Thursday, July 10, 2008

Woo-hoo! Groceries!

Barry did the grocerying after work yesterday and came home with loads and loads of stuff we needed. Miss B had just defrosted the nearly empty deep freeze just yesterday morning, so all this lovely food is ARRANGED NEATLY in the freezer and fridges. And it's like a treasure hunt. I was at Lil Miss A's softball game when he got home and unloaded things, so I don't know exactly what he bought, and keep finding things that I know weren't on my list. Stuff that looked delicious to him after a long day at work, before supper. Ummm...


I'm really trying to rethink the grocery thing. With us living 35 miles from town, and with gas so pricey, I'm trying a three-pronged approach to cutting back on the shopping trips:
  1. Buy local when possible.
  2. Get it delivered when possible.
  3. Make one giant, efficient shopping trip only when we absolutely must.
We have the City Meat Market here in town, where we are going to try to buy our beef from now on. We drive to Lansing (12 miles south) about 40 times a week for Miss B's work and for school activities, so we try to get our gasoline, milk, eggs and bananas at the Kwik Star there. I'm trying to use Amazon more to have stuff delivered, like toilet paper and kitty litter. And we have the garden. I wish we could still be in our CSA, but it became unaffordable for us when they had to cut back on delivery points because of gas prices and we would have had to drive to pick up the stuff.

As for the One Giant Efficient Shopping Trip (GEST), I am doing about one of those every 4-6 weeks, with Barry doing the others after work. He's very good at grocery shopping, actually, and when he throws something extra in the cart, like he did last night (a gorgeous filet of wild-caught Alaskan salmon), I don't have to feel guilty for overspending, because I wasn't the one who made the decision - I can just enjoy it. Our favorite place to do the GEST is Woodman's in Onalaska, because they are employee-owned and surviving despite being kitty-corner to the Giant Super Dee Duper Wal-Mart, and they have about 6 brands of any given item - the three major label brands, the designer label brand, and two generics. Also they have large ethnic food sections. And they mark down their produce like crazy when it's been on display for awhile. Plus they hardly ever even ask for my ID when I write them a check. Good people.

We have to go into town for orthodontist, eye doctor and pediatrician appointments, and when I can stack a couple of those on one day, that makes a good day for a GEST. Plus the pediatrician and eye doctor are both in the same building, which is in the same neighborhood as Woodman's AND just down the road from the Coulee Region Humane Society, to which it's always fun to squeeze in a visit.


Mrs. Mac said...

(LOL) ... from baby koi ... to cheese curds ... to "GEST" ... one never knows what to expect when dropping by for a visit ;) We (I) started shopping in bulk again at Costco ... enough staples to last for about 3 or 4 months and supplement fresh food only when we are already headed to town. My latest frugal tip: buy the twin pack whole chicken's at Costco (about .99/lb) ... cut them up at home to repackage in 1/2 chicken size freezer foodsaver bags. I save the backs in the freezer and when I have a good amount ... make chicken stock. Two days ago I was able to make nine quarts of wonderful stock to put in the freezer for fall soups.

Connie said...

Wow, that's a lot of planning for groceries. I try to consolidate trips as much as I can, but all of a sudden I feel very spoiled with my 10+ grocery stores within a 10-mile radius (and the knowledge that I never have to shop at Walmart if I don't want to, which I don't).

I admire your organization and efficiency ideas.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm planning my shopping trips, too. We live outside the city about 20 minutes to WalMart so if all I need is milk I get it at a nearby market even though it's higher. I know the gas it would cost to go into town would offset it. Before I leave home I write down everywhere I need to go and map them out so I don't have to double back. I should have been doing this all along but like everyone else I got spoiled to just hopping in the car. There are many ways to conserve and I'm making a concerted effort to do it, even if it's a little inconvenient. Blessings, marlene

Northeast Iowa Mom said...

Marlene, one thing I read somewhere on a website about improving gas mileage was to plan out your trip so that you go to your furthest away stop first, then make your other stops on the way home. The theory is that your car engine will be really well warmed up that way and will run more efficiently. I thought that was interesting.

Connie, I used to live in a town with about 5 different grocery choices within about as many miles. (I was Mrs. Mac's neighbor.) I would save a lot of money by planning out the week's grocerying getting the best sales at each market. I have really had to retrain myself, as there are not so many choices anymore!

Mrs. Mac, that's a good idea on the chickens. Do they sell them fresh or frozen? I find if I buy frozen chicken intending to cut it up at home, I don't usually bother, because I don't want to fight an icy carcass. Were it fresh, however, I'd be there.

Mrs. Mac said...

They sell the chicken's (local grown Foster Farm .. in Washington state) fresh. I once asked the butcher at a local store where their behind the glass case chicken breasts came from ... when he said Arkansas (quite a ways from Idaho) ... I opted for prepackaged local birds. I just splurged yesterday on wild caught Alaskan salmon steaks (flash frozen) ... very yummy on the grill.