Who Likes to go Grocery Shopping?

Who likes to go grocery shopping? Not me. A few years ago I found a website that I could order groceries online with free shipping. That was heavenly, while it lasted. Click on a few items and nonperishable goods show up at your door a couple days later. It sure beats hitting the grocery story on a Friday afternoon.

I don’t like the hour of time grocery shopping takes that I could be home with the kids or reading a good book. It’s a pain to haul a bunch of hefty bags of groceries into the house and put them all away. And it bites to spend up to $200 every time I’m at the grocery checkout counter. Our four kids at home and two more that visit like to eat…a lot.

God made us so we need to eat not just once a week or once a month (wouldn’t that be handy?) but multiple times a day. That’s a lot of energy and that’s a lot of money. I probably need to change my attitude about buying food because there’s a lot of meal making in my future.

In 1943, President Roosevelt was being pressured to appoint a Food Czar- some one who would look into the price of food and make sure the consumer was not paying more than they should. At the time, people were angry because over 30% of their income was spent at the grocery store.

A USDA chart shows that in 1920 the average American spent 23.4 percent of their income on food. In 2010 that dropped to 9.4 percent. (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/CPIFoodAndExpenditures/Data/Expenditures_tables/table7.htm)

Crazy, isn’t it? We think we are going to the grocery store and getting gouged when we’ve got it made here in the U.S. when it comes to our grocery bill.

With just a little grocery Googling, I found that the Azerbaijanis spend 50 percent of their income on food. Indonesians spend 40 percent of their income to feed their families. Libya imports 90 percent of their grain. Imagine that.

My kids spend $8 to get in a movie and have enough clothes to outfit an army. Food doesn’t gaze at us from the refrigerator for very long so it seems like a waste. It’s not like a car or a great pair of boots we can enjoy for years. In a week it’s gone. That’s just the cost of being alive.

We’re farmers so we appreciate the time and energy it takes to make sure there is enough relatively inexpensive food available. We just celebrated National Ag Week, so it’s a good time to recognize the efforts of people who work to get the food on those grocery shelves.

We, everybody else, have to eat and I’ve gotta get groceries so the family can complain to me that I bought the wrong ranch dressing. I’m just thankful it’s not costing $500 and more every time I bring home a load of those grocery bags. Thank a farmer for that.