View From The Glen

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Grocery Shock

Okay, what's with the price of groceries these days? How is it possible that I am always surprised by how much I spend on Monday evenings?

Now I'm not a bargain hunter. I go to the Independent because it's on my way home from work. Neither do I stint - Andrew and the kids (not to mention myself) all have healthy appetites. But I do meal plan two weeks ahead, and I make a grocery list so I always know what I need to buy. I might stray from it - if, for example, coffee is on sale, but I'm pretty good at sticking to it for the most part.

I don't buy beef or lamb because we grow our own. I don't buy sausages, bacon, pork or chicken because I get them fresh from a local farmer. Sometimes I buy chicken if it's on sale. To the kids' regret I don't buy pop or chips or junk food either. And hardly anything pre-packaged.

So it's veggies, dairy, staples. Mostly dairy - we do go through 16 litres of milk a week, and more cheese and yogurt than I care to admit. But lots of fairly inexpensive fruit and vegetables too - whatever is in season.

I'm aware that when it comes to food, Canadians are fortunate. I realise that groceries take a lot less of our disposable income here than in many places around the globe. So I'm not really complaining. We eat well., and I'm thankful for that.
I know the price of groceries has increased in the past few years. I factor that it. And yet, when I get to the cash, it's still more than I expect.

I spend (on average) $150 a week for two adults, 3 children aged 7- 10. This doesn't count the freezer full of meat we have at home, or the roughly $30 a week I spend at the local butcher. Is this normal, or do I need to completely rethink my grocery habits..

I'm starting to think I'm just a bad shopper, so I'm interested in your thoughts.


Finola said...

We spend about the same as you do and I have often thought we are not shopping well. I have heard about others who spend much less, but I honestly don't know how. We buy mostly fresh foods too with only a few treats each week.
Sorry I'm not much help, but I am very interested in what others will say.

Leanne Haines said...

What you are spending sounds very similar to what I would spend on groceries. In the past I have tried to do the two week menu and the shopping list, but I'm not very good at it. I'm much better at sticking to it when I am working, and I have found that I do spend less when I do that. As it is, I run out for groceries whenever, without a list, and basically buy what I know we need, PLUS what's on sale. Not always good! Everyone told me that groceries are cheaper in Ontario, and I've found that to be true for some things (milk, some produce), but I think it actually all evens out. Groceries are just getting more expensive everywhere. But I think you shouldn't beat yourself up. You are doing well. Unfortunately, feeding your family well is costly!

Denise Nielsen said...

It's not that I am worried about it. i guess I just fid myself astonished when I buy what I consider basics and pay that kind of money, but maybe that's just the real cost of food.

On the other hand I heard a talking head on the radio saying Octomom spends $1000 a week on 14 kids and herself, which is more than 3 times what I pay for my family of 5 (including Andrew who can EAT), so maybe $150 a week is pretty good after all.

cbmamainnf said...

WHat you spend sounds right. We spend a lot more- but then groceries here are a ot more expensive. I love going to NS - because they are so "cheap".

Groceries are expensive- but they are a necessary evil, and really we don't skimp on them either. I would give up other things rather than a well balanced meal.......

Anonymous said...

I think you are doing really well considering that you have your freezer full of meat! I too am always shocked by the price of food. I spend easily over $100/week. I am trying to cut down on meat based meals. I am starting to make my own yogurt b/c we really eat only plain and it's so EASY, but also time-consuming. I should mealplan more, and I think I could save. Buying ingredients is definitely cheaper than pre-made.. Sticking to the list is necessary...once you start straying, it really adds up.