{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Long post alert. Also, confusing post alert haha. \nSo, I'm going to be divorced in the next few months and have 2 kids who'll be with me. Ever since this situation has been finalized, I'm becoming very conscious of our spend & have been tight about it. Covid has helped. \nBut I noticed that even my grocery store bills are pretty high...like a single run to Meijer is $125+. \nCostco is like $200 or so. We've always had fresh fruits, nuts liberally used in our house. [Cont'd]", "post_id": "5f91f47c3b27010020d0918b", "reply_count": 37, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting" }

Long post alert. Also, confusing post alert haha. So, I'm going to be divorced in the next few months and have 2 kids who'll be with me. Ever since this situation has been finalized, I'm becoming very conscious of our spend & have been tight about it. Covid has helped. But I noticed that even my grocery store bills are pretty high...like a single run to Meijer is $125+. Costco is like $200 or so. We've always had fresh fruits, nuts liberally used in our house. [Cont'd]

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You’re doing great lady. Remember to take 1 hour a week to do something nice for yourself - yoga, a bath, a walk. Plan ahead to arrange childcare. Kids can sense their parents stress. You taking care of yourself will inevitably make you able to take better care of them. Just a word of caution — I grew up with parents who were constantly anxious and stressed about money, and often told me not to “eat/drink xyz” so much. I felt a lot of guilt and responsibility for their stress and took it upon myself to believe that the reason my parents were always unhappy was because of me & how much I cost them. Kids are very intuitive and observant of the energy you give off If your kids are hungry/thirsty, please don’t tell them to stop. It can develop into some really terrible fixations. Having a healthy relationship with food and eating nutritious food is one of the best gifts you can give your kids, that will surpass whatever quantifiable dollar amount you may be able to save. If you’re already saving money, maybe think of other ways you can 1) give your kids a sense of ownership over the spending 2) by giving them chores/ways to contribute & teaching them how to budget and what things cost (depending on age). There’s also seasonal veggie delivery services and farmers markets that may be available that cost less. Cheaper alternatives, fruits in season, and planning out meals can help a lot

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Agree with this, but I also think it’s reasonable to just not buy things that are too expensive. That way, instead of telling the kid to drink less coconut water, there just isn’t coconut water around in the first place (or there was a little and now it’s gone and there won’t be more til next month).

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Your kids will grow up valuing money even more & understanding how to save vs spend, especially if you make this a learning moment(s) (depending on their ages).... we can afford lots of things but we buy store brand for many things and dont go get our hair done as soon as we want to and dont have but one subscription service and so so many other little things that add up. We try to be as frugal as possible while living and enjoyable life. Maybe one day we will buy the fancier shampoo again for a while and then go back to bulk costco Pantene later again, and we will have the conversation with our kids when we do (if they even care). Id say try to not make them feel bad about something like drinking the milk but you can say “this is the coconut milk we have until next week so if you want some every day youll need smaller glasses”. Buy fewer snacks and let them know youll only be buying the cheaper snacks from now on, and not as often, so they should adjust. You could even add up the cost difference in a shopping trip and show them that every $.50 or $2 difference adds up. Teach them that this is about using money as wisely as possible and planning for the future and getting the item with the fancy brand label doesnt change whats inside (usually). But also, they likely wont care as much as you think. :) Personally i hate how much we spend on groceries and are always looking at ways to save.

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A little of both? Spend where it’s important to you (for me, organic fruits and veggies, organic milk and meat) and save where you can (meatless dinners some days, less takeout, fewer snacks - which are expensive!) still do the nice things (eat out, see shows when the world is normal) but do less of it. Find the balance that feels right for you. And don’t feel guilty! No child ever grew up the worse for less coconut water. I had way less growing up than many, and less than my kids do now. I think it made me more appreciative of the nice things.

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Thank you to everyone for their responses. I think I just need to calm down to begin with as someone suggested. I'm acting stressed out and it's very obvious. Plus, the ex is just disgruntled and a very bitter person which doesn't make anything easier. I will just have to be careful with what we spend on and try to remain strong b

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I have been there, OP - hang in there! The calm is a harder thing to give them than the organic veggies but even better for them in the long run. :)

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Organic milk, Irish grass fed butter, etc. I just try to be careful in certain items. Now that my kids are used to this life, I feel so guilty thinking that I might have to cut a few. Don't get me wrong, I earn well and can afford all this. But, the less I spend, the more I save. The more save will be better for their future/school/my own retirement,etc is where my mind is going. I even found myself telling my daughter to not drink so much coconut water cos they're expensive 😣 and felt VERY bad for that. Idk what I want from this post. Maybe ideas from some of you who live healthy with decent produce and not spend a ton?! Or experiences where people have had to cut back on such things for their kids cos of life changes like divorce, etc.

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Your kids will be perfectly fine if they don't drink coconut water or have fancy butter! I promise they won't notice if you don't make a big deal out of it. Grew up in a house of 7 people (4 kids + grandma + parents) and my mom was the single income for about 6 months during 2008. It was fine for us to switch bread and milk brands, my mom also framed it as "we can try new things!" Some things (like soda) became a treat for us and we rarely ate out because she always wanted to "try new recipes". It worked out just fine

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I only buy organic stuff if I have to eat the food without peeling i.e. berries, apples. And try 90% vegan diet... a good one is going to help with preventing lots of expensive Illnesses and the grocery shopping will be less expensive too.

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Also I grew up being told to save if you can and I never hated my parents for this. It makes sense to me. If your kids feel like they are unhappy about things they can’t have compared to their peers, then it’s another topic.

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Tactically, I’d suggest shopping at Aldi or Lidl for at least some things. When one of each of these stores opened within a couple miles of us we decided to check it out. Found there were a ton of products we actually love there. Literally cut our grocery bill in HALF. The savings are no joke. They both carry organic and name brand items, it’s not all “discount brands”. Truthful there are some discount brands we now prefer to the name brand! Wegmans and Costco still have their place but this was an easy way we cut $300+ off a month from our grocery bill. Best of luck to you in this transition 💕

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I did say they had organic items 😇

Other that watching the spending on groceries, I think watching out for restaurant expenditures is also important. A restaurant meal can often be enough for multiple meals if they are home made. Skimp on things like quick purchases that are momentary happiness to you, like stopping for ice cream/treats for the kids, coffee/alcohol intake for adults. I see it as, I would much rather still be able to buy quality foods, and make sacrifices elsewhere. Also, while your children might be upset at the lifestyle change, you are also doing it for them (such as saving for their future/schooling. Didn’t grow up in a divorced family, but primary earner had salary slashed in half. Needless to say, we still had fun low budget activities, movie nights at home instead of theaters, baking nights instead of spending $20 on pastries. If your kids are younger, children’s basics clothing wise are often on sale, buy ahead of time/off-season, since they really be focusing on that anyway. Keep strong OP!

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ThredUP and eBay also have premium kids’ brands at lower than sale costs. I’m able to get vineyard vines khakis, crewcuts button downs, nice dresses, etc for them at probably about the same as I’d pay at kohl’s. (Also better for the planet, as a nice bonus.)

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Not sure how old your kids are but I would say it may be more beneficial for their overall health to cut back on some of the organic items and not talk about how expensive things are. They may notice the fact their butter is no longer organic and it likely won’t have a big impact on their health but little comments like things suddenly being too expensive can be stressful, especially since I’m sure the divorce is also a time of change for them. Not trying to make you feel bad and I’m sure you’re doing your best I’m just speaking from personal experience. My dad lost his job for almost a year when I was younger and we stopped doing things like going out to dinner every week, which was fine but my parents kept bringing it up. I got so stressed I started skipping lunch at school and would sneak the lunch money my parents gave me back into their wallets.

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IMO, if you use everything you buy, it’s worth it. If you’re throwing $150 worth of groceries out every month, then scale back. Groceries are hard to scale down on, but things like renegotiating cable / internet / phone, shopping for insurance, buying second hand furniture / clothes, shopping around for an electric provider etc are all easy ways to keep the lifestyle you want and still save money. My parents started out from nothing and were always super frugal. I always got my clothes second hand and my mom always stocked up on groceries when they were on sale. Oh and wasting food was a big no. We ate everything before the expiration date. We did cheapskate things like drying laundry outdoors when it was super hot instead of using a dryer and putting on extra layers / using space heaters in the winter or a window AC unit in the summer even though we had central air. Their only splurge was the family vacation. When I applied for college I thought I would qualify for financial aid only to find out that my parents were “too rich.” Apparently they had saved over $5M (both of them are accountants) and I thought we were poor the whole time!

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Yes OP and check out .97 at Costco. Everything that ends in a .97 is heavily discounted - usually over half off! That’s when to stock up! Good luck!

Teaching your kids that food has cost is not a bad thing. It’s a great life lesson for them so they don’t have unrealistic expectations about their coconut water consumption when they move out. Talking about the need to budget is good parenting!

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If you’re comfortable I would suggest not going organic on the fruits and veggies. Organic doesn’t mean it’s without pesticides (they just use natural pesticides) so you can end up with the same active ingredients on your food

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Also costco sells bulk coconut water. Some in small bottles and some in larger ones. The larger ones you could say just one a week or something. Either way you save

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The way I see it. Splurge on the food but cut back on the entertainment. Nourishment is important especially healthy food vs cheaper non healthy alternatives. But the kids can definitely go without the million toys and game systems. Just need to find more creative ways to have fun

I’ve always thought of high quality food as a justification for spend. Quality food is an investment in your (and your kids) health and future just as much as spending money for retirement.

Yes, which is why I take some stuff seriously. With dairy products, I make sure we're getting farm fresh eggs, only grass fed butter, we're a no meat home - so that helps. But I agree on health being an important investment!

Is traders Joe's as good & reasonably priced as peeps say? I don't have one very close but there's one a few miles that I can go.. if it's worth it?

Trader Joe's is lower priced and good for frozen food and snacks, but not great in terms of produce quality. Stuff tends to be sold in weird quantities also (like basil and zucchinis).

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Why are you buying coconut water for your kids if you’re worried about money 😂

Just tell them that you will buy some more next month when you go back to ___ store. She will learn that it won't just be available whenever she wants it and it'll be fine

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