Saturday, July 9, 2016

Day 9: July Food Challenge $1/1/1

Today's big lesson was taking the three kids to the grocery store and getting them actively participating in the shopping and purchasing of our food for the next several days. Since I had a list, and knew the layout, we made a pretty methodical jaunt through the store. Overall, we did a fantastic job! The kids took turns pushing the cart, finding the grocery items, comparison shopping, adding up the math in our heads. We had a couple of coupons, but more importantly, we had a list of meals and the ingredients missing/needed to prepare those foods at home. We stuck to the list...mostly. We did purchase one item that we had a coupon for. It was on sale. (I know; I know.)

So, in the checkout line, our total came up $4 more than our cash on hand. (Yep, that unplanned item threw us over our cash in hand.) We put back 3 (other) items and managed to stay in our budget. Then, ironically, we got a $2 coupon handed to us with our receipt, so I had the kids push the cart forward and I walked back to the end of our line and purchased one of the "returned" items (still in the grocery checkers cubby) for a whopping $0.20. Later, in the parking lot, we bumped into one of the children's teacher's and jumping up and down, they gleefully told the teacher what we were doing. The kids were having fun. I think they felt a little more connected to the whole process of where the food comes from and choices impacting the money we have and the food we purchased.

There were no complaints at either lunch or dinner.
Overall, the day felt like a bit of a lark. Who knew a grocery trip, when armed with a list, a menu plan, and cash on hand could feel more like a field trip than a chore? My kids are good kids. They admired the sushi and asked if it could be put on the list for next time. They admired other items and wondered if, at some point, we could consider getting those things. A few things were easy to answer, "Sure, let's plan it in to the next trip." Others were more, "Hmmm, probably not, unless you really decide that you want that for your birthday feast, then we can talk about it." Other curiosities included, never having seen a wrapped/packaged frozen turkey and wondering on earth that large, oddly-shaped blob was, or the delight in seeing fresh, organic carrots, complete with stalks, and vigorously proclaiming them much healthier than the baby carrots we kept insisting on buying. Granted the slender organic carrots did look quite beautiful; perhaps this Fall, we'll grow some ourselves. It's a good idea.

Personally, I'm looking forward to not going to the store for several days and seeing how that plays out.
As for the food that our family is not going to eat, that I talked about got trashed.
Relief. No more constant reminders of money wasted or guilt over "why did I buy that and then not eat it?"
Whatever my intentions, whether overly healthy or too good a bargain to pass by, they are gone from my cupboard and freezer now. Maybe some wild creatures will eat it. Otherwise, may it bless the earth from whence it came.