Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grocery Shopping and Pantry Keeping

I am noticing this is a big expense area which we could trim with some effort. There are only three of us, so you'd think we would be laughing all the way down the aisles of the grocery store, but not so. I am definitely noticing that this area tends to balloon up and down especially nearer and further from payday. We are getting better, with the menu planning, cutting down on packaged foods, cooking more for ourselves and from scratch. The healthier you eat, the more the bill goes down as well. Meat is a biggie here, vegetarians can eat mostly grains and beans, but I just can't get away with that in my house, not exclusively, anyways. Of course, who wants to scrimp on food? No one, and it gives me a good feeling to know I have certain supplies on hand. Along with the fresh stuff, I like to keep some essentials around so I can bake and cook things from scratch. This is where keeping a good stock of pantry items comes in. I did an Internet search when I first got started building my pantry. You get to know what you'll need to make things and what is just nice to have. Chocolate chips are nice to have, for example. Once you have it stocked, you can add items as you run out. If you are single or a small family I think it's OK to start small and replenish as you run out. This way, your yeast or baking powder doesn't go stale or inactive while you keep pushing it back to the pantry after having bought five years supply at the warehouse store....(How would I know this I wonder??) In the last few years I have been stocking up in the winter on pantry items when they go on sale for the holidays. Same with the canned goods during the fall case lot sales. Then I add here and there through the year as I use things up. By the next winter, I start fresh again, and I know that most of the things I bought last year, if not gone, are probably expired, so that inspires me to use everything up so I can get a fresh batch. By this time of the year, I usually have to do a top up. I am getting ready to get my list ready for a new pantry stocking, though not as extensive as the one I do in the winter. I do less baking in the summer, more fresh fruit and such for desserts and snacks. I hope to can some fruit this this year...peaches come to mind, as do cherries...

Today I had twenty dollars for the grocery store. I needed some fruit and veggies and bread for lunches. I called the Good Food Box and got some information, it sounds wonderful and I can't wait to try it out. But that box isn't coming for another three weeks and I need stuff now! I brought the twenty and promised myself I would not use debit no matter what. This is the kind of discipline I am going to need to keep to my budget. Here's what I squeezed outta my twenty...

5lbs spartan apples 3.99
4 bananas 1.65
2 cups bulk brown rice .90
green pepper .80
lemon .59
2 cups bulk popcorn 1.57
green leaf lettuce 1.79
two tomatoes .82
English cucumber .99
2 cups bulk white sugar .82
and two loaves of bread for 5.99
Total 19.85
I think we'll make it after all :)
I just noticed that the cashier charged me for romaine instead of green leaf lettuce. .20 cents more! Watch that till!! It's hard work being cheap..or frugal, shall we say. You've got to be on the ball!
She was a bit snotty when I took off the bulk peanuts too. They put me over budget..that normally would have me using debit to save face, but hey, whatever. Do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.
I think, one day, she might understand what it is like to feed a family when you only have twenty bucks in your purse until payday. One can only hope anyway... Maybe her rich knight in shining armor will ride into the Cooper's and whisk her off into the sunset and she will never have to worry about being over charged for lettuce again. I'll keep my fingers crossed for her and hold my breath to see if it happens.
There, now.
I've had my revenge.
The pen is mightier than the sword after all.

1 comment:

Angela Barton said...

You did great with your $20- smart choices!