Erin Spatz: Shopping on a budget

  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013

As big as our family is, I only go grocery shopping twice a month.
And I do it at Sam’s for two reasons. One, I love buying in bulk. Even if it’s not cheaper, bigger is better.
Two, I do not have time to shop more often.

Like most families, we are on a tight budget. Sometimes it’s so tight the buttons on our budget pants might pop. So, we have an exact amount to spend, and each time I go to Sam’s I go with a calculator.  Once that amount is reached, I am done.
I have gotten really good at knowing when to buy what, and how long something will last us.

As we all know, math and I are not friends.
We are not even on speaking terms. So the fact that I can accomplish budget shopping is a small miracle. I have, on occasion, gone over said budget.
This causes the budget keeper (aka Eric) to have small melt downs in which he tells me how much I overspent, in percentages.

Seeing how Eric and I have been married for almost 15 years, you’d think he would know better than to speak numbers at me. Somewhere around our third anniversary I was banned from even doing our bank deposit.
Given that I am dyslexic, I often transposed the numbers. Whoops!  
I am completely fine with not having the numbers job in our family. I can’t be this cute and do everything.
That’s what I tell Eric anyway. He’ll start in on what percentage I have gone over, and as hard as I try, I know my eyes glaze over. It’s probably the same face the kids make when I am telling them the importance of good hygiene.

On one shopping trip, our oldest son Dylan came with me.
To make an effort and include him, I put him in charge of the budget calculator.
I told him how much we had to spend, and off we went.

About half-way through the trip he started saying things like, “Mom, you’ve spent 25% of our budget.”
I  said “okay, thanks honey,” but what I thought was, “Who invited Eric?”
As we crept closer and closer to our budget max I kept hearing him say things like, “Careful, we are at 45%” Or, “You only have 10% left.”

I have always heard that you marry men like your father, but who knew you could also give birth to a version of your husband? Not me!

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