Families Sharing Food Bills
Sharing bulk food items can be another option for big families to buy food cheaply, especially those without access to credit.
Millions of people in Canada and the U.S. use credit cards at the grocery store. Two families that rely solely on money from their limited bank accounts, can jointly buy food store specials such as bulk oranges, onions, potatoes, carrots, chicken, concentrated fruit juices and many other items.
For example, it is quite a challenge to feed a family of six on $50 a week, because items such as fruit juices, milk and bread fly off the fridge very quickly. So, $50 + $50 makes $100 and two families can buy more groceries than they would, if done individually.
The idea might be novel in North America, but it is quite common in other parts of the world, where sharing building materials, farm harvest, raising kids and other sharing, is the norm.
Arrangement For Sharing Food Bills
- · Choose a family that is in the same economic status for example, a family where the mother or father has been retrenched.
- · Choose a family that is receiving pension like yours.
- College friends that share a house can club together if they don't want to mess up their credit cards. Most banks give freshmen credit cards.
- · Choose a family that is on food stamps or any other form of government assistance.
- · Choose a family member like a sister-in-law or cousin.
- · Choose a family that is big like yours because of a religion that does not allow contraception.
- · Choose an immigrant family like yours.
Comparing Food Prices
Choosing the right partner for the food sharing is important because it minimizes conflict. We won’t have one family buying cheddar cheese and the other buying blue cheese.
Two families are bringing to the table $50 a piece to buy the same things. The next item on the agenda, is for them to tour supermarkets or grocery stores to identify bulk food items that can be split in half.
The tour will not be limited to grocery chains. It will also go to alternative grocery stores such as African, Chinese, Korean, Thai or Caribbean. Basmati rice for example. An East Indian store in your area will have a wide variety and they sell big sacks which can be shared.
People doing the tour will have pen and paper ready to jot down prices to assess if the joint buying is worthwhile.
The two families will also take into consideration seasons. Corn for example. It might be cheap in countries they came from. Not in north America. It costs more in winter and dirt cheap during the summer where you might get four corn cobs for a dollar.
Grocery list. Both families will meet the night before to decide what should be replenished. Milk and soda for instance. That will be high on the grocery list because those kids are always thirsty and just love that cereal.
Money collection. The two families will alternate. Family A will bring the $50 to Family B the night before, if Family B will be at the cashier the following day.
Family A will be the cashier the following week, so the rotation continues.
Food Distribution Centres
Rotation applies to all aspects of the food sharing. Food distribution will be in Family A this week, and Family B the following week. This involves counting and trust. If a bag of has 30 oranges, they should be shared equally.
Families should also decide if food distribution will be in the basement, kitchen or the lawn (during the summer). Another important aspect are distribution agents, i.e. the kids. They should take part in the process so that they can understand the importance of mergers, combining limited resources for the greater good.
North America is the land of brands, where two products, made from the same materials in the same country such as China or Bangladesh have different labels. They also have different price tags.
Food is no exception. Brands and their packaging are not paramount when it comes to two families combining their $50 to maximize their food bills.
Kids’ involvement in the distribution process teaches them at an early age, that the price and not the brand is important.
Wholesale Food Outlets
Families also worry about what kids take to school, in lunchboxes. Not all countries have a school feeding system.
Wholesale food outlets used to cater for restaurants, hospitals, the army etc. Not anymore.They opened their doors to the public, you.
Families can buy mini fruit juice packs, mini chocolate milk and other items that go into the lunchbox. Food outlets also sell school supplies, which are a great saving for big families.
The $50-$50 is just an example. The two families might decide to up the joint contribution to $75. They might also do the food clubbing at the end of each month.
We used the weekly shopping because there are kids around. They eat. It's a kids' thing and food needs to be replenished every week.
Can the grocery clubbing accommodate more members, let's say four? It all depends on relationships. It will work if there's love and trust and all members are reliable.