Wednesday, November 26, 2008
An Experiment Gone Bad?
About 3 weeks ago, my wife and I set out on a quest to try to stay under a grocery/food budget of $200 for our family of 6. It's the middle of the final week now, as November comes to a close, and it's been pretty friggin' hard.
As of today, we've spent $196 on our groceries/food. Not bad for 3 weeks. We've managed to use up almost all of the food in our freezer. We're more conscious of not letting things go bad in the fridge and making sure that we don't let anything go to waste.
But it's been a trying experience and to ask us to just spend $4 for the rest of the week on food for our growing family is, to put bluntly, NEGLECTFUL.
We've clipped coupons, shopped at local farmer's markets, used up all of the organic meat in our freezer and 90% of the canned beans in our pantry.
We've been invited, more often than usual, to my in-laws for dinner on Friday and/or Saturday nights. My father-in-law has bought dinner for the entire family AT LEAST 1 night per week after he picks-up the kids for us (bless his kind soul).
Rozanne and I have also followed a strict Eat-STOP-Eat Lifestyle, fasting every 5 days and we've both lost some weight. In fact, in keeping up with my workouts (using a Bod Pod measurement) I've manage to drop my body fat percentage to 10% while maintaining the same amount of lean mass that I started with.
"CAN A HEALTHY-EATING FAMILY OF 6 LIVE ON JUST A $200 FOOD/GROCERY MONTHLY BUDGET?"
The answer, for THIS family at least, is a big fat
Like I mentioned in my first blog post this month, our family theme for November, is GRATITUDE (that's what the symbol above means).
So believe me, we're thankful...
Thankful that we can afford more than $200/month for healthy (and in most cases organic) food.
Thankful that we have a supportive extended family that have our backs.
Thankful that we know where our next meal is coming from and that it's never a choice for us to either feed the kids or pay for an electricity bill.
I wouldn't call this past experiment "fun".
A better word would be enlightening.
It's made us realize (again) how lucky we are with what we have - not just us as a family, but as a society with electricity, indoor plumbing, running water and heated (or air conditioned) homes.
Would I try this all again? Probably not. I think I would try to cut out other excessive things in our life (not that there's a lot of them). But good quality food, as I have said before, I won't compromise.
That said, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends south of the border. I hope that you experience immense gratitude the same way my family and I have over this past month.
Now please excuse me while I hit the grocery store :-)