I am a bit of a grocery shopping voyeur. When I am in line, I look at what other people are buying–healthy food? junk food? expensive items?

The other day when I was at the store, a woman in front of me had two boxes of lasagna noodles, two jars of spaghetti sauce, and two pounds of shredded cheese. She threw in two candy bars for good measure. My first thought was that she was making lasagna tonight and that sounded good.

However, I was shocked to hear her total–$24.06–just for the few items I mentioned above.

I like to beat myself up about my grocery bill. (It routinely runs $350/month. I am trying to bring that monthly amount down, which is one of the reasons why I am doing the grocery spending challenge this month.)

However, this woman’s order put things in perspective for me. I used to spend about $440/month for groceries. I used to just create a weekly menu and buy what I needed, regardless if it was on sale. Looking at this woman’s order and thinking about spending $24 for ingredients that will feed 8 people (and she still had to supply her own meat, ricotta, eggs, etc. at home), made me realize that though it is hard to see on a day-to-day basis, I am indeed learning to be more frugal, and it is helping our finances.

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