Usually Hubby is the grocery shopper in the family . Whether it is the daily runs or the monthly stock-up...he's the one in charge. It fits, really, since he does 90% of the cooking.
But since he's been busy the last few weeks, I've done some of the runs. And what an eye opener. I'm truly horrible at knowing the regular prices of individual items, and I've never been good at coupons, but Holy Hell, I do recognize the major sticker shock of groceries right now when I check out and have 4 small bags of groceries and the total is $179.
Today I bought 4 pounds of ground beef, some drinks, snacks, rolls, milk, apples, pears, bananas, an eggplant, a pair of sunglasses, toilet paper, mouthwash, sunscreen, and some various other items, and it was nearly $200!!!
Gas, of course, is the other cost. Hubby and I figured out that at current gas prices (even in Jersey where prices run about $0.30 cheaper than NY), we will be spending approximately $1000/month just on gas for commuting and local driving. ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. FOR GAS. Not long ago that was how much we paid in rent.
So why, you may ask, is the title of my post today, Feeling Fortunate? The truth is, I'm feeling fortunate because we can pay it. Our income right now is such that we one month away from being completely out of debt (if you don't count the 30-year mortgage), and we can afford to continue to put gas in our cars, food on our table, pay our doctor and dentist what is not covered by a good health insurance, keep some of our luxuries, and still take our annual vacation to Cape Cod. There are so many families out there who are not nearly as fortunate.
So this week, I looked up our local food pantry. You know, the one that we normally only pay attention to at Thanksgiving. I found out what items they need to stock and added it to our weekly grocery list. I also learned that they need volunteers, and I'm going to see if I can make that work too.
Our check-out total will increase, but we CAN pay it. And for those who have been caught with a budget that just can't stretch to meet these skyrocketing costs, maybe a box of rice, some milk, or can of soup, can make the difference.