Among our friends, Beth and I have a reputation of being quite frugal. At restaurants we order less food and if our fellow diners happen to offer their leftovers, we often accept, and everyone leaves full and happy. (But don’t count on feeding off your friends plate. I usually eat before or expect to eat after going to the restaurant when I want to save some money because it’s simply rude to expect to eat others’ food). We shop at Salvation Army by choice and wear shoes and coats until our parents are begging us to go shopping (true story). So for Beth and I it is somewhat of a test every week when at the grocery store.
Our budget is $50 a week for each of us, or $100 total, as we share a grocery bill. But we usually try to keep it below $60. If it’s $50, we’re geeked. And normally we hit these numbers, occasionally going above and below. This year, however, we’re having difficulty. I don’t know if it’s because we’re exercising more frequently and therefore eating more or if we just have an appetite for more expensive food (organic, free-range, grass-fed, etc.). Today at the grocery store I spent all $100! And not on purpose. I was at the check-out putting the food on the belt when suddenly the amount of food in the cart doubled, maybe even tripled! I didn’t possibly get that much food, did I? I was in a state of denial.
Granted, we barely had any food and would have had to live off rice, beans, peanuts, and protein powder otherwise, but even so. I went to Meijer and their darn marketing department bested me – everything was on sale, so I bought two bags of baby carrots instead of one, and two packs of deli meat, two mangos, three packages of mushrooms. I even got two loaves of bread when we barely finish one in a week! I also planned a few recipes for this week, and buying ingredients not already in the cupboard can get expensive.
Let’s just say, next week we’re shopping with the little cart.