Saturday, January 11, 2014

The dreaded "grocery" budget

It is the 11th day of January.  We have made five "grocery" purchases in 11 days, and Snuggs is stopping again on the way home from work.  It sounds bad.  It looks bad on paper.  I'm sure Dave Ramsey wouldn't approve.  Let me explain.

We don't eat rice and beans.  For one, we are on the "GAPS" diet, which isn't really a diet at all, but a fully awesome and nutritious way of eating. (GAPS info)  We chose GAPS in July of 2013 at the suggestion of our doula in hopes that we could ease, or at least not complicate Buttercup's sensitivities.  GAPS, in the simplest explanation, is sugar free and grain free, although it's a bit more complicated than that.

We get our eggs from a friend down the road.  She has her own line in our budget.
We get our milk from a farmer a few towns south.  He has his own line in our budget.
We get our chicken from a CSA from a local farmer.  Another line.
We get our pork and beef from a different local farm.  Another line.
We buy most of our produce from the local Kroger.  Another line.
We buy specialty items, especially "bulk" selections from a local coop grocery.  Another line.
And, yes, I occasionally enter the dreaded Sam's Club.  Yet another "grocery" line in our budget.

I think we spend quite a bit on our groceries.  I know that before we "went GAPS" I was spending about half of what I am now to feed our family.  But, we are still under the FDA's budget for "Thrifty" eating. That kind of blows my mind, but that's a story for a different day.

Buttercup still nurses a gazillion times a day, and I'm fighting with all I have to night wean her.  It's not going well.  She doesn't eat a whole lot, but her appetite is increasing all the time.  I'd say she's averaging about 1/2 cup of "real" food per day.

Cricket is an eater and always has been.  He will eat nearly anything set it front of him including raw red onion and fresh minced garlic.  He easily eats as much as his daddy, if not more.

Snuggs doesn't eat what you would expect a hard working grown man to eat.  At the risk of offending him, I'd say he eats like a girl.  He eats about as much as I do when I'm out with friends and trying to appear reasonable.

I am, undoubtedly, the biggest eater in our family.  I eat about twice as much as Snuggs.  He likes to say I eat First Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Lunch, Snack, First Dinner, and Second Dinner.  I eat when I'm hungry.  I'd say my diet is about 60% fruits and veggies.  I am healthy, at the same weight I was when we married, and feel great.  I am a bottomless pit.

There are other various factors that play in to the number of grocery expenditures that appear on our budget sheet.  For one, Snuggs seems to have a knack for eating the key ingredient in a meal for tomorrow or the next day.  I'll go around the corner and fold some laundry, only to come back to find that the last four eggs that I needed for our breakfast tomorrow are being devoured.  Sometimes I have a backup ready, sometimes someone has to retrieve the necessary ingredient.

Also, we almost never eat out.  Snuggs and I have a monthly date, and our budget allows for a sitter and a moderate meal for that occasion.  So, if you include all of the meals I'm accused of eating, that's roughly 180 meals per month at home...and that's JUST ME.

Finally, we could eat cheaper.  Like I said, when we decided to do GAPS, our grocery budget pretty much doubled.  However, we really, truly believe in the benefits of eating high quality, real food.  It's so worth it.

So yeah, we eat a lot of food.


  1. Hi! I think spending extra on quality food is a worthwhile payoff, but yah it's hard to see the prices!

    What about having a designated shelf/section of your fridge/pantry reserved for upcoming meal ingredients?

  2. That's not a bad idea! We'll definitely give that a try. Also, since I called him out in cyberpublic, he's been asking more often before eating!