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Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Value of a Dollar

One week from today we get on an airplane to head back to the States. One week!

The movers come in 5 days! (we are not returning to this house when we get back so our things have to go into storage.)

In fact, yesterday the movers dropped off a pile of boxes and tape for any "personal goods," that we wanted to pack up ourselves. And I was totally not going to pack a single thing, besides my suitcases. I really wanted to keep things as normal as possible for the girls in our house. Keep toys and books out, everything on the wall, their rooms the same, etc. But I suppose losing a few days of normalcy is better than having a stressed out Momma come the end of the week, right?

I have move induced insomnia and have been waking up at 2 or 3 am all week. Awesome.

As a side note, in the five years of our marriage, Ian has never, ever had one night of sleep issues. Lucky. I don't think he understands having your mind whirling a hundred miles per minute in the middle of the night. Sweet man, he'll rub my back though in the middle of the night, conscious or not.

So. In my sleep deprived state of mind I got to thinking. Mainly I was looking through the Target ad online, like I do every week. I was marveling at how cheap everything was (cereal! goldfish! meat! clothes!!) and started thinking about how I no longer have a real concept of how far a dollar will get me in the States. It's been over 3 years of living on a foreign currency and I just have forgotten some of the basics.

So, if you have time, would you mind answering some of these questions based on a family of 4 with two small kids?

  • How much do you spend on a weekly grocery bill, without coupons?
  • How much do you spend on a Target or Wal-Mart run?
  • How much does it cost to fill up a car? And how often do you have to fill up?
  • How often do you eat out? And how much is your average bill at a sit down restaurant? 
  • Produce is really cheap here, is it the same in the States?
  • Any other cost that surprises you on a weekly/monthly basis?

6 comments:

Emily said...

I am in Indiana and this is what I spend for a family of three, we have a two year old son.

•How much do you spend on a weekly grocery bill, without coupons? Around $100. a week but that is with not buying much meat. We raise our own chickens and buy a 1/4 of beef every fall. A hundred a week may be high when you are not buying meat but I try to by as much organic as possible.

•How much do you spend on a Target or Wal-Mart run? Maybe $75 a month. I am not a big box store kind of person

•How much does it cost to fill up a car? And how often do you have to fill up? Gas is $3.65 a gallon rigth now and to fill my Honda CRV cost around $45. I fill up every week

•How often do you eat out? And how much is your average bill at a sit down restaurant? We eat out around once a week. We feed our son before we go because she doesnt eat well in public so our bill is around $20 to $30 depending on where we go.

•Produce is really cheap here, is it the same in the States? Produce can be high depending on if it is in season. Apples are around $5 a bag Bananas around .79 a lb, Organic. most berrys you can get on sale for 2 for $5. We also have a garden and do a lot of canning

•Any other cost that surprises you on a weekly/monthly basis? Milk can be all over the place. organis is around $6.39 and reg is around $2.50 a Gallon. To me kids clothes are a little high but I mainling buy used. Sorry Gap I am not buying anything for my kids over $30. They dont wear it long enough to spend that much.

I hope this helps :)

Emily said...

I had a big long comment written out and lost it. lets try this again.
We are a Family of three, we have a 2 year old son.

•How much do you spend on a weekly grocery bill, without coupons? around $100 no meat and lost of organic. We rais our own meat.


•How much do you spend on a Target or Wal-Mart run? not a big fan of big box stores so maybe $75. a month

•How much does it cost to fill up a car? And how often do you have to fill up? Gas is $3.65 a gallon and it cost me around $45. to fill up my Honda CRV. I fill up once a week

•How often do you eat out? And how much is your average bill at a sit down restaurant? We eat out once a week and is cost us around $20 to $30. We feed out son before we go because he doesnt eat well in public. He will just eat off our plates

•Produce is really cheap here, is it the same in the States? Bag of Apples is around $5. you can find berries on sale most of the time for 2 for $5. Bananas are around.79lb for organic. We have our own garden and do a lot of canning.

•Any other cost that surprises you on a weekly/monthly basis? Milk is all over the place. Organic is around $6.39 a Gallong and reg is around $2.50. I think kids clothes are a little high but I mainily buy used.

Cindy said...

I am so excited for you! We are a family of 4 with 2 small kids, so I can kind of give you an estimate. Keep in mind, though, that both of us work full-time, so the amount of times you have to fill up will be different. We go grocery shopping at Walmart about every 1.5-2 weeks, and spend about $150. We also go through about 5 gallons of milk in 2 weeks, and milk is about $3.45/gallon (1%). Target isn’t near us, so we don’t go. Produce is NOT cheap. For example, grapes are about $1.50 right now (big bag, not sure how much it weighs), watermelon is $4.99 for a big one, a 3lb bag of apples is about $4. A bag of oranges (3lbs?) is about $5 I think, strawberries (a quart) are about $2. Bananas are $.54/lb. Aldi’s is a discount grocery store here that always has cheap produce, so you might try that if there is one near you. We rarely go out to eat, but if we go to like McDonald’s its typically about $12-$15, and that’s eating off the value menu. We don’t buy Happy Meals or Value Meals, we just eat off the $1 menu usually. Hope everything goes smoothly for you! Take care and have fun!!!! If you have other questions, email me! :)

The Taffs said...

It's funny the things you take for granted living in the states (your blog has really shown me that!).

We're a family of three - with a 2/almost 3 yr old son.

*I buy groceries mostly at Wal-Mart (I'm not a huge fan of Wal-Mart, but it's most convenient). Usually I spend about $75/week on groceries. Sometimes less. More like $100 if I'm restocking on things like laundry detergent, toiletries, etc.

*I have a running joke with my husband that it's impossible to come out of Target under $50. He proves me wrong and does it all the time if I'm not with him, haha!

*I drive an SUV and it costs roughly $60 to fill up, and that lasts me 10-2 weeks (work, church, etc.) are all very close to us.

*We usually eat out with family, and they pick up the tab. : ) If we're just grabbing Chick fil A, it's just over $16 for the three of us.

*I second what Cindy said about produce.

I'm looking forward to your blogs once your back in the states about all of the things that surprise you! Safe travels!

Amber said...

For our family of four...

Over a month, we average $150-$200 a week on everything (diapers, vitamins, groceries, toiletries, etc). But keep in mind that we have to be gluten free and dairy free, and it's much more expensive to eat that way (you have to buy a million different flours rather than just one, coconut oil is a lot more expensive than butter, almond milk is pricier than regular milk, etc). We eat meat 2-3 times a week, and I only buy organic free range chicken/turkey or organic grass fed beef. And I buy everything either organic or local (local farms don't often use pesticides since they're very expensive). So we spend a lot more than some families for those reasons. I also cook from scratch and don't buy many processed/packaged foods.

I only go to target for things like diapers and wipes, garbage bags, ziploc bags, razors...or gifts if i know a holiday or party is coming ip...that's about it. I'm good and stick to my list and don't let myself wander around the store (otherwise I always come out with way more). So I'm probably not the best judge. Usually $40-$50 depending on how big a box of diapers I buy.

I stay home with the kids but still drive to church, parents' houses, and bible study during the week, plus the errands and groceries...so I fill our CRV up once a week. We have a 12 gallon tank and its $45-$50. Gas here in the Seattle area is about $3.70 a gallon.

Being gluten free and dairy free makes it pretty difficult to eat out. Plus we just hate taking the kids to a restaurant. It's not much fun for anyone...if we eat out, it's usually take out and we average $30.

Produce...depends on what you buy. I don't shop at Walmart (just a personal thing because I don't agree with their business practices). I only buy my produce at the farmer's market, local produce stands, or a locally owned market that gets local stuff...and again, I buy organic or local only. So I might pay a little more for my produce than the average person. Local Fuji apples are $.80/lb. Got a half flat of strawberries at the farmers market for $12. Peaches are $2.99/lb. Baby spinach is $5.99 a container. Walla walla onions are $1/lb. I try to shop seasonal and what's on sale to save more.

We don't have many surprises each month because we make a new budget every single month to account for any additional expenses (the Dave Ramsey way). And if something else comes up and we're unable to readjust our budget to make it work, we say no. We keep an emergency fund ($1000) for unexpected actual emergencies.

Natalie said...

We have the same family type as you-two girls ages almost 2 and 4 months so a bit younger than yours.

We spend about $100/week or a little more on groceries, and that is including diapers, and things like paper towels, toilet paper, etc.
Gas costs us $30/tank for our sedan and about $60/tank for our minivan.
If you go to a sit down restaurant that is not super fancy, i'd expect to pay between $30-$40 to feed all four of you. We usually eat out once a week or less.