Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekly grocery trip

At the beginning of January we decided to implement a once-a-week grocery trip. Previously, we had shopped in a very haphazard way: a few items one day, a few more items another day... Oops, forgot this and that, now it's back for a third day in a row... Of course, every time we went to the store, we were prone to selecting items we didn't need or that went to waste.

The once-a-week plan is working out really well for us. We always take some time beforehand to go through our supplies and make a grocery list. Once at the store, we do not deviate from the list - even when our son points to items that have Elmo plastered on the front and starts screaming plaintively from the cart, begging us to let him take his little red monster friend home.

Yesterday, we had a great grocery trip: we spent $100 in total, and I'm pretty sure that will last us through next Friday. Our pantry is completely stocked now:

Items we already had in abundance included rice, pasta sauce, frozen vegetables, and soy milk. We did purchase fresh vegetables, apples and bananas (we rarely purchase other fresh fruit in the winter unless it is on sale and looks good), pasta, a lot of canned goods (see above), frozen berries, four boxes of cereal (the men in this family consume cereal at a breakneck pace), and some vegetarian items like soy hot dogs. We didn't purchase meat. Though we are not vegetarians, we don't enjoy cooking meat or fish; we eat a vegetarian diet at home.

Whenever possible, we try to buy organic goods, especially if it's something our son is going to eat. We ended up with Annie's Macaroni and Cheese (which he usually has for lunch), organic apple juice, and organic frozen waffles.

Because the Superbowl is on Sunday, we treated ourselves to nachos, salsa, and guacamole ingredients (avocados, tomatoes, red onion, and lime juice), plus a pack of beer. Did we need it? No. Would it cost more to go out and celebrate? Yes.

For us, it was a good trip. We're happy if we can limit our weekly bill to $150 or less ($150 when we have to purchase diapers and other baby supplies). It's nice to know that at the max, we'll be putting $600 to the groceries every month.

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