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A housewife’s budget crisis: shopping for groceries with a calculator.

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While our government fought about the budget, my husband and I fought about our budget. Well, not exactly. We have more values in common than the Democrats and Republicans but sticking to our budget is not easy. We are in a predicament because although Joe makes a good deal of money, we have a mortgage, he is in school, our wedding is not fully paid for yet, and I do not have a paying job. The biggest problem, other than our outstanding bills as mentioned is that we spent way too much on groceries the last month. In my joy of being a housewife and preparing dinner almost every meal, I bought whatever I wanted at the grocery store…as well as whatever Joe wanted. But after consulting our budget and my friends who are wise with their money, we decided that we needed to spend only about $50 a week on groceries and at the most occasionally $75. So, I did some research online and determined that in addition to planning out our weekly meals I also needed to shop at the cheapest grocery store and add up my purchases on my calculator as  I shopped.

So yesterday I set out to walk to Aldi’s with my commuter’s shopping cart. By the time I reached the corner of Wrightwood and Clyborne I was dripping in sweat, the heat index made it feel like it was $100. And then I saw that Aldi was closed for remodeling and would reopen in the Fall. I looked across the street at the Dominick’s for about two seconds, refusing to even try that store.  Frustrated I walked another half mile to a place where I knew I could catch a bus to Trader Joe’s. It turns out that Aldi is the cheapest grocery store, followed by Target, and then TJ’s. Jewell and Dominicks are almost as bad as Whole Paycheck (ur a Whole Foods). After waiting for the bus for over 15 min, I saw the bus coming and realized I had left my bus pass at home and had no cash. I walked home. I grabbed a snack, I checked on the puppy, and I caught the bus to TJ’s.

At Trader Joe’s I careful followed my shopping list, for each item I looked for the best unit price, and then I added the price into my phone calculator. I even decided to buy the unpeeled whole carrots rather than the cut and peeled “baby carrots” in order to save a buck. After going through my entire list, I was only up to $35. I thought of a few more items we needed, and wanted but kept the bill at $52 with tax! I’d like to see the American government do that!


About Amy

I'm living into my thirtieth year, loving Chicago. I feel overwhelmed at the good gifts God has given amazing fiance, an incredible family, true friends, and so much more. Still, I'm longing for more of what God has for me.

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