I’m frustrated. I think this is one of the most common frustrations for homemakers–grocery shopping.
I feel like I am spending so much money on groceries every month and our tight budget just can’t take it.
I love to cook for my family. I love preparing meals and desserts and healthy snacks, breads and soups. But I just can’t seem to figure out how to do it wisely. I take my list to the grocery store, spend tons of money and tell myself, "okay, this is the last time I’m going to the grocery store for a long time. I’m especially not going again this week." And within days, I feel like I could make another trip. Not a huge trip, but inevitably there’s always a few things that need to be purchased again, whether it’s something I forgot, something we’ve run out of already, or some ingredient I didn’t know I needed for the thing I want to make.
And those little, in-between trips add up, too.
Part of me thinks maybe we eat too much of the same things, so I’m not really getting in to the depths of what’s in my pantry, thus not really using all that I have. Dan and I both are pretty samey-same about breakfast each morning–for him grapenuts with honey and milk, for me some kind of fresh fruit, vanilla yogurt and granola. Sometimes I hold back from trying new recipes, because I shy away from the ingredients I’d have to purchase just to make that recipe.
I think we do a good job of using up leftovers in Dan’s lunches for work, or for me and the girls the next day. I try to clip coupons, but sometimes that just leads to me buying things I wouldn’t normally need. I just get it because the coupon is sitting in front of me.
I also like having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and buying those at my farmers’ market as much as possible. There’s nothing that makes my stomach turn more than going to the store and realizing that the grapes are from Chile, or the mangoes from Brazil. (I made that last one up, but you know what I mean.) And reading this book surely doesn’t make any of this easier, either. For one thing, it makes me think I should be only eating the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season locally. (Part of the reason why I’m freezing every fresh tomato I can get my hands on these days.)
But that’s all another topic.
So, what do you do? How do you keep from going to the grocery store four times a week? How do you make sure you get everything you need? How do you keep from spending hundreds of dollars on food each month? How do you find the space in your grocery budget to buy the ingredients to try new things?
I want to enjoy grocery shopping. But right now, I don’t. I leave with this sick feeling about all the money I’m spending, knowing I’ll be right back there in a few days doing it all over again.
Alright, thanks for listening to my whine-fest. I needed to unload and see if anyone out there has the secret to my grocery success. I’d love to hear your tricks. Is it menu-planning in advance? Is there some better kind of list I should be keeping? Is there a better way to stock my pantry that I’m missing? Do tell.
Emma and I started our first week of Kindergarten home school, so I may be a little sparse around here until I get my new routine figured out. Ironically, I’m more organized now, with less time, so maybe you’ll be seeing me more…who knows!