Works for Me Wednesday: Budgeting foods
Last week I explained how we shop once a month for the main bulk items and then every two weeks for the stuff you are bound to run out of or which will spoil.
Now, our whole family is home all day everyday. My husband works from home, so do I, and we homeschool our three little
lunatics angels. We don’t do menus or even planned meals because we are together constantly and interact constantly and eat pretty much when we are hungry and what we are hungry for. This means that we will go on food kicks and the kids will eat all the eggs in less than a week or my husband will eat all the pretzels or I will eat all my chocolate almonds. Whatever.
The point is that yes, we do run out of things. We will run out of things. We are bound to run out of things. In the past this is what got us into trouble. The whole point is NOT to run out to the store just because we are out of saltines since that is when I spend extra money.
Instead, everyone knows that I bought this enough food to last a month and other than a few perishables that I will pick up on my “small” grocery trip at the two week mark, it will ast us till the next big shopping trip. I have my grocery days on the calendar so the kids know how long before the next shopping trip and if they decide that they want to eat all the waffles this week then they will have to wait for the next “big” shopping trip for more waffles. If they finish off the eggs or some other “small” item (anything that is refrigerated falls into this category because our family owns a fridge that once belonged to my single aunt–its a bit small) then they wait for my next two week trip. Both are marked on the calendar.
This way everyone knows that if they want waffles during the rest of the month they had better not eat them all the first week. I like to think of it as training them to budget their foods so the good stuff lasts. 🙂 It also teachesd them patienc and wisdom and saves us money.
That sounds like a good way to teach planning and responsibility to your kids too.
I also do a once a month big shopping trip, and then a few small ones for things like bread, milk, eggs, etc. I tried to go to shopping weekly, but now that I’ve gotten so used to doing it like this, it’s hard to change.
Very good idea. I usually do the family budgeting by planning the meals. I think that at some point I will incorperate this sytem so that my younger children can understand why we don’t eat all of the cereal the first three days after going grocery shopping. Thank you for visiting my blog.
How nice it would be for everyone to fend for themselves, at least once in a while. I only have one in the house that cannot cook/fend for herself (although she’s learning) but for some reason none of them know what to do if I am not around or busy. They act like they are gonna die! Even hubby! LOL!
I like this idea and may have to try it when I have kids. We don’t run out food very often, it’s more likely that things will spoil so hmm. What do you do about fresh food like fruits/veggies/bread etc? The things that will spoil if you buy them in bulk, but you run out of quickly?
I agree – it teaches them a lot. Patience, also resourcefulness, as you have to figure out what else to eat. We operate like this quite often. (Okay, all we have is rice, what shall we do with rice?)
You have inspired me to try this again. I have to stay firm when something runs out and not go to the store. You are right that is when you spend extra money.
My problem would be that child #1 would eat all the waffles and then child #2 (or worse Husband!) would all of a sudden decide on waffles! The kids would definately be the easier ones to train 😉 But I definitely like the idea of shopping less AND saving money!
And thanks for stopping by my WFMW post (lost/misplaced kids). Several people commented on kids with sensitive skin… You could use a sticky label instead (on a shirt- not on skin!)
Great tip! I remember my mom doing this with sugary cereal. With five kids in the house we’d easily go through two boxes in a day–Lucky Charms tasted like heaven compared to our usual Shredded Wheat–until she started buying ONLY two boxes ONCE a month!
“I will eat all my chocolate almonds”
I just did a MAJOR Costco run today b/c we have been doing this exactly. Once per month. That’s it. And it is sooooo painful for me if the coffee or chocolate chips (I mean almonds) run out before the month is up!