Sunday, July 5, 2009


I just need to complain a bit about my grocery bill. Every few weeks with sit with my spreadsheet budget and think how can I trim the excess? We ditched cable because other than the odd tv show Rob and I rarely watched it. The kids obviously preferred cartoons but the commercials made me nuts. I would rather spend $60/month on music lessons. Then we cut the home phone. Rob and I both have cells and the house phone got maybe 3 or 4 calls a week, so why waste the money? We stopped eating out. I am choosier with our activities. But the food bill? Crazy!

Over the past few months we having been moving towards whole foods. Home-made everything. I'm home and, in theory, have time, lol! I've been making our bread from scratch. We've stopped buying commercial snacks like granola bars and single serving yogurt (so much sugar!). I try to include protein in every meal. I've got the kids eating organic brown basmati rice, quinoa and steel cut oats. Next up I tackle the meat. I will be splitting a cow with a few neighbours this Fall. Maybe a quarter hog too. This meat will last throughout the winter for us and then some. I am still on the hunt for organic, free-range birds and eggs.

It is not cheap eating this way. We buy only fresh produce and go through it like crazy. I've had to ration it with the kids. So, on the fridge we write a list with two days worth of meals - with the kids' imput. For example:

Breakfast - Kashi crunch w/ plain yogurt & strawberries; turkey bacon.
Snack - Chocolate milk.
Lunch - Whole wheat wraps with hummus, peppers and cheese.
Snack - Banana.
Dinner - Pork chops; apple sauce; grean beans and salad.

Breakfast - Oatmeal raspberry muffin; fruit & soy smoothies.
Snack - Raisins.
Lunch - Tuna sandwich; celery sticks.
Snack - Yogurt.
Dinner - Turkey meatloaf; carrots; mashed potatoes; salad.

If I didn't do this, the kids would eat through all the fruit and dairy in the fridge in two days and still complain about needing more food. I am finding it easier to balance our diet by creating the posted 2-day meal plan. I actually do two week menu planning with the spreadsheet before payday.

I try to keep the bill under $600/month but it is hard. Feeding four people healthy, unprocessed food is not cheap. I should institute more "cheap meal" nights but when your kids will eat chicken cacciatore it is hard to serve them Kraft Dinner. Alex is the one who scares my wallet most though. This morning he ate his granola and fruit but needed 4 slices of turkey bacon and a full glass of OJ. Trust me, he'll be starving again in no time. My 58 lbs, 4'4" six and a half year old son hasn't slowed down once post-womb. Thankfully he is the best eater I've ever seen. He can pack it away better than most adults and would take sushi over chicken nuggets any day.

It could be worse, I suppose. I could be freaking out over kids lived off air alone. We know a few like that too.

***I should add that I am not a fanatic, nor are my poor kidlets deprived. They have had their share of cakes, cookies and fruit roll-ups. Just sparingly. And after a proper meal.

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