Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Most Redundant Chore of all.....







Today I did my bi-weekly trip to the grocery store. This is really not an enjoyable chore to me. It causes frustration and anxiety from worrying about paying to much and lots of thought to think things through in making the correct purchases. Add children to the mix and it can be down right impossible. I am lucky that, if I plan my week right, I can go without taking children, which I did not take any today. It has also occurred to me just how truly redundant grocery shopping is. I have come to realize that every item has to be touched 7 times in its journey from the store shelf to your shelves at home (not to mention how many times it journeys before it reaches the store shelf...). Seriously, you take it off the shelf to put it in your cart. You take it out of the cart to put on the conveyer belt. The cashier takes it from the belt to put in the bag (add a step if there is a separate bagger involved). You put the bag in the cart. Then the bags go from the cart to the car. From the car to the house. Then once in the house, the items are taken out of the bags and put in their place. That is seven times each item is moved or handled. It would be really nice if technology would advance to where a few of those steps could be erased..... I can dream!

With rising gas and grocery prices, grocery shopping causes more anxiety for me then it ever did before. Especially now that I have a large family to feed. Our income is limited, but we still need to eat and prices still go up. I couldn't believe that the generic Wal-Mart macaroni and cheese (which was 33 cents/box) is now up to 50 cents a box! That is a 50% increase! I have never been a smart shopper. I don't really enjoy shopping, even if it is stuff for me. I am not patient enough to find good deals. But I am trying to learn. When we were first married, I didn't bother with coupons. But, I do use them frequently now. I am now trying to learn how to use them more efficiently. I actually did a first today- and, while I still spent what felt like a TON of money- I know I saved some too. I only go to one store when I shop because I don't feel I have the time or patience to go to different stores to hit the sales. I know a lot of stores price match so I tried it today and it worked! I had several items, but I made a point to have it all organzed and ready for the cashier so it wouldn't take forever and she was really nice and gave me no problems with it. Here is the one I was most proud of- a different store than where I went had Gen Mills cereals 5 for $9. I price matched it at the store I went to and got that price. Then, I actually had 3 different gen mills coupons I had saved. For boxes that are normally over $3/box, I got them each for about $1.25/box. I also got a stick of deodarent for 23 cents. So, maybe I am learning- today was a first for me. But, I do still worry that I spend so much and I need to learn how to do better. It doesn't help that all six of us are cereal & bread eaters, milk drinkers, etc- stuff that can really add up- and I buy a lot of fresh produce- fruits and veggies. I also have two children in diapers. Being I only go every two weeks, I just about always have two carts- usually one full, the other about 1/2 full. So, I am going to go out on a limb and say how much I spend in hopes of getting feedback to see if I am way above everyone else. Hopefully I won't embarass myself too much. I only go shopping every two weeks, with the exception of making a stop to get more milk after a week or so. I went to Sams Club today to get diapers (which I need everytime...) and other things that last a while that I don't need everytime (laundry detergent- it lasts a month or so if I get the bulk ones) and also some produce if at a good price. So, today was kind of high at Sams Club- about $75. But, next time I won't need laundry detergent, for example, so it will be a bit less. So, then to Walmart. After coupons, price matching and all, I spent $220 for groceries that will last two weeks. So, for two weeks of groceries, diapers and all, I spent just about $300. This works out to approximatly $600/month (or $150 a week). Of course, at times it may be a bit more or less. So, I am really curious as to how other people do (if you are brave enough to throw out a $ amount of what you spend- if not, I understand!) and any tips you may have. As money gets tighter, I feel there should be ways I can help and do better.

Honestly, I truly hate money. I hate having to worry about it and think about it all the time. I really don't even think I would like to have a lot of money, because I think that would cause another whole set of problems. Ugh....

3 comments:

Kelly said...

That is a good ammount to spend- we just added more to our grocery budget (keep in mind I no longer have diapers to buy), and we spend $100 a week in groceries, and that includes toiletries, and detergent, whatever I can get at Meijer. I do go to Sam's, but try to go only once a month, and I average $70 there- so probaby $450 a month for us, a family of 5. I feel like my budget has increased since Dana is home in the summer, and now I feel like we cook meals more often, for whatever reason. If I have a gift to buy for whatever, it comes out of that too, or a new extension cord and weed and feed, that is included. So overall, we probably spend more than you! So good job!! Oh, and I use coupons religiously, and try to save at least $10 a week with them- and I do buy those products anyway, not just to use the coupons. I was talking to my friend about this spending at the grocery when I was visiting her the other day, and I think I am going to try to take cash only to the store so I am not tempted to overspend, which happens frequently! I used to love going to the grocery, but now I feel as you do, and I hate the rising prices!! I hate it!!

Lauri said...

Well said! You really put it in perspective when you said that every item is touched seven times. SEVEN TIMES!? No wonder it seems like we do this over and over and over.

I read recently that coupon shopping is gaining popularity once again and is no longer looked down upon. Many young mothers are coupon shopping and it's becoming something that the "in crowd" does.

You are amazing if you're only spending on average $150 a week. That's some amazing budgeting. Way to go!

The Cochran Family said...

ya, that's pretty good! Remember Val, one time she told me they only spent $200/month on groceries, I never could figure that out (that was when they only had two kids) We spend way more than I would like to admit..grocery shopping is still something I really like to do esp. now that I live in a new state with not a whole lot to do..I get excitied for grocery day! Seven times...I never thought about that, now why not wash your fruit and veggies!!!! I used to clip coupons a lot, but I found that even with a coupon the generic Walmart brand was a lot cheaper and I like most of thier stuff.