Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pickled dog

I gave birth to a hermit.  Once upon a time, he looked like this:

Now he looks like this:

I have problems with my itty bitty baby becoming this.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.  All his laundry consists of is pajama bottoms and the occasional pair of underpants.

2.   He is eating all my groceries at an alarming rate.

3.  He may be the first homeschooler to live up to his unsocialized reputation.  I'd hate for my kid to be the one to set us homeschoolers back twenty years.

Now that his sisters are old enough to babysit, the child refuses to accompany me anywhere.  People are beginning to think I made him up.  When we force him to set his pudgy barefeet out of his abode, you'd think we'd suggested that he chew off his own eyebrows or something.

Anyway, the point of this post is not my agoraphobic son but #2 on the list above.  I just got back from grocery shopping AGAIN.  I spent $140 and I didn't even buy coffee or milks (I say milk in the plural form because of G's allergies which he's mostly beaten but he still drinks almond milk).  I didn't splurge on anything except for the Chedder and Sour Cream potato chips which actually begged me to take them home and when I refused, jumped into my cart.  It was odd, but sometimes these things happen.  I didn't want to make a scene so I bought them.  Anyhoo...I feel completely grumpy about this cost of living thing right now.

Pickles were expensive!!  Pickles!!  Rejected cucumbers!

Nasty looking questionable meat products were expensive!  I kind of think I bought dog.

I only bought one type of cheese!  Who lives like that??

I passed by the Hagan Daaz with a self control that would utterly impress you and also made me weak kneed and breathless.  But pass by I did!

I didn't buy bread.  I didn't buy wine.  I didn't buy cereal.  I didn't buy hair products or make up or yoga pants or toilet paper or jewelry or real estate.  The only non-edibles I bought were deodorant for my hubby's pits (and why Old Spice makes Original so dang impossible to find is beyond me.  Can I start a petition or something?  Who's with me?) and small paper plates and a children's cold medicine.

This will only get us through a week.  Am I spending too much?  Am I unrealistic in my wishes to spend less?  There were some organics in there, but I bought them at Grocery Outlet for a fraction of the price...

We are a family of five in case you didn't know.  The three chitlins are homeschooled, thus they spend all their time on my couch, eating.  This could be part of the dilemma.  I hate to smack food out of their mouths more than twice a day.

What do you spend?

What is your favorite cheap meal?

Either make me feel better or school me in how to save money!  That was not a request.  Seriously.  Comment.  Or I will find you.  Right at dinner time.

I like steak.


  1. We budget $100/week right now. When we lived in Oklahoma there was an Aldi's and we were down to $60/week and it was blissful.

    In the past we've used EZMeals ( very successfully.

    I stock up on the basics (stewed tomatos, refried beans, rice, mac 'n cheese) at Sam's Club or Costco and then try really hard to not buy anything that's not on special at the grocery store. Sometimes I go to all four groceries. Don't talk to me about gas consumption.

    We usually only eat actual meat for dinner about once a week. Since the current pregnancy has made me hate meat more than anything alive, including Hitler, we've gone vegetarian. I'm actually not sure how we've kept from starving, but hey.

    I also use sourdough starter to make bread, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, etc.... on those days when I want to live like Little House on the Prairie. (I can send you some of my starter if you'd like. Special Delivery.)

    This is the longest comment ever. So sorry. I will stop typing now.

  2. I know there arel plenty of really great shoppers out there who spend far less than we do, but...we spend about what you just spent at our weekly trips to Super Target. (We are two parents, three kids--4,3,1--and a baby.). I go to Super Target weekly and Sam's Club once a month, where I buy what feels like an extreme amount of snacks (for the month), as well as trash bags, Clorox wipes, wet wipes. We have two in diapers and one in pull-ups at night; diapers are purchased on Amazon and so are not included in the exorbitant grocery bill at ST. So yes, to get to the point: It is all so brilliantly expensive. And all so very, very worth it. I still can't believe that we have arrived at the stage where every week I fill up a cart at the store and haul it all home. As I put food away I stuff the pantry and think to myself with satisfaction, "There! We can't possibly consume all this in a week!". But we do. Somehow it disappears, as if by magic, and I am left the following Friday trying to get creative with breakfast and lunch and dinner because there are only frozen blueberries in the freezer and one slice of cheddar in the fridge and a jar of peanut butter in the pantry. It is all crazy. And expensive. And I love it all. Thinking of you when I shop this week! Love you writing.

  3. Let's see... I shop at King Soopers so that when I spend insanely too much money on groceries, we kind of making it up by saving money on gas... I don't think it actually evens out, but it makes me feel better... But on average I spend $150 per week on groceries... there are 6 of us, and 3 of them are men (okay, two of them are little men, but they're still male and eat almost as much as their father).

    Favorite cheap meal? (don't correct me on my health habits, you asked!) Ramen noodles with hamburger in them. It's called beef and noodles. :) When I'm really in a pinch, I stir in some corn starch to thicken it up and make it more filling. (I know, I'm a bad mom!)

  4. JJ, Hitler! HAHAHA! Hitler shouldn't be funny but in context, it's funny.

    Naomi, you always put things in the most marvelous way. I should try to be happy about why I need all these groceries!

    Heather, I love you but I won't be showing up at your house for dinner if you're offering beef and noodles with corn starch sauce! Ha. Just kidding. Sounds tasty actually. I like to add in some Rooster sauce and ginger to my Ramen...makes me feel ghetto asian. (Is that racist? I didn't mean it racistly).

  5. Well, at least you don't have to add sales tax to your food supplies! Why do I only live 7 miles from the Oregon border and still have to add 6% to my groceries? (unless I sneak off to Ontario...)

  6. I seem to spend a huge amount of money on food for 4 people and I keep wondering what we eat? Every time I turn around we are out of mayo, or tp, or some other strange expensive item. Also I hate to tell you this but you are only getting started with the food that G consumes! It gets worse. A whole lot worse!! My best cheap meals are always pasta, beans, potatoes or rice. I try to cook 1-2 fish dishes and 1 vegetarian dish per week. Meat is super expensive lately! Pasta goes a loooong way in this Italian house :) Also I make bread - google 5 minute artisan bread and you will LOVE it. Really takes no time at all. Keep writing - you are one fun and funny lady :)

  7. Went to Walmart to buy 5 things and spent $125.
    Found husband a light weight coat for $7 and $13 winter coats for the boys (next year).
    I live close to so many stores and it wrecks havoc with my budget.

  8. Our family of 5 lives here in Medford and we try to budget $125 a week. Sometimes we are under, sometimes over, but that is the average. I think you are doing fine!

  9. First off, you are hilarious. Thanks for making me spit coffee on my computer this morning. Secondly, we are a fam of 7 and the oldest kid is 8. But he's a boy and he eats like a man. We are in TN and we spend about 175 a week on food and non-food stuff. Like someone else commented I always think, after lugging it all home, we will NEVER run out of this stuff. Then we do. Apparently there is a new book about French parenting out that teaches us Americans how to raise kids that don't want to snack and eat all day. Not sure how they do that but it could save us homeschoolers a lot of money.

  10. Brittanie, I make my bread too but I haven't tried the five minute artisan recipe...gonna google it immediately! Thanks, buddy.
    TinaA, don't eat the coats.
    Miss Anonymous from My Town, thanks! We could shop together if only I knew who you were...
    Annette, sorry about your computer. Now I want French fries. And French toast. And cheese. And Bordeaux. And fondue. Your French suggestion is not helping me!!

  11. We are a family of 5 and thanks to some bad accountants while hubby was an owner op. trucker we are paying back taxes. Actually 1/4 of our paycheck. We are a family of 5 now (not including the dog). We are spread pretty thin now. I literally am lucky to get more than 100 in groceries a week. (We have one in diapers.) We just moved and the gas oven doesn't work, so I can't bake my own bread or even my own biscuits right now. :P Our favorite meal has got to be fried rice. I use left over rice, add 1/2 a bag of a dollar bag of frozen veggies, an egg, any leftover meat (or not), soy sauce, and we are good to go. Last night I was desperate for a dessert since we were out of peanut butter (kids took off with a jar and ate it with a spoon) so couldn't make the no bakes I had planned. I cooked up corn meal mush 6 c. water to 1 c. yellow cornmeal. I added molasses, a little sugar, cinnamon, and some cherry jam that needed to be used up. It tasted just like a gingerbread cookie had been made into pudding. The kids loved it and we had the leftovers for breakfast.

  12. I love cornmeal mush! Even better sliced and fried in some butter the next day...yum!

  13. I was about to comment that our grocery bill is a bit lower than yours, but then I realized that when you factor in our annual purchase of 1/2 a cow, it really isn't. But it is true that I am one of those uber-mean moms who severely limits the kids' snacking. I shudder to imagine what the food bill would be if I didn't...

  14. Veggie pastas are a treat for us. Found an amazing recipe the other day and loved it. Always provides left overs too. You have always been good at breakfast for dinner. Who can't throw together flour, eggs (or egg beaters)a little oil and voila! Pancakes! Chili. Especially if you buy your own raw beans, which I am sure you already do. Make it veggie to avoid the meat. Hmmmm....what else do I do? I have succumbed (sp?) to some couponing but am definitely not crazy with it. I also go 2 weeks at a time which has worked better for me over the years than going once a week. Always seems like I spend more when I don't meal plan out two weeks.

    Otherwise, I say sacrifice a kid for a bottle of wine. Only for a little while, of course.

  15. I can't get two weeks worth at a time because I spend two weeks smacking things out of everyone's hands, yelling "that carrot/cracker/peanut butter is for dinner a week from thursday!" And then a week from thursday comes and I have nothing but empty wrappers. But I'll try a vegetarian chili and see if anyone notices...