Thursday, November 14, 2013
grocery shopping, planning and budgeting
Grocery shopping. It's something I both love and hate to do.
There's something so therapeutic for me in walking slowly through the store, looking at all the items just waiting on the shelves. No matter how many times I've seen the aisles of Fred Meyer, I still love to explore them and see if there's anything I 'need' waiting there for me. I add things to my cart more freely at the beginning of the trip, then slowly put things back as I linger longer and longer in the store, thinking, I don't really need this...or that...or that. My family teases me about this, but I know I can't be the only one who does this!
I don't really plan out meals, and so sometimes grocery shopping can be tough. I've tried to plan meals in the past, but it just doesn't work for us. Steve's work schedule is just too irregular, and I hate for food to be wasted when he has to work late and picks up food on the way home. I usually have a few meals in my mind at the beginning of the week, and often I'll pick a recipe or two that I want to make, so I add the ingredients to my grocery list. But that's as far as my 'meal planning' goes.
I also tend to buy lots of one item I know we use a lot when it's on sale, such as peanut butter, bread, or frozen fruit, so I've had trouble with figuring out a weekly budget amount for groceries. Some weeks we spend less than $50, and other weeks (that include Costco runs) we spend $200-$300. I feel like everything balances out for us and that we've been getting better and better about eating whole foods (rather than boxed or 'convenience' meals) and eating out less, so we're in a good place financially when it comes to our food budget. But I'm always open to ideas on how we can save even more, or be more efficient about grocery shopping/planning.
How do you go about grocery planning, budgeting and shopping? I'd love to hear about the different ways other mamas do things!
Groceries are expensive up here in Alaska and since we chose to purchase organic options when available that adds even more to our bill. I was curious to see how our prices compare to others around the country (and in other countries!) and so I thought I'd share this weeks grocery trip purchases and bill with you. We spent $52.01 including tax for everything you see in the picture, and you can see the individual prices on the receipt. What do you think? How do these prices compare to how things are prices where you live?