Thursday, July 29, 2010

Grocery Scare

I'm already at the EEK! moment of curtailing our monthly expenses. The kids and Paul are distraught at losing cable, too.

I went grocery shopping Sunday or Monday and spent $90. I was feeling pretty smug about my weekly grocery bill. $600/mo? No problem.  But then yesterday I didn't know what to make for dinner and the family decided on turkey sandwiches and sweet potato fries. We stopped at the store on the way home from a doctor's appointment for Joey (Robert introduced himself as Joey for the first time in three years!). We bought a bunch of bananas, a bag of grapes, two nectarines, three yams, a box of tangerine fruit popsicles on sale for $2.50, a bag of cotton balls because I've been out for months, a pound of Diestel turkey ($10), a loaf of gluten-free bread ($5), and a bag of frozen sweet potato french fries also on sale. We spent $60.

$60 on dinner.

Ok, there was some fruit in there. Let's call that breakfast.

So $60 for dinner and breakfast for four people.

We could've eaten out for dinner AND breakfast for less than that.

Maybe eating out IS cheaper.

I don't know what to do about this. I don't know what to believe. And at $150 spent this week already (actually more because I went to Costco, too! and I don't know where the receipt for that is) ... I shouldn't be able to go shopping for another week AT LEAST but realistically two because of the Costco trip. And that feels impossible.

We have no meat in the house. No gluten-free bread. The fruit certainly won't last us two weeks. (Try four days.) Almost out of yogurt. No cheese (non-dairy or regular) because I forgot to buy any. I think we are low on gf pasta, maybe one more bag of it.

And we're traveling next week. I'm going to have to go shopping when I get to Massachusetts. I'll need to stock up Fernanda's (the kids' Portuguese gramma "Vavo") pantry with gluten-free, casein-free foods for Joey to eat while he stays with her. And when I'm at the conference I'll have to eat out for dinner at least three times, maybe four.

The eating out will have to come off my allowance, but the shopping for Joey will be more grocery money spent, so that for the rest of August I estimate we'll only have ... oh wait! Whew. This is still July. In August I'll get a whole new $600 to spend on food. August might actually be ok. The kids'll be gone for 18 days of it, so Paul and I can get away with eating lightly and cheaply. Rice and beans for us is just fine. We actually LIKE to eat that. And I can do a big shopping trip right before they get home.

Ok. I can do this.

And I'm sure the kids'll not be traumatized without cable. We have Netflix, You Tube and Saturday morning cartoons. Paul will not parish without his news. He can get it all online anyway. Even his favorite news shows, like the Rachel Maddow Show. But he will lose his boxing channels. And I'm sorry for him there.

Next up:  Should we cancel the land line? Should we cancel the internet? Both Paul and I can receive emails and send them from our phone (albeit MUCH slower), but Aubrey can't chat with her friends. And neither can Paul or I for that matter. And we totally use it. Almost every day. Plus those news shows he now has to get on the internet because we don't have cable? That'll be gone, too.

(And we've got three cars. One isn't used all that much. We can cancel the insurance on it and park it out at Paul's mom's house in the country to be used whenever one of our other cars goes belly up and we don't have the funds to resuscitate it. That'll save a few dollars.)


HappyOrganist said...


we went to Colorado (vacationing) for a week a while ago. And we spent A LOT less! hahahaha
And we still ate out lots and even went grocery shopping, as well. I don't know how we managed it. But I have always thought that grocery shopping is not always cheaper than eating out.
I guess I'm an idiot for thinking that. But maybe there are two of us, eh?

Valerie Willman said...

My husband has been saying it for years. I keep dis-believing him, and every time I bring it up to my frugal friends, they poo-pooh the idea. But I just don't know anymore.

Shannon said...

Dear Valerie-

I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog recently. It was so wonderful to hear from you! I took some time to read through some of your past blog posts and I was amazed to discover how many similarities we are experiencing right now! There are a few - especially regarding the grocery budget - that I could have written word for word! (except I don't think I've ever spent $1200 on groceries - but we are working on staying around that $550 number and I'm amazed but have been able to do it for over a month now.) It has been a hard transition, and yet I see so many positive changes happening.

Can't wait to share more and really looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

I'm also very excited for you for finishing your first book. How wonderful!!

Keep in touch and again - BIG thank you for your kind comments.