Budgeting

Some time ago, my good friend Jessie and I started meeting at Costco to split some items each month.  You know Jessie as our recipe contributor from Bites.  I can’t even remember now whose idea it was but I’m going to give Jessie all the credit because she’s usually the brilliant one in our friendship. That girl comes up with the most amazing, creative and helpful ideas!

Basically, we split items that our entire family won’t use before they go bad or that are expensive and keep us from sticking to our grocery budget.  Have you ever seen a Costco bag of onions? Or their 2-pack of lemon juice? How about their block of yeast?  We both have a family of five (although Jessie’s is about to become a family of seven!) and even though we feel like all we do is feed people, we just can’t get through some of the items from Costco.  This is a a great way to eliminate waste and have more diversity in our menus.

Because we both use a Dave Ramsey style budget and love to cook, it’s super hard to get exciting ingredients like goat cheese, pine nuts or even just splurge on fancy bread and stay in the monthly grocery budget. The first of every month we meet at Costco armed with a crazy list, six kids between us and lots of snacks.  It takes about an hour to do the shopping, checkout, get the kids a smoothie  or piece of pizza and split everything up. It also takes about an hour to unload, put stuff away and recover.

We made a list of some of the items we have split at Costco in the past.  Feel free to use it as a guide if you try to plan a trip to split with a friend. As I think of more items we have split or we find new items to split, I’ll update the sheet.

This is a picture of Jessie with her full Costco cart.  Imagine two of these.  And six kids.  That’s us at Costco on the 1st of the month.  And it’s usually raining.

Costco Cart
A few tips:

  • Bring supplies: We bring grocery bags, Ziploc bags, a food scale, scissors, and sometimes a huge knife. I’m not even joking. People stare. We like it to go as quick as possible because we are splitting packages in the parking lot.  Having the right supplies makes it snappy.

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