July 27, 2011

$400 a month for groceries? Let's find out.

    One morning, awhile back, we had a visit from a rep from a company that delivers various meats, vegetables, and other foods to your home.  They claim that they are much more affordable for the average American family than shopping at the grocery stores, and of course, they claim their quality is much better.  I don't doubt their quality.  It appears (from the samples he gave us for our time) that quality is very good.  However, it's the amount I would "save" by going with their plan over my current shopping habits I don't see.

    I would be paying about $285 dollars a month for 6 months in order to receive about 480 servings of main dishes, consisting of fancy cuts of steak, various entrees with chicken, pork, seafood, sausages, and pastas with sauce.  Also included are 52 packages of vegetables, 8 oz each.   Sounds yummy, doesn't it?  I'm sure it is.  However, there are several reasons why I don't think this would replace my grocery shopping or save me any money over my current spending.

    1.  Their menu does not include staples like milk, cheese, eggs and other dairy, breads or crackers, breakfast items (except sausage and bacon), beverages, condiments, any lunch foods (like peanut butter and jelly, lunchmeat, etc.)

2.  I would use all of their veggies up in 7 1/2 weeks.  I would have to add vegetables to my shopping list after that.  The other meals, if only used for dinners, would be gone in about 4 months.

3.  I currently spend about $400 a month on groceries to feed our family of five.  The salesman didn't believe me.  He calculated that it would mean my family eats for $3.33 per person per day.  He even made me doubt that I was telling the truth.

So, in August, I'm going to start keeping track.  We'll see how much I really spend on a month's worth of groceries, and how it really stacks up.  Now, I am a simple person, and I don't need fancy steak or special foods to satisfy me.  I can make a lot of things with ground beef and chicken and other basic ingredients.  Still, I'm interested to see, and to share, how I can stay within this budget and feed my family of 5.

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