- Staples that get used up every week, like eggs, milk, cheese, bread, yogurt, breakfast sausage and fresh fruit and veggies.
- Ingredients for the lunch/dinner meals for that week, such as meats, specific veggies, any special seasonings or random ingredients (for example, I needed honey mustard for one meal this week and had to buy that specially).
- Snacks for the kids' school bags and for munchies around the house, such as goldfish, pita chips, cheese sticks, cereal/granola bars, hummus etc.
Lester shops once a week and on Sundays, I cook two- to two-and-a half big meals for the work-week's dinner and lunches. I try to make sure we do really well with leftovers before moving on to something else (even though I admit that, by Thursday, we all are pretty tired of what I cooked at the beginning of the week.)
We buy what we can from Trader Joe's, which helps, because they're cheap, but they don't have everything we need/want there - or even most things. So we almost always end up at Safeway or Wegman's or Harris Teeter. We steer clear of Whole Foods, because $$$$$$$!
But STILL -- we are blowing through money on food!
So hold your hats, folks. I'm going to break the unwritten rule and just put it out there, because I need to know if this is normal or not: For our family of five, we spend close to $750 a month on groceries, sometimes more. (And we have a separate budget for restaurants/take-out! And that doesn't include the WINE! Or the fun foods like ice cream and Pillsbury slice-n-bake cookies!)
Seriously, $750! That blows my mind.
It feels like a lot to me, but is that a lot? Does that sound about right? What do other people do to keep their grocery bills in check? (Besides coupon-cutting, because we just aren't those people, no offense to those who are. We're just too lazy to do it.)
Our kids are not even teenagers, sucking down whole cartons of orange juice and eating entire boxes of cereal for snack yet! They're not demanding to buy expensive school lunch or bringing their friends over to rummage through our fridge after school. How will we survive?
Help us figure out how to feed these three sweeties and not end up in the poorhouse!
|They're watching TV here and not the least bit concerned about food. Maybe we should just let them watch TV 24 hours a day.|