Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sometimes, I'm Not Just Simple. I'm Just Simply Lazy.

For example, with food. I'm NOT really a fan of food shopping. Well, I don't mind it at farmer's market, but unfortunately for me in a medium-sized city in the middle of Illinois, we only have farmers market available from mid May to end of October. And I can't get everything I need there anyway. And it doesn't help that I'm not really a "shopping" person anyway. I don't love to go and look at stuff. When I shop, I'm usually more the "woman with a mission" and shopping is done as quickly as possible.

So, if I could, I'd love to be able to just shop at one place and get all the food that I want. Of course, if I didn't care about money or if I didn't care about local or seasonal or organic, I COULD just shop at one store. But since I do care about that stuff, it makes grocery shopping a little more complicated.

OK, so I'm not really lazy. I actually do care, and I do end up food shopping at least two hours on the weekends. I just wish I didn't have to go food shopping, or at least, I wish I could find a way to get what I wanted/needed with it taking a lot less time.

Here's how my current grocery shopping goes. And remember, I don't like shopping, so I try and drag it out as little as possible, so I do all my grocery shopping on Saturdays, if at all possible.

1 - Naturally Yours. I buy local, seasonal food here as well as any bulk food items. I try to not buy anything packaged here or even things that are on my "must buy organic list" because it is almost always more expensive here. Examples of food that I buy here - local milk, local eggs, local cheese, local yogurt, local sour cream, etc. Right now, I buy root vegetables and greens here too. I also buy grains and baking supplies in bulk here with the exception of wheat. I have other long-term wheat stored in #10 cans in the downstairs food closet. Very occasionally, I will buy local meat here, but it is very expensive. My goal is to get pork and beef in large amounts directly from local ranchers and freeze it. My goal is to be able to place an order in the fall. My smaller goal is to buy one meal's worth of fresh, local meat from farmers markets per week this summer.

2. Meijer. We also have two Wal-Marts in town, but I do not shop at Wal-Mart. I buy almost all of my produce at Meijer. I find that it is the freshest produce and has the widest selection of organic produce. I only buy organic for things that are on the Dirty Dozen list. Otherwise, I buy regular. I also only buy the produce that my family will eat and food that is on the food menu for the week. I generally do not have a very wide selection of produce, especially since I do like to buy as much seasonal food as possible. But we eat things like apples and spinach year round and I will sometimes prepare a recipe that calls for a vegetable or fruit that is not currently in season. So for example last week at Meijer, I bought organic apples, organic potatoes, organic spinach, fennel, carrots, cabbage and sweet potatoes.

3. Shnucks. Schnucks is a local chain of grocery stores and there is a Schnucks pretty close to my house, however, I don't buy a whole lot at Schnucks and I don't always go to Schnucks every week. Schnucks products are generally more expensive. However, Schnucks carries an organic line called "Full Circle." I want to buy canned organic produce and condiments and I want as natural as possible dishwasher, laundry, and paper products, so I buy the Full Circle brand of those products at Schnucks. Full Circle is cheaper than other organic canned produce/condiments or natural cleaning supplies. For example, last week I bought at Schnucks of the Full Circle brand, 4 cans of corn, 4 cans of green beans, 1 can of peas, ketchup, laundry detergent, and dishwasher soap. I also shop occasionally at Schnucks because they have an card that allows you to donate 1% of your purchase towards something (in our case, towards the closest elementary school.)

4. Kroger. I do the bulk of my shopping at Kroger. I have a Kroger card and I find that often the things that I am buying are on sale with the grocery card. You can also load digital coupons onto the card so that you don't have to clip the coupons. Kroger also tracks my purchases and sends me coupons for the items that I buy most regularly (even coupons for meat, and you rarely see coupons for meat in the newspaper, etc.) I look at the sale paper and try and stock up on items we used when they are on sale. I buy the food that I need for preschool/daycare too because it is the cheapest grocery store for those items. I sometimes buy our health and beauty items at Kroger too, but only after I have checked . . . .

5. Walgreens and CVS. Both Walgreens and CVS have reward programs that give you "money" to spend on your next trip if you buy a particular item. Walgreens calls their program "Register Rewards" and CVS calls their reward program "ECB" (Extra Care Bucks). So I check the Walgreens and CVS ads and if their are any health and beauty products that we regularly use that are getting rewards that week, I will buy it that week. It is key, however, to only use buy the items that YOU REGULARLY USE. I also check for "regular" coupons for the reward items. Then the next week, I will use the reward money to buy other health and beauty things that we need. I try and stock up when the items are on sale and when I'm using reward "money." There are weeks when I don't shop at either store in a week and there are times when I will shop at one and not the other. I have both a Walgreens and a CVS that are very close to my house.

Making lists and food menus is also VERY IMPORTANT to make sure that I stay on budget and so that all of the food gets used, etc. And it also makes sure that I get the shopping done as quickly as I can.

I still wish that I could find everything in one place and all of the items were reasonably priced. I'd also like it if I didn't have to actual do the shopping. Have I mentioned that I don't like shopping????

Sometime soon: Part 2: How I am Simply Lazy About Laundry or at least How I would Like to Be Lazy About Laundry.

1 comment:

KMC Adoption Support Group said...

Great post! Have you seen the movie "Food, inc"? It made me want to go to organic. It is hard since I am so frugal and organic is much more, but I am convinced I need to do it for moral reasons after watching the movie.