The hardest thing I’ve found about kids leaving home has to do with food. It wasn’t hard increasing grocery shopping to accommodate one more when our first baby started eating solid food. When children are little they don’t eat much. As we added children over the years the ‘shops’ gradually grew to fill more tummies and bigger tummies. I learned how to cook a little more for each meal a little at a time. The increase was slight and incremental, almost imperceptible, until one day about 15 years ago, with older kids boomeranging and all, I realized it took $350 and two shopping carts every week to satisfy the job of filling tummies.
I wonder now at the fortitude I had then – often taking one or two preschoolers with me on two-cart shopping trips, in the middle of the day, only to come home to unload and unpack all of that food into two fridges, the storage room, and the kitchen. (Now I won’t shop for groceries unless there will be some at home to do the unloading and unpacking. Maybe I’m just getting smarter as I get older.)
My, how things have changed. With only two teens at home I’ve noticed a couple of things. Groceries are dang expensive. $250 doesn’t come anywhere near filling one shopping cart. I know from shopping for family events that $350 certainly is not two carts anymore. And it’s really hard to down-size cooking habits. I usually cook too much, which our 18-year-old likes – it gives him leftovers for the next day. Or I barely cook enough and we’re all in the kitchen scrounging for something else to eat an hour after supper. I doubt I’ll ever get it right on until Hubby and I have been alone for a couple of years.
I’m really looking for tips here. Have you had to downsize your cooking? What works for you to make it cost-effective and to prepare the right amount?