Saturday, January 16, 2016

Big Family, Lots of Food

Our grocery bill has been steadily increasing. Probably a correlation with our family size increasing... ;)
We eat whole, real foods, which can make food expensive. I feel like I've gotten pretty good at keeping food expenses fairly reasonable by making a lot from scratch & finding good deals--Bountiful Baskets, farmer's markets, buying direct from farmers, getting sides of beef, gardening and canning, etc. But as the kids get older and their appetites get bigger, I'm running out of ways to cut the grocery budget! I am not exaggerating when I say that Jacob and Anna, and occasionally Isaac, can eat more than me! At lunch today, Anna and Jacob both ate an adult meal at the restaurant. Plus a piece of pie for dessert!!
Since Aaron has gotten paid twice a month (probably 6 or 7 years), I've been grocery shopping twice a month. That works well for getting fresh produce, but is probably less cost effective than once a month shopping. I remember very well doing once a month shopping with Mom growing up, and doing freezer meal cooking once a month. So I think it's time for a change!
We visited a Costco while we were in Arizona with Aaron's parents and I was very impressed with the selection of natural/organic products and the huge variety of quality produce. And cheese. And butter. Ha! So a Christmas present from his parents was a year's membership! We upgraded to the Executive membership for some added perks. And today was the maiden voyage to once a month shopping! Ha!

We switched out the kids for food halfway through the store. 

 Here is most of the haul. I had a few things put away already, but had to take a panoramic picture of everything. Haha!

Things I like about Costco:
1. Quality produce
2. Huge array of cheese (I love cheese)
3. For most of what I buy, bulk = savings
4. Big carts
5. Big aisles
6. Giant selection

Things I don't like about Costco:
1. It's on the east side of Wichita (instead of closer)
2. No Wild Oats products :(
3. No popcorn kernels

So...we shall see how this experiment works and how far this food will go! It's been way too long since I've bought enough food for an entire month! And I've never done it with 4 kids in the house!