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The Grocery Shopping Exercise

For many families, the grocery bill is a large monthly household expense in the budget; even more than the rent or the mortgage. Every month most bills are the same cost each month (fixed expenses); however, the grocery bill changes depending on food prices and the meals that you choose to buy. (Variable expenses)


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy, for a family of four, the highest cost for this group is $1,340.00 per month. That’s a lot of money. So, when you don’t do the shopping it is hard to understand how much groceries cost.


A great way to understand how this works when prepping for college life or living on your own. is to give grocery shopping a practice round. 

Preparing for Your Shopping Trip


Ask a parent or guardian for their bank or credit card. You will be working within a $45 budget.


Plan to shop for three dinners with each one of them being a three-course meal. For example:


-Chicken chilli, cornbread and a salad -Porkchops, apple sauce, scalloped potatoes and a salad


Here are the steps that are needed:


-Go to the Internet, find three recipes and obtain an ingredients list

-Look in the pantry and the refrigerator/freezer to determine if any ingredients are available 

Go the Grocery Store with Your List and Begin Shopping


-Buy only what you need to make the meals meaning don’t your products in bulk sizes


-Consider within the budget: will you buy name-brand or the store brand products?


-Will you buy products that are on sale? Are they exactly what the ingredients call for?


What Did You Learn?


-Did you stick within the $45 budget?


-Were the groceries more or less expensive than you anticipated?


-Does this give you an appreciation for what it costs for groceries? -What would you do differently the next time that you go shopping?


Here's one last piece of food for thought: 40% of all food is wasted in the United States.

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