Saturday, February 17, 2018
Food...The Poor Farm Budget 2018
"Never eat more than you can lift." -Miss Piggy
"I always cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food." -W.C. Fields
"Red meat and gin." - Julia Child (When asked what attributed to her longevity)
Food. It rocks my world. I spend a huge hunk of my time in our looney bin kitchen every day, cooking at least two meals a day and often three. The majority is made from scratch. The bread, the cakes, the stews, the roasts, the mayonnaise, the pancakes, the salads. I'm not a martyr, I just play one on TV.
I'd say with prep time and dishes and putting away dishes and getting the dishes out again-I spend about 3-4 hours at counter side every day.
You would think with all that time around food we would've had a better handle on our food budget. Wrong. So very wrong. We budgeted $150/month and we spent (prepare yourselves) on average $408/month. I know. *GASP*
After the shock of adding it all up wore off a bit, I did some digging and revealed some valid excuses for this gross miscalculation. When we came up with the original $150/month we were-in our little bitty brains-thinking only of edible food purchased in a grocery store. What we did not include, but dumped expense wise into this category, was the following:
Meat processing costs of $1370/year for beef and pork. (Except for fish, we raise all our meat.)
Broiler chicks purchase. (When grown we butchered 30 for our freezer)
Garden seeds and plants
Household items like toilet paper, bath & laundry soap making supplies
If I were to separate those items out, and I've decided I won't, we'd be closer to the $150 we budgeted except for the eating out we did. We blame family for that. Hey, if the scapegoat fits...
We'll do well for a few weeks and then a mother-in-law needs a doctor visit, so we'll take her out on the way home for a meal. Or my sisters and I will gather and it's often at a restaurant and includes a meal. Or, I'll be missing a teen granddaughter and will bribe them to spend a bit of time with me with a meal out. (THIS is worth every penny, they are growing up too fast.) And of course Keith and I still like the occasional Sunday eve. meal out where I get a break from cooking and he gets a break from me whining about all the cooking.
Here's what we are doing for 2018. We raised the food budget to $300/month to account for all the items listed above except the eating out part. That's just weakness on our parts. We decided to invite grandkids on nature walks where we bring homemade snacks with us. (It's worth a shot. We may still have to bribe them with DQ ice cream). I'm going to eat before I meet with my sisters and have just coffee when we get together for gab fests. We're all on diet number 999 this spring anyway, and we're going to invite the mother-in-laws over more often to eat here with us.
But, Keith and I will still have the occasional Sunday meal out to give me a break from cooking and him a break from me complaining about the cooking.
We're not saints you know.