Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

$30/day

That's my goal for groceries and household items. Spending $30/day, roughly $900/month for our family of 7 relentlessly growing whipper snappers and their parents who continuously labor to suppress all forms of bodily expansion.

Side note: I've never been all that good at achieving my goals and usually spend more like $1,200, much to the chagrin of my handy dandy perfect in an ideal world where healthy food would be cheap, but not realistically achievable in this high fructose infused world in which we live, budget.  

My sweet daughter need not be privy to my perpetual overage. For all she knows, I stick to my budget the way Elmer's adheres to a 1st grader's fingers. That's why when she proposed the idea of shopping and preparing meals for one day for our brood, I allotted her $30. Exactly. No overage allowed. No ma'am. Not on my dime. I've got things to teach here...lessons, I tell you, lessons. 

"What can I use from home?" she asked. "Nothing," I replied, which earned me an exasperated head tilt to the side, simultaneous eye squint, and "MA - OM" combination where she artfully turned a one syllable word into two. I was impressed. "Okay, you can  use a condiment. Like, mayonnaise. You can use mayonnaise." (Funny, considering mayonnaise is something we rarely dip into and we've had the same giant jar of it since somewhere in 2009, if I recall correctly.) Insert: further vexation on her part and further amusement on mine.

Sensing I was about to push her over the preteen edge where all the nearly-12-year-olds who are thoroughly distraught by the stupidity of their parents live, I had to get serious. "Alright, alright, you can use all condiments. And spices. Will that work for you, my little star fruit?"  "Yep, that sounds good."

And off we went.

To Safeway.

Where my precious pumpkin muffin of an angel girl, Clover had a M  A  J  O  R screaming, crying, kicking, peeling off shoes and socks, meltdown. Gosh, it's been ages since I faced one of those. I nearly forgot what they were like. Until I suddenly remembered.

Ladies and gentlemen, if I may be so bold as to offer a piece of advice here, do not, I repeat, NOT shoot the mother of a tantrum throwing, fit having, high pitched scream shouting, child a dirty, nasty, my-children-would-NEVER-do-such-a-disgraceful-thing look. Please, do not. Don't stare at her. Don't glare at her. Don't shake your head and tsk, tsk, tsk. Just politely, with all the kindness you have in that great big heart of yours, walk on by. And if you simply can not resist taking a gander, do it with a gentle, "honey, it's okay, we've all been there" smile. Otherwise, when pushed to the brink of C to the R to the A to the Z to the Y by the mortifying behavior of her beloved baby coupled with the heartless stares of complete strangers, that mother might, in an adrenaline fortified surge of braveness, march right up to you and utter, "What? Haven't you ever seen a crying child before? Keep it moving, lady, keep it moving." Ahem.

And so....where was I?

Ah, yes. Jayla and I made an arrangement that I would donate (for a cost, lessons to learn, lessons...) eggs from our chickens, 9 ears of the 48 of corn on the cob I am buying from bountiful baskets, and butter. This brought her spendable total to $26. (Yes, I may be annoying to her, but I am generous to her also. No, she could not get all that for $4.)

She decided her menu would be as follows:

Breakfast: Bisquick pancakes a.k.a. "junky pancakes," in our house, 18 scrambled eggs, and the kind of syrup I would never, ever buy

Lunch: pb&j sandwiches, chips

Supper: penne pasta with marinara, salad with dressing and corn on the cob

She had to give up a few wants from her list, like bacon, juice, and baby carrots. (Um, the baby carrots were easiest of to let go. The girl could live in Baconville, so it was a tough call. And H2O is F R E E, so the juice was a no brainer to eliminate.)

Shopping was much harder than she expected. I was completely hands off for that part. She "had no idea things were so expensive!" Welcome to the real world, babe. $ matters. A lot.

Saturday is the day she is prepping all this goodness for us.

I am so proud of her. Love me some preteen Jayla.

Love her baby sister too, because we all know...what happens at Safeway, stays at Safeway.

That's right.

3 comments:

Courtney said...

i LOVE it! maybe i should do this? like soon!

Alyssa said...

She's so sweet. You don't happen to have an iPad or iphone do you? Their Safeway app as three sets of AMAZING coupons that save us a ton and give us a ton of gas points too. Bet you guys could rack up a fortune! ;)

Erika Stanley said...

Our food budget is so out of control, I've stopped tracking it. Instead I thank the Lord that we can afford to feed our children and we manage to keep it healthy. If you can get by on $30 a day, I will hail you a food budgeting hero!

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