Normally, I shop on Tuesday nights and it is always in a mad rush. With nothing planned this weekend, my family has been able to really enjoy our time, including attending Saturday night service at church. Saturday nights at church are small (less kids in childcare too!) and can be a fun change in routine. Church on Saturday night also means I can go shopping on Sunday morning, when the store is nice and empty. I’ve spent many years shopping on Sunday nights which really is the worst.
My latest shopping tip has really helped my past few trips to the grocery store. Note: don’t attempt this when shopping with kids, you’ll get some pretty dirty looks.What’s the tip? Shop wearing earphones! Bring your iPod or install Pandora on your phone and shop without the psychological trickery of the grocery store witches! Sometimes you just don’t do your best decision making listening to Al Green or Wilson Phillips. I love the singer-songwriter station on Pandora, it makes for a really relaxing shopping trip. I promise it will also help you stick to your list, you are busy listening to lyrics and not letting your brain spin.
Don’t shop with a list? I don’t usually either. However, after a couple years away, I am back to using a meal planning service. I’ve tried a few different types and my favorite is e-mealz.com. What brought me back, was the offering of an Organic/Natural dinner plan. You can choose a specific store or an “any store” option and e-mealz will provide you with a grocery list (including prices) to match up with a dinner plan for the week.
This week, e-mealz estimated my dinner shopping at Whole Foods would cost $150. This is for 7 dinners that feed between 3-7 people. I did my shopping at Fresh & Easy instead (with two mailer coupons), bought all my dinner food, some breakfast, lunch and snack items and walked out the door having spent about $145. Here’s what I got:
I should note that Fresh & Easy does something large grocery stores do not. They date their produce. See all those strawberries and grapes? They are dated for today. However, they look exactly like the strawberries and grapes in front of the store that sell for $2.99/lb and $2.49/lb respectively. If I went into Safeway and bought the same strawberries I brought home, I would never, ever guess that they would need to have a sell-by date for today. The F&E employee was sharing my excitement as I grabbed each pound of berries for .62 cents. The grapes, .62 cents each, too. Same with the pineapple, which I stole for $1.52
I also grabbed quick go-to items that I know Jy and the kids prefer, like pre-made plastic containers of soup, whole wheat chocolate cookies, popcorn and waffle mix. I have no idea how that little iced mocha in the middle of the photo snuck in there. Who could that be for? (It was also dated for today and sold for .55 cents).
E-mealz has specialty menus too. Vegetarian, low calorie, gluten free, low carb and small meals (for two). Interested? Check it out, it’s totally worth it. If you do sign up, use the code ORGANIC and you’ll save 20%. There are usually other codes floating around out there on the internet. Take a second to search.
I’m looking forward to showing you some of the meals this week and letting you know if I have bought enough food for a week. I’m guessing I will need more milk and eggs. In the battle to slash our food costs, I feel one step ahead. Happy Sunday friends!