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How I Grocery Shop

March 8, 2011

HAPPY MARDI GRAS, LOVELY READERS

Is it just me or do you love the idea of a day being called “Fat Tuesday?”  Bring on the food!

Anyways…

It seems like every blog I read has done a grocery shopping post (or series of posts) and I’ve found lots of helpful tips just from reading about others experiences.  I thought I might add my own grocery shopping methods in the hopes that it might help someone else.  Pay it forward, ya know?

Or maybe I just like to talk about myself and my daily activities.

For some, meal plans don’t work.  For me, it does.  My favorites folder is chock full of recipes that I come across during the week.  I’d like to pretend that I pull up that list on Saturday or Sunday and just write 5 down to make for the week but honestly, sometimes I struggle with this step.  I get picky, the recipes don’t seem as good as I’d originally thought, it looks too time consuming, I would have to buy too many ingredients, etc.  I just have to remember that every week is not like this and hope that this step will get easier.

After I’ve antagonized for far too long over my meal plan I write the meals down and make two colums underneath: “Produce” and “Other.”

This is where things get tricky.  Produce is cheap, it’s the other stuff that can add up fast. I generally like my “other” list to be shorter than my produce list, but sometimes (like this week) that just doesn’t happen.  Don’t sweat it, everything will even out in the end.

Joey and I switch around between grocery stores every so often but we try to find a place where we can get everything (or almost everything) in one trip to one store.  Personally, I think the money you save by going to different stores for specific items is negated by the time and gas you spend driving to two, three, four different stores.  That’s just my opinon, though.  Do what works for you.

My grocery store qualifications:

  • Bulk section
  • Organic produce (at the very least, although organic non-produce is even better)
  • Specialty items (like alternative flours)

That’s really all, I’m not too picky.  And for the record I just typed pickly instead of picky.  I guess I would consider myself to be pickly.

I try my best to stick to my list!  So when I sit down to make that list I definitely allow myself to add some splurge items, aka things I want, not need.

This week, that list included:

  • Goat cheese
  • Blueberries
  • Dried cranberries
  • Lavish wraps — don’t even ask what those are, I have no idea but they looked more fun than tortillas
  • English muffins

I know, I “splurged” a whole $2 on cranberries.

Now, I don’t claim to be a grocery shopping expert and some weeks we spend more than usual but I think we’ve figured out what works for us and have a realistic budget of $60-80 for two people.  We also double our recipes to ensure that we have lunch for the following day <— this is key!  Plus, buying two butternut squashes insteadof one  isn’t much of a price jump.

I also like to buy extra veggies, because A) They’re cheap and B) It’s a fast, simple and healthy side dish for any meal.  Plus you can roast them in one big batch and have them around for the rest of the week.

So what did we get this week?

Produce:

Other:

Total: $75.52

This week was higher than usual, but we had a lot of bread/pasta stuff that added up and olive oil is so costly!  Especially when you go through it as fast as we do.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post because I had fun writing it.

What’s your relationship with grocery shopping?  Love or hate?

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2011 6:19 AM

    I love to grocery shop. Except I have to walk/take the bus. One of the biggest downsides of not having a car in the city.
    Oh, I love lavish wraps! They are super yummy & toast well.

  2. March 8, 2011 8:40 AM

    Grocery shopping is more love than shopping for clothes lol

  3. March 8, 2011 8:46 AM

    I’m all for grocery shopping…I just hate putting it away!

    I’d say the hubby and I spend about $300 on groceries a month..maybe a bit more. When I lived alone, I spent about $125..the boy can eat!

  4. March 8, 2011 10:54 AM

    I try to do alll my grocery shopping in as few stops as possible, too. It’d be one thing if the stores were all close together, but they’re not! But, since the co-op is right near where I work I do go there for bulk item purchases and tofu and pray I don’t walk out of there with 10 others thing$ that I don’t need 😛
    I always try to keep the “other” list as small as possible, too! And I like your idea of allowing yourself some fun items. I’m the same way. I mean, we’ve gotta have a little fun, right?!

  5. March 8, 2011 11:03 AM

    I think you know how I feel about grocery shopping!

  6. March 8, 2011 12:12 PM

    I love grocery shopping! But only when I want to go and have time to go. I hate going when I’m in a rush!

  7. March 8, 2011 6:27 PM

    I love grocery shopping!!! It is so much fun!!!

    You have got to tell me how that Quinoa Pasta tastes!!! 😀

    xoxo
    Kathleen

    • March 9, 2011 8:52 PM

      Kat,

      The quinoa pasta was really good! For some reason it broke into smaller pieces but that was totally fine with me because it made it easier to eat.

  8. March 8, 2011 8:33 PM

    Grocery shopping is my favorite! I love making lists of things I want to buy, but my mom always ends up diminishing my list by at least half and telling me I don’t need half the things I want. hmph 🙂 I know if I was the one PAYING for everything, I’d be a bit more conscious.

  9. March 8, 2011 8:42 PM

    I LOVEEEEEE grocery shopping. I spent hours and half so much fun looking at all the cool food…I never actually BUY that much!

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