View From The Glen

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Piling Up The Grocery Cart

I was reading this blogpost about the rising cost of food. ET says she spends $700-$800 monthly on food for her family of 7, and wonders what she’s doing wrong, because so many people seem to spend less than that.

Just so you know, ET, I’m not one of them.

We easily fall into that category. For our family of five, I shop weekly and spend on average $150-$180 per week. Which may not seem too bad until you consider two things:

1. We raise our own beef and lamb, and buy our chicken and pork from local farmers, so I don’t buy much meat; and
2. In the summer we grow most of our own produce too.

So what am I buying?

It’s a good question. We certainly don’t skimp on food, and Andrew has a good appetite after looking after a dairy herd all day (he borrowed my pedometer once and clocked something ridiculous like 28 km in one day). But I am not an impulse buyer, and always go to the store armed with a grocery list created from my weekly menu plan. Nor do we buy much processed or prepackaged food.

Still, I manage to load up a cart without any trouble, and have even considered the implications of having to push two carts around now that my active 8 year old son is starting to appreciate food more.

We do eat lots of dairy. And bread. I ran into a single friend at the store one day this past summer who saw me coming out of the bread aisle and remarked, “Oh, you’re having a party?”

No. Actually, this is just the amount of bread/buns we go through in a week.

For fun, I am reviewing yesterday’s grocery bill. Because like everyone else, I have noticed the cost increasing over the last year quite dramatically. And here’s some prices for comparison (Canadian dollars)

Coffee $8.99 (large can – lasts 1 week)
Milk 4L 2% $3.97 (I buy 4/week = about $16.00)
Old Cheddar $5.99 (large block – barely lasts a week)
Bread $2.22 (I buy 6/week = $14.00
Eggs medium $2.39 (2 carton/week = $5)
Cereal Weetabix $4.49 (I usually buy two boxes of various cereal per week)
Apples 4lb $3.99
Box KD $1.29
Butter 1 lb $5.39

It all adds up. Don't even get me started on the cost of gas. When you live in the country, there aren't many options!


ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

Your prices aren't all that different from ours. Bet that's the Canadian factor. (Those Americans get to spend a lot less than us!)

Just to be kind, I have to clarify...$700-800 is when I'm being a 'super-sleuth' in my shopping. Reviewing my budget spreadsheet for the past 3 months, we're at at least $1200 per month!

I have to say, you must drink a lot more coffee than us, lol - one of those cans usually lasts us 2-3 weeks. :) As for milk we consume about 6 or 7 of those 4L jugs each week (but baby is on whole milk, so I blame it all on him).

Thanks for participating! I love meeting new bloggy friends. Especially fellow Canadians. :)


Mom2fur said...

$5.39 a pound for butter! Holy cannoli, for that amount the cow should be there churning it for you. Ha, ha, maybe you should give one of those beef cows a different job...
You know, you can freeze the stuff very nicely. I stock up when it's cheap (I used to be able to get it for about a dollar, but nowadays 2.50 a pound is pretty good.)
I'm talking American dollars, here. I'm not sure what the comparison is to Canadian.

With holiday season coming up, you might find butter going on sale. At least it does around here--most baking things do. If it does, get yourself three months' worth, if you can swing it in one shot. It keeps about 6 months in the freezer, I believe--never lasts that long around here.

Bobbie said...

Prices do seem to be higher in Canada than in USA. Even living on a dairy farm without buying meat... those are high grocery prices!

Lisa said...

Those prices seem so high but i quess here in the U.S. we do have cheaper food. I dont think i could spend the same amount of money on food as i do for is really an eye opener to see what other people spend.