Thursday, October 2, 2008

Are You Part of the $500 Club?

Sam made the monthly trek to BJ's wholesale club yesterday afternoon (after stopping at the bank to take out a 2nd mortgage). Maybe I can default on that loan and get the morons in DC to bail me out too. Oh wait they only bailout politically connected big banks, never mind. Anyway it was a new record high - Yea! But it's really not a lot of stuff. Ever spend a small fortune on groceries and still can't find anything in the house to eat?

This wasn't fun-stuff shopping either. There are no running shoes on this list. Nothing black and lacy. No Chia Pets, mood rings or pet rocks. No Ribeyes for the grill. No this is your basic boring family stuff; toilet paper (lots of tushes here), diapers (once again the tush thing), laundry detergent (30+ loads a week), mini-pads with wings (they fly?), 300 pack of Dum-Dums for Halloween (our house is going to get egged for giving those out), plus trash bags, butter, milk etc...the excitement of it all is killing me.

And yes I realize that olives, cinnamon gum and Slim Jims are on the list. Don't hate us cause we know how to live large. But the 6 year-old pays for the Slim Jims (2-100 packs)and then he sells them to his siblings for a quarter each, making a tidy profit. The olives are Sam's, she's got a wicked martini habit. The gum, Sam got that for me. Apparently I have dog-breath. But no more. Look for an announcement about #12 soon.

On the bright side, there was a $1.50 instant rebate on an 18-pack of light bulbs. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Spending $577.43 on a trip to the grocery store wouldn't be so bad if this was food for a few weeks. But it's not. It's just some of the basic food and household items. We hit BJ's every month or so for this stuff. All our regular (meats, produce, dairy etc...) grocery shopping is done weekly.

Food is now the number 1 expense in our budget. It passed the mortgage in the last year or so. The prices really have gone up quite a bit on the basics. In spite of what the official government inflation figures might say. While our mortgage has stayed pretty much the same over the years.

I've tried everything to save money on food, short of going Hannibal Lecter or inducing an eating disorder in my kids. All the meats we buy are on sale and borderline gangrene, we use generics when they are a better deal, we get day old bread, we've eaten the kids goldfish, we only have dessert on even number days and the kids have volunteered to give up their vegetables to help out. Brings a tear to my eye when they are so considerate.

Plus people are always giving us food. Leftover from parties, church functions etc...we are the drop-off point for excess food. We are like some hurricane Katrina refuge camp. So I guess I should just be grateful that the bill wasn't a whole lot more.


the Mom said...

We spend about half that, which makes sense because we have half the number of children. It kills me to spend more at the grocery store than we do on the house. Politicians talk about the price of housing, but have they seen the price of milk? And we go through a gallon in a day and a half! Luckily, I'm the coupon queen and can get $200 of stuff for less than $50. It's great to be cheap, but it takes a lot of time and I think I'm only making $.15 an hour. Do you need any prune juice by any chance? I have tons and can't stand the stuff.

Rachel Watkins said...


I don't think we've ever spent that much at BJ's but I know we've come close. I, too, am amazed at what we spend on groceries every month. About the nappies, when we buy our last box, I am going to stand on the BJ's conveyor belt and scream at the top of my lungs, "I HAVE BEEN BUYING DIAPERS FOR (?) YEARS STRAIGHT AND SPENT COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. THIS IS THE LAST BOX OF NAPPIES I WILL EVER BUY!!!!"

I love the playlist, I would have picked America Girl or some other song by Tom Petty, otherwise I am duly impressed.


momto5minnies said...

Food is a huge part of our expenses too. I don't usually spend that much at SAMS for our monthly trip, but then I have less children. Too bad you couldn't sneak in at least one "fun" item to make the whole thing seem worth it ;)

LOL on the wing thing. Pretty soon we will have a whole new expense in that area ... yikes!

Sam said...


And Mr and Mrs Watkins...I had to restock the frig and pantry due to feeding a VERY large family who came for a way too short visit!!!

Rob said...

huinny - maybe not but you have come close at The Dollar Store of all places.

Matt - the songs that I can legally put on here from the playlist sight are somewhat limited...heck I'm not even sure the ones I have are legit...