There is more to this than school lunches...
This is about the one month mark for a grocery overhaul in our house. The number one comment we have gotten from people when we tell them we are buying mostly all organic is.... "But aren't organic items more expensive?"
Our answer... "UH, HUH, BUUUUUT..." you knew there was going to be a but there, didn't you?! "We are paying more money on individual items, but we are buying less."
Now for the total hypocritical statement - this past month, my grocery bill was close to $1000!!!!!!!!!
A little background info. here..... I was coupon queen! At one point in my crazy couponing days, I had 6 of every coupon and would match store sales with coupons for rock bottom prices. It was normal to open my pantry and see a rediculous amount of mustard, ketchup bottles, bbq sauces, cereals, fruit snacks and a full shelf overflowing with brownie and cake mixes that I didn't even pay a single cent for! I have stocked my house and pantry on $250 a month (including toiletries AND dog food!). A MONTH!
That is what I just averaged a WEEK!
so... am I freaking out a bit about my spending this month? no. I am remarkably calm. I see the bigger picture. Have you ever moved before and tossed all the open containers? I have. 3 times in the last 8 years. Each move we kept what we could, but tossed anything nearing it's date and gave away whatever would not make the month in storage (side bar - why do moves never run smoothly? I don't think I have ever gone directly from one house to another!). Each time we moved, the first few shopping trips were ridiculously high.
Well, we have moved. Not physically, but we have moved none the less- into a new phase of life - attempting to educate ourselves a little more about what we put in our mouths. Now, please don't think I have blinders on. I know I can't control the world around me. I know my kids are still asking me to buy dora cereal or GI Joe fruit snacks. I am aware of what I am competing with! My homemade food is not as fun as dora, or as shoot 'em up cool as GI Joe... but I' working on it!
I am not trying to shelter my family from the rest of the non organic world - but If I can make more meals at home, try new things and keep them fun and exciting, I can at least control what goes into our bodies about 90% of the time. I figure with 3 meals a day, plus snacks that 90% of the time, meals come from our house. Yes, they will eat gummi worms from Grandpa, and eat who knows what at friends houses, but if our diets are 90% free of chemicals, HFCS, and genetically modified foods, then I am ok with that! It is a 90% change from where we were!
So back to the cost - The first few weeks were the most expensive. There were a few costco and specialty store runs in there to overhaul the fridge and pantry. There are still a few items I would like to switch over, but for the most part I think I have done it! I even hit up a few pantry item clearance/overstock sales at the chain grocery stores in the area (guess the rest of the area isn't buying organic?) I feel pretty competant now that my fridge and pantry are loaded with basics. My grocery bill this week consisted of $70 at Kroger and $20 at the farmer's market. That is $90 a week. I think I can do this for under/right around $100 a week. Winter may bring some new challenges, but I am up for it! I am sure it is fluctuate a bit, but as I said above, we are paying more for less.