Friday, February 26, 2010

The statistics of shopping for a larger family

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. One thing that those of you with smaller families won't be able to understand, is how much work it is to shop for a family of eight. Trust me, with my first...four, maybe? I didn't know either. No worries, I am here to tell you all about it.

It was a rare to treat to have my aunt chauffeur me yesterday to do my shopping. Her truck has more cargo room than mine, owing to having one less row of seats, no doubt. While she kept remarking on how hard it was getting three babies dressed and packed to leave the house for a few hours, she really has no idea, because I usually, am flying solo. After an hour, we had all three babies dressed and buckled into their car seats.

Our first stop was Costco, where I picked up the following.
  • 6 gallons of milk
  • 2 cases of bottled water
  • 1 box of Cheerios
  • 6 packs of ground beef
  • 1 box of bacon
  • 2 packs of hot dogs
  • 4 bags of chips (about 7 lbs)
  • 2 containers of baby formula
  • butter
  • 2 packs of pita bread
  • 4 lbs of animal crackers
  • 1.5 qt of olive oil
  • 1 qt of half and half
  • 1 box of trash bags
  • 1 bottle of laundry detergent
  • flea treatment for the animals
  • kitty litter
Then it was on to Babies R Us for,
  • 2 packs of diapers
  • 1 case of wipes
  • several bottles of hand soap
  • several packs of baby food
Next came our local natural food market for,
  • 6 lbs of apples
  • 4 lbs of onions
  • 2 packs of gluten free pasta
  • 2 packs of gluten free cookies
Afterward we stopped at Target for,
  • 2 (more) packs of baby wipes
  • 108 more diapers
  • Swiffer refill pads
  • health and beauty odds and ends
Finally, it was Whole Foods to buy,
  • 1+case of gallon water
  • 1+case of 1/2 gallon lemonade
  • 1 case of bread
  • 2 cases canned veggies
  • 1 case of pasta sauce
  • 2 family size tubs of yogurt
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 6 assorted packages of cheese (4 lbs)
  • 3 lbs apples
  • 6 lbs bananas
  • 6 boxes of cookies
  • gluten free pizza crusts
  • regular pizza crusts
  • ice cream
  • healthy Nutella knock-off
  • 2 containers sour cream
  • more milk
  • 1 case of bathroom tissue
That is almost enough food to feed my family for two weeks. The physical work involved in the constant lifting of babies and groceries into and out of carts is not to be underestimated. Then it must all be packed into the vehicle, unloaded at home, and put away.

At the end of a shopping day, I am physically exhausted, and emotionally exhausted from trying to entertain babies at the same time. That is why I must have been frigging nuts to offer to take the children on a walk up the street to buy a couple of packs of Pepsi (the sugar sweetened variety) as a special treat. The walk was roughly 1.75 miles round trip. We took 2 strollers, both doubles. We bought 4 packs of soda, ziploc bags, and a gallon of bleach. On the way back, H unbuckled his stroller straps, and as I made to run across a busy intersection, he fell out, on the pavement. I picked him up, dusted him off, said a little prayer for no broken bones, and promised him...FAST FOOD for dinner. Fast food is faintly forbidden in my home, and it is therefore more well respected than Santa. We did stop at Burger King to make good on my promise, then we hustled the rest of the way home so we could eat. Walking into the house, my Baby Girl got her head pretty well banged up by the tray on the new stroller. Shortly thereafter, we figured out that my oldest had tracked poo in on his shoes.

Yep. Yesterday was a regular proud day at The Proud House.


  1. Holy Moley. What's the ballpark cash amount on that?

    That has to be at least 500 lbs of food.

  2. THIS is why I am thankful all the kids are old enough to leave at home & if I do take the younger ones with me They help carry AND I tear off a few items on the list for them to run around the store & get.

    It is an exhausting day!

  3. wheahyayah... oh god.
    its true. i had no idea. none.
    stunned silence over here.

  4. Ho. Lee. Shit. You're my hero

  5. Because grocery shopping for my 6-person family (including one who refuses to eat) exhausts and depresses me, I feel like I have some very dim idea of what an enormous task this much be. I offer you my deepest sympathies. You have to be exhausted.

  6. Viv i have NO IDEA how you do it! I mean it, you are like super human er sumthin!



  7. That's a lot of water! Do you guys have really sucky water or what? And babies r us? did you have a coupon?

  8. No need to hit the gym! Goodness! Maybe Hercules should be doing your heavy lifting. =)

  9. I can't believe you do that all in one day. Nor that it all fits in the vehicle with the kids. Yowza.

  10. Wow. Just... wow. That's exhausting just to read. I was in Costco today waiting for help (I donated blood and needed a couple of heavy things - the composer, kitty litter and cat food) and saw another woman waiting for help with her two full carts. And I'm trying to imagine having to buy that much -- and store it. It's a different life for sure, especially with some who are GF (GF/CF or just GF?)

    And the healthy Nutella knockoff? My ears perked up on that one as we love Nutella around here but don't eat it that often. What is this nectar of the gods to which you refer?

  11. Okay I'm embarrassed that my Costco list was exactly the same and we only have 5 people at our house. Clearly we need to cut back. You rock girl. This is impressive and scary at the same time. My kids disappeared at one point during our Costco excursion and I was actually thankful. I didn't miss them for a minute. I figured they would be fine. Hhhhmmmm.

  12. yikes... I kinda wanna hug you right now.