Feeding a family of six — thank God for coupons!

When I started having kids, I was always struck by how expensive they were — nonstop diapers (there were periods when I had as many as three in diapers at a time), wipes, food, clothes, books, crayons, toys, on and on, never-ending. We got some help with the last two, thanks to very generous family members and the fact that my parents live a town with a Carter’s outlet store. I had a lot of kids, and they needed stuff. Cha-ching!

But I had absolutely no idea how expensive they’d get as they got older — particularly when it came to food. In the last year, it seems they can’t get enough to eat. (Hello, growth spurts!) I find myself at the grocery store two or three times a week to replenish our supplies, lest one of my children clutches his tummy and falls to the floor in a dead faint.

Here’s what our family of six will eat in less than a week (or sooner, depending on how many friends come over):

Stop & Shop: My home away from home

Stop & Shop: My home away from home

I know, right?

And they’re not even teenagers yet.

Clipping coupons is a satisfying hobby — although, have you also noticed that no one gives coupons for healthy food? I can easily spend $100 before I even get out of the produce aisle, and they’ll eat it all in two days. Meanwhile, I have about 87 coupons for Kraft macaroni & cheese. (Which, thankfully, none of the kids actually likes.)

File under: the real reason I need to go back to work.

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7 thoughts on “Feeding a family of six — thank God for coupons!

  1. I want to comment on the rest of the blog but I’m too busy applauding you for using green bags. I knew there would be 756 reasons to love you!

    Okay, anyway, yeah. Food. Expensive and only getting worse. I could go on a rant about shrinking tuna cans and cereal boxes and higher gas and trucking rates, and blah, blah, blah, but I’m too busy trying to feed my kids, too.

    • Ugh, yes, the shrinking of what you’re paying more for. Grr. (And thanks! I’m a tote-bagger from way back…people still look at me funny when I say I can just throw a few items in my purse. I’m like, that’s why it’s so big, duh. :) )

  2. Good job on all those Green Bags, girl! I’m working on remembering to always have mine in the right place, as our whole county has outlawed the other kinds of bags.

    As to the cost of food, I grew up in a place (and at a time) where the cost of food was *much higher* per average income than it is here. I still can’t get over the amount of waste and how casually my kids would bite into an apple and decide that, well, they didn’t feel like having it after all, and discard it. I remember how we would cover a half-eaten apple and store it for later. Every bit and bite counted.

  3. I keep mine in a hideaway compartment in the trunk! Really, the whole county has outlawed non-reusable bags? Awesome! It’s funny, what you said about the apple — we do that. LOL. We’re so stingy! Also, DH will put a cup of milk with a half-inch into the fridge for child to finish later. I’m on board with the apple concept (if it gets brownish, I cut it up and no one knows) but I’ve knocked over so many cups of milk that I just dump them. Or drink them myself!

  4. Your Mom’s daughter. Muggy keeps a dozen bags in the back of her car. And we’re on Stew Leondard’s top customer list. Inaddition Cranbury Market carries Mom’s bags to the car.

    Be grateful that you can still put wholesome food on the table.Many can’t.

  5. That looks like hard work. Can you do your food shopping online and have it delivered? If you spend that much, surely delivery is free. And I believe you can still get discounts. To be honest I don’t shop online but I don’t have to buy that much either.

  6. When my daughters were young, a friend of mine told me she hides food.” Why”
    I asked her . She who had 3 teenagers she just laughed , watch out you will understand one day. Guess what I get it, because I also hide stuff other wise those pesky eaters will eat it all and then complain there is nothing good to eat. Argh!

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