13 October 2007

Family Meal Economics

We are often asked, "How much does it cost to feed all those kids?"
I have kept accurate records of our family finances for over the last ten years and know that our costs have actually matched inflation, even though our family has grown faster than inflation. (Inflation is around 3% per year) We spend around $1,100 (US $880) per month on all grocery shopping, food, cleaning products and whatever we get from the supermarket.
The reason I am revisting this topic is Lana was concerned how much we were spending as she made today's lunch of Vegetarian Meat Lasagne. (This is one of our classic Vegetarians For a Free Choice recipes).
"I was just concerned when I demolished my 4th pack of Lasagne sheets and saw all the empty packs surrounding me," Lana explained.
As you can see by the photo, Lana bakes in quantity! The dish is 37cm x 28cm (15" x 11.5") and the pot is correspondingly large. The resulting dish actually makes dinner for two meals. It incorporates over 3 packs of Lasagne sheets, 1 kg (2 lbs) mince, 1kg cheese, about 2 kg of vegetables and other bits and pieces. Total ingredient costs are about $30.00 ($24.00 USD) which equates to about $15 a meal for 8 people, or around $2.00 ($1.60 US) a person.
For comparison of bought food for the same price, this would equate to about 1.5 pieces of pizza, half a fried fish or half a meat pie.
Once I had calculated the numbers Lana felt that maybe it was all worthwhile after all.

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