Recently a good friend of mine shared that she spends between $60 and $80 a week on groceries for her family of 4 people and one dog. This revelation caused my jaw to drop and feelings of guilt to creep up. I spend more than that, quite a bit more than that, honestly. My total includes diapers but it is more like $110 a week (really I shop twice a month but it's around $220 twice a month). For a long time I've wondered about our grocery bill, wondered if I spend too much or if I could be saving my family money in some way. So, my friend's comment really made me think about how I do what I do.
I guess I see grocery shopping/feeding my family as a big part of my contribution to our financial health. I don't bring in any income right now but I can be a part of controlling our outgoing dollars. Watching what I buy and making good decisions is important to me.
So, it's been a couple of months since our discussion and I've decided that I'm doing as good as I can for now. My $220 twice a month covers diapers, dog food and cat food. It includes all our toiletries and laundry things. Plus it feeds us. I'm paying attention to sales and coupons and such but I won't be a slave to that and I won't drive all over town going to multiple stores to save a few dollars. I do my shopping with two kids in tow and more than one store is too much for us.
The last couple of months of reflection on grocery shopping has yielded a couple of fun finds: moneysavingmom and andfreebiesforall. I added these two sites to my google feed reader and I've gotten all kinds of fun coupons, freebies, samples and just good ideas, especially from Money Saving Mom. It's good to be thoughtful and plan things. I like that. I won't make myself feel guilty for spending what I need to spend to feed my family what they like to eat.