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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mind Over Major

I haven't made a "major" grocery run since July 31st, nearly a month ago.  ("Major" meaning- large and planned with price comps and coupons at the ready.)  For some of you that's not so strange.  Perhaps you typically shop once a month and buy everything you'll need in that one trip, minus an outing or two for extra milk and bread.  Maybe you just don't use coupons.  (Who are you crazy people?! ;))

Anyway, for us this is very unusual.  So far this month, we have only spent $115.83 on groceries.  That's enough to impress me, but consider that that amount also includes a trip to McDonald's and another to Taco Bell and I'd say we're doing pretty good.  Naturally, my frugal-minded husband is pleased with this news.  "See?  I told you we could go longer without another grocery run."  Yes, hon.  Truly, you are the superior gender.  I'm not worthy! (Sometimes a goodhearted "ribbing" doesn't translate well to type, so let me be clear.  This is all playful fun and not to be taken too seriously. :))

Of course, my fellow "couponing" friends know that this could spell disaster later.  After all, I will eventually have to buy groceries and giving up 3 to 4 weeks of items at their lowest price could mean forking over more later and experiencing sticker shock at the register.  Not exactly the goal.  I really don't like the phrase, "You have to spend money to make money," either but in instances like this (as long as you're smart about it and don't go "off-the-charts") it is true.  Spending a little on items now that you'll use later puts more money in your pocket rather than waiting to purchase later when it's not on sale.  (Assuming that it is something you typically use.)  Sometimes you get lucky and even find actual "money-makers" in the store, maybe in the form of rebates, or maybe simply the result of a sale price combined with double or high value coupons.  Everyone loves easy money, right?

Thankfully, I shop at a grocery store that price-matches and many of the grocers in our area carry different sale items at different times, which means my 3 to 4 week respite may not spell disaster for us after all, if I play my cards right.  I have learned a very valuable lesson in all of this, though:
  1. I can get creative in the kitchen and still produce an enjoyable meal.
  2. There is more food in our pantry than I originally thought and most importantly,
  3. My husband actually knows what he's talking about sometimes. lol ;)
In fact, this incident caused by nothing more than my lack of time and desire to plan a grocery trip reminded me of a little experiment that Justin suggested a few years ago while our three, small children were still in diapers.  "Let's budget $150 for groceries this month."  What?!  Have you absolutely lost your mind??  Good thing I wasn't eating when he said that or I might have choked!  I didn't think it could be done.  In my defense, I thought he was including diapers and other toiletries in that number.  Thankfully, that was not the case.  Strictly groceries.  $150.  Would you believe that we did it?!  Our family of five actually ate three meals a day for a month on less than $150!  We didn't feel deprived or go hungry.  We weren't eating rice or mayonnaise sandwiches at every meal.  We just used what was already in our pantry, added a little creativity, and redefined the word "need" in our vocabulary.  Granted, we couldn't have done this every month.  We started with a full pantry and it was close to bare by the end.  (And I was ever so grateful to replenish it, mostly because it meant I didn't have to think so hard about dinner! lol)  It was a great lesson for us, though.  We are spoiled.  We think we "need" when we really "want".  Most of us can get by, and happily, with so much less.  I encourage you to try it sometime.  How long can you go without buying groceries (bread and milk excluded)?  What can you do with what is already in your kitchen and pantry?  I bet you'd be just as surprised as I was.

Don't get me wrong.  My ideal is still to shop once a week but I've learned that we can survive for more than a few days without meat, cereal, or peanut butter in the house.  Heck, we've even gone without milk for a couple of days (a real challenge at our house)!  Well, I guess it's time to go plan our next grocery run now.  If I procrastinate much longer, we may be having ketchup sandwiched between two slices of cheese for our next meal! ;)

1 comment:

  1. I agree. There is much more in my pantry than I think there is. I "could" go for weeks without going to the grocery store if I had to. However, I do like the convenience of having a variety of foods from a fresh trip to the store.