"Getting rid of everything that doesn’t matter allows you to remember who you are. Simplicity doesn’t change who you are, it brings you back to who you are."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bulking Up Part Two

SM and I discussed the "game plan" on the drive in.

"OK...I want to constantly think that this purchase needs to last a month.  OK?  Except for milk, bread, fruits and veggies...the goal is NOT to shop for a month.  Got it?"

SM (very laid back) says..."Got it."  Like he knows something I don't.

We went to Sam's Club first.  We've been members of Sam's for years because I really liked their meats and cheeses.  (Southern groceries have no talent for butchering meat (tough), plus the flavor was always off.)  We've also always purchased bulk paper products and laundry soap, dog food...stuff like that.

Today, I forced myself to go up and down each of the aisles. 


I quickly regretted not having brought a tablet to write down our common purchases with prices so I could compare.  Per ounce, per pound.  This was going to be tougher than it looked.

Then my eyes started bugging out...and drool started to form at the side of my mouth.  My mind was going numb.

SM had a slight smirk on his face as I would question him about the price of an item and then laugh when I'd get all bent out of shape about the cost.  (Freakin expensive.) 

He told me with a pat on the back..."This is why I do the shopping so you don't have too."  (Angel!)

We went to check out and SM says..."$165 dollars...(his estimate).

I glanced at the conveyor belt.  "Nah...$125 tops!"

Guess who was right?

Next we went to Trader Joe's.  Love that store!  $50 bucks (mostly because we stocked up on wine.  Three Buck Chuck anyone?)

Walmart next.  By this time it was 11am and the place was packed.  Wal Martians everywhere. 

"How about Lasagna tonight?"  SM requests. 

This is why having a meal plan just doesn't work with SM.  He's too much by the seat of his pants.

Me?  I eat the same stuff over and over so I'm easy.  But being married to Mr Buffet has taught me that if I make something he's not into then I've just wasted my time.  Oh, I'll put it in the freezer for future meals but still.  It's easier just to ask.

$77 dollars later and we creak home with $300 in groceries which looks like alot in the car but put it on the counters and it doesn't seem like all that much.

We're both kind of stunned.

"I don't think we've ever bought that much food at one time."  SM says. 

"Well, obviously we do if I'm forking out $700 a month in groceries."  I reply.

"I don't see why this shouldn't last us a month."  SM

"Agreed, especially since we have food left over from our last grocery run.  So you're cool if we consider this the BIG expense for the month?  $300 dollars plus perishables?"  Me

"Yep, lets give it shot!  I'd love it if we could manage under $500."  SM

"So would I!"  Me

Later SM showed me his calculations on our groceries over the past several months.  (Just to clarify, this isn't ONLY food.  It's anything I have to buy to keep humans and animals happy.  I break down our living expenses simply as: mortgage / auto fuel & repairs / utilities / medical, vets / everything else = groceries)

Sept $866 (WTF???)
Oct $563
Nov $631
Dec $861

Average? $730 per month.  (I swear even as I write this down I still don't get it.  It's not like we buy top of the line products and we're not throwing away food.  Granted, it's not like the garden produced anything except fresh eating, which is kinda the point.  I need to expand, can and freeze if I want these numbers to come down a bit.  Right now we are totally dependant on stores for food.)

"Did you include the pet food, dog chews in this?" (Yes) 
"We could cut out alcohol."  (This is why we drink!  I don't think so...)
"Stop using so much toilet paper!"  (I'm down to 2 squares!  Geez!)

"Well, we have to start somewhere.  I'm marking the calendar.  This is it for 30 days...February 20th hits...we can go to the store again."  Me

"Except for perishables right?"  SM


Try not to laugh.


  1. Great start. You are becoming very aware of what your buying and soon you will know just where it goes. The thing that always gets me off budget is that vet part. I spend more in vet fees than I spend on food, clothing, and entertainment combined. I need to get those dogs a job and pay their own way.

  2. It is always shocking, isn't it? Well time will tell and I am sure you will see a decline once you get yourself knee deep into preserving your own.

    TP...I have made it my mission to use less too. Funny how most just don't think about it! Do you really need a wad the size of a small state to wipe your fanny? Nope.

  3. Jane...I've often thought of putting a sign on the dogs, "Will wag for food." (grin)

    Diana...A small state!?! (Laughing)

    I am looking forward to getting up and running this year with food preservation.

  4. Oh gosh, I couldn't help but laugh. Great series of posts, Tami. I know what you're going through. It's so easy to lose track of money. For us, I've found that what I save on not having to buy our fruits, vegetables, and eggs, I splurge on healthier meats and cheeses, organic milk, stuff like that. So my household expense bill (I include the non-food household items too, including goat chow and chicken feed), never really goes down. I'm also trying to work on stock up items too, to rebuild our food storage.

  5. Leigh..It's embarassing to admit that I thought I knew where the cashola was going. (You know what they say about assuming.) But I want to be honest with myself and use these lessons to teach me about a better way of living my life. So I share, and try and make you all laugh. Knowing I'm not the only one out there making these same mistakes sure helps.

  6. hey tami! your comment made me smile...it was really freaky science to see her breath vapor coming out of her head! glad i could bring back the ol' black eye memory. good luck with the budget cut down. i am amazed at how much i will spend on "perishables". We have bulk grains and raise our own meat and put away lots of veggies and my grocery bill can still soar if I am not super careful with meal planning and lists. I always blame it on toilet paper, wine and salsa :)

  7. Hey CS...Thanks for stopping by. (Grin) Glad to know I'm not the only one shifting the "blame" to TP and wine. (Now that's a weird visual.)