Monday, February 9, 2009

It Would Be A Lot Cheaper If I Could Just Sing For My Supper

This won't be a funny post today, so if you don't want to be bummed out, please stop reading. But then again, don't become all depressed before you even read the post. It's not that bad! Today is mostly Claire complaining about the sad state of the world.

After dropping Laura off at preschool this morning I headed to Walmart. That in itself is an injustice, because I do not like shopping there. I do not approve of their business practices, I hate how crowded it is, I can't stand the long lines and the fact that the cashiers are practically robots who have forgotten how to speak (seriously, even a little 'hello' would make me happy).

This shopping trip was one of those short, hold you over until the big trip in a week, just getting milk, bread, and air filters type trip. I had about 10 things on my list, and about 10 more in my mind. That's all I bought. I did not deviate from the list, nothing caught my fancy that I just had to have (except the "tattoo" type bandaids that I bought for Laura instead of regular bandaids, but they were too cool to pass up). My cart was not that full. I waited in line and read about Jessica Simpson supposedly being fat at 135 pounds (give me a break!) while the cashier had some sort of predicament with the lady in front of me. Finally, it was my turn. My purchases were rung up, no words were spoken to me, and then my total appeared on the little computer screen.


I almost started crying there in lane 14 of Walmart. $117 for a few things that will likely last my family less than a week. I cannot even begin to comprehend how much money I am currently spending on groceries. We are a tiny family of 3. This is supposed to be one of the advantages of not having more kids, right? And to top it off, Laura is 4. She doesn't eat that much. If this is how much it costs now, what will it be like when she is older? And along the same lines, how in the world did my parents afford buying food for 4 kids (three of whom were teenagers around the same time)? It's a miracle they didn't have to sell their kidneys to pay for groceries.

I know part of the problem is that food prices are going up. I've seen it happening over the last few years. I pay attention to how much I usually spend on certain items, so I can tell when milk or cheese or pop is higher than normal. So part of it isn't my fault. And I know part of it is some of the things I buy-I do buy organic milk for Laura and the milk boxes I send in her lunch ($2.96 for a pack of 3) are ridiculously expensive. But some of the items I buy aren't all that expensive, so I think it evens out. I try to buy store brand where I can (cheese, yogurt, etc). I always meal plan so I know what I need to shop for when I'm at the store.

I'd like to think there is something to be done about how much I spend at the grocery store. Like if I really worked at it and carefully planned my meals and my purchases, that I could still prepare healthy, yummy food for my family without spending too much money. But I'm starting to think that it's really not possible. I'm starting to think that $117 will soon be my norm for a little shopping trip. That $250 is going to be my regular trip. That I may never buy new clothes again since all I am buying is food. That I'm going to have to train Moxie and Laura to do some sort of little circus act and tour them around the city earning money for dinner.


RandomWonders said...

I truly feel for you here. We are also a little family of 3 (and our girl is 4 as well)... I can't seem to get in and out of Wal*Mart without spending at least 100$...groceries are usually about 200$..sad times! I told my husband, "let's just become vegetarians and grow our own food" - he laughed.

Martha said...

Sad, isn't it? It is a crazy world.

Bee and Rose said...

My husband & I just had this same conversation yesterday. It's enormously frustrating that you spend $100 at Walmart and come out with one stinkin' bag of stuff!

Anonymous said...

We hate Wal-Mart with a fiery passion! We never spend less than $100 so we stopped going.

I feel your pain. We are a military family of three people, 2 pets. Our dd is also four. We found that shopping on the off weeks at the commissary (the weeks where you don't get paid) saves us the most amount of money. Typically we spend $140 for two weeks including tip. (Before we started doing this we'd spend over $200) And we buy our fresh produce at trader Joe’s (Usually $40- $80 bucks). We keep a full pantry and buy in bulk when possible. We buy frozen veggies instead of fresh. We buy two loaves of bread and freeze it so it can last the whole two weeks. This way we never have to shop more than once a paycheck. We buy organic when possible except for meat. We rarely use coupons, so I know we could save a little more money if we did.

As for meal planning, we plan 2-3 crockpot meals for a two week period. (This usually leaves twice the amount of leftovers.) We also plan two fun meals for Fridays. Leftovers from dinner become lunch. We do breakfast for dinner sometimes. Our meals are usually very simple. (A carb, fruit/veggie and a protein.)

HTH she's the one

Michelle said...

You're not the only one that is near to tears in Walmart! It's so frustrating, and it's hard to explain just how depressing it is when you spend over $100 for groceries and it seems that there still is nothing to eat!!

DomesticDivasFancy said...

Do you guys have a commisary? That is where I used to go. NEVER on paydays was a madhouse there. I used to love Walmart but It is only my husband and I and I went there the other night and spent about 75 dollars. It is nuts...and I have been buying off brands! And still spend an arm and a leg. It is nuts...I wish we were still military with the BX and Commisary!

Claire said...

I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who is spending so much!! That doesn't make me feel that much better though.

We do have a commissary but I don't go very frequently since we are so far away. Our house is about 30 minutes from post and it takes longer than that to get to the commissary, so it is quite the trip.

I have started using the crock pot more which really helps. Those meals are good meals and make good leftovers. Tonight is stew!