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Saturday, 17 September 2016

Getting the Groceries

Part of the regular routine around here is buying groceries on the weekend. I go to one of two stores. When I am feeling that we need to cut back a bit on the money we spend I go to one, when I want really nice produce and sliced meat, I go to the other.

I am a list maker. I make lists for everything, but my grocery list is always laid out the same way. I have headings in the order that food is located around the store: produce, deli, bakery, meat, can/box, and frozen/dairy. I start making the list around Wednesday or Thursday and leave it out as I realize that we need certain things. When I find someone's list that they accidentally left in the cart, I always look at it, the nosey beggar that I am.

Saturday morning, list, coffee, and computer


A couple of years ago, President' Choice (a food company) introduced a points card. It isn't a credit card, but instead a way of earning points depending on how what you purchase that can then be redeemed toward buying more groceries. I get an email sent to me every Friday showing me what foods I could buy to earn extra points. I don't buy anything I don't need, but there is a tracking system that uses previous purchases to offer those same foods again in later weeks. Usually there is something that I would be buying anyway. When I earn 20,000 points, I can knock $20.00 off my grocery bill. Woo hoo!

I always ask my husband and kids if there is anything they need, or want me to pick up when I am grocery shopping. Most often, the answer is, "No, I can't think of anything." Then, inevitably later in the week, someone says, "Did you pick up any _________?" (Eye roll).

I am the meal maker in our home, so I usually have certain meals in mind for which I buy ingredients. Sometimes I am just inspired right there in the grocery isle due to something being on sale.

I should stop being surprised at how much money I spend on groceries. Right now there are only three of us at home. It is ridiculous how much groceries cost. With this I am including things like cleaning supplies, laundry soap, toilet paper, pet food, etc. I have no clue how a bigger family does it. And before someone suggests coupons, here in Canada we don't have the same coupon deals as they have in the States. I have watched just a couple of shows about "Extreme Couponers" who get a huge cart load of stuff for $3.26 or some other outrageous deal. But I also think, why do you want ten cans of fruit cocktail?

A lovely blogger from England gets her groceries delivered to her. I believe she orders them online. The convenience of this is understandable. I still don't think I would want that service, though. I want to see things, pick out my own box of strawberries, check the expiry date of the yogurt myself...

Because I am a working mom, and both of my kids currently are or have worked part time at the grocery store, I usually go shopping on a Saturday, when one of them is working a shift and when I have time. Everyone else has the same idea. It is packed. And lord help me if a holiday is coming up. They're all out there buying up everything like Armageddon is about to occur. (But then I'm there, too). I admit to having silent road rage (or isle rage) in grocery stores. MOVE YOUR CART OVER TO ONE SIDE!!!!  If you are going to ponder over that jar of olives, could you please pull over so other people can get on with their lives? This grocery store has several carts that are made out to look like cars, complete with little steering wheels in the front. Although these carts are a little bigger, I don't mind them because they keep little angels busy and happy, sitting in the front, "driving" while Mom or Dad does the shopping.

There has been a big movement here over the past several years to get rid of plastic bags. Almost everyone brings their own fabric bags in which to pack their groceries to take home. If you have forgotten your bags in your kitchen, or they are in the back of the other vehicle, then you have to pay for plastic bags. It's not much (cents per bag) but it still kind of bothers me. Ya, ya, I know environmentally they are a nightmare, but if I just spent $200.00 in your store, the least you could do is give me a few bags because I can hardly carry this stuff in my arms out to the car. (Don't jump all over me for polluting the earth, please. We reuse plastic bags here for all kinds of things).

Do you ever feel that others are silently judging you based on your groceries? Those times when I bought the three bags of chips because they were on sale and I like to stash them away for when we have friends over, and there was a special request for hot chocolate so I bought the giant size because it is cheaper per serving that way, and you eye my cart , I want to say, "There are vegetables in here, you just can't see them! I'm not planning on eating all the chips tonight!" 

There is also the secret that many women keep. When my daughter worked as a cashier through highschool she became an expert at spotting the secret and aiding and abetting women on a regular basis. What am I talking about? I am referring to the "eat it on your way home treat". C'mon, don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about. It's that chocolate bar that nonchalantly gets put on the conveyer belt that you are going to be snarfing and then hiding the wrapper in your purse before you get home. My daughter would spy the "treat" and as she was bagging up the groceries would say to the purchaser, "Do you want me to leave this out, so you can put it in your purse?" The woman would say, as if it was a novel idea, "Oh sure! Thanks!"

What about you? Are you a list maker, a once a week shopper, a secret hoarder of enough food that you're practically a "prepper"? Do you buy yourself a sneaky secret treat when grocery shopping? Do you shop alone, or does your significant other and a boatload of kids come with you? Do you remember your non-plastic, environmentally friendly shopping bags? Do you choke on the price of things? Chime in.

24 comments:

  1. I get my groceries delivered through an on-line order each Tuesday morning between eight and nine o'clock. I must point out that I never order vegetables or salad things - like you I like to look at them and choose my own. But I do make sure I order all the stadard items (and always a Brand I like, never the stores own brand) and then large items like tins of dog food, dog biscuits - the kind of thing which is difficult and heavy to carry (milk is another). It does make life easier.
    As to how much I spend. When the farmer and I married twenty three years ago we agreed that he would continue to pay the bills but that I would buy the food and do the catering, so I never worry about the cost.

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    1. Ahhh, that explains things. I was picturing someone going through the oranges and selecting them for you!

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  2. My granddaughter is in charge of the kitchen. She's a list maker and keeper. I must do a post about her methods.

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    1. Those granddaughter's of yours are learning some significant life lessons. They will be more than ready to tackle the big world when it's time.

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  3. We lived in the Alaskan bush for a number of years and had to buy food in quantity and have it flown in to the village. Now, retired in Maine, we shop weekly like you. We can appreciate the availability of stores, where we can pop in if we forget something. My wife makes list similar to yours breaking them down by store and isle. Not being sexist, but it seems to me that women are more aggressive in the stores then men: they often block the isles, run into you with their carts and drive those motorized carts like they have the right away. That's just an observation - from a man... "I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  4. I hate grocery shopping. NoFrills has turkeys on sale this week. We had to wait around an hour for the privilege of buying one!

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    1. Turkey sales really bring 'em out, don't they?

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  5. My significant other and I both worked at a grocery store while in high school. I was guilty of judging - he, not so much. I'm in the grocery store often. More often than I'd like to be, but I can't seem to do that once-a-week kind of thing.

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    1. Maybe you are doing things in a more "European" way, where they do their shopping more frequently in smaller amounts.

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  6. BAHAHA! The sneaky secret treat...oh my gosh...I laughed so hard with that. I used to do this more often when the kids were still living with us. Now I share my treats with my husband, but don't always need to because I like dark chocolate and he doesn't. Mine, all mine! I definitely make a list and typically stick to it, although a few random things end up following me home, especially if there's some great deal going on. Also, like you, I become inspired while there to create some meal and end up picking up the ingredients for it. I am the only cook here now. My husband can't stand cooking and I don't mind it. In exchange of me doing all the cooking and baking, he takes care of the litter boxes, sorting of the recycling, the garbage and all the car stuff. If you ask me, I got the better deal :) Mostly I shop about once a week but sometimes I'll make an extra trip for some recipe that I suddenly feel like making. I prefer to shop alone and take my time, but once in awhile my husband tags along. And I cringe at the prices these days. They have become ridiculous and I don't know how large families manage. Fun post!

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    1. Yes, around here, husband is the fixer, renovator, deal with banks, etc. I am now vowing to move from milk chocolate to dark chocolate because it is better for you (Dr. Oz can't be wrong).

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  7. Omg I'm a super smug shopper practically lording it over others at the till when I'm on a health kick and it's 90% fruit and veg! You'd want to slap me!

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  8. I've seen some conpanies that off online ordering, but I gave up on that because I'd rather do it myself. Still,it's an option I ought to try in the future..

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    1. It's not something popular here in Ontario, or at least where I live.

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  9. I almost always have a list going and I try to organize it before I leave so many times I make two lists. The first will just be a list and the second is an organized list.
    The prices are ridiculous! I remember when my husband and I first got married, I fed him, my mother, grandfather and I as well as my oldest child on $25 a week. I can't feed him and I on that now.
    I also have a bit of aisle rage as it makes me crazy that people block the aisle. Move over! Consider that others want to get the job done and not spend hours in the grocery.

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    1. Hi Carol! I don't think you've been by before. Thanks for dropping in.

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  10. I do get my groceries online. It's just easier for me. But I never get fresh produce, fruit or meat this way. Because they never choose it right for me. So I still go get groceries. But I just pick up a small amount of stuff :)

    You have an awesome blog. I'm so happy I've found it :) I'm following and I would love if you could follow me too =)

    the-not-so-girlygirl.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi and welcome! I'm going to go take a peek at your blog now.

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  11. I'm a list maker...but also an impulsive buyer which isn't so good for the budget sometimes! I live WAAAYYY to close to the grocery store, so if I forgot something, guess where I go. And yes, I do buy a treat for myself...usually an iced tea...and yes, they know not to put it in the bag! :) When I am in the mood to get my groceries for as little as possible, I have several options close by for that. However the store I most often go to is a family owned store, where the owner purchase our daughter 4H goat at the fair several years in a row at the fair, so I have decided that it's worth supporting his small business because of his generosity to our daughter! (he also has the best quality meat around)

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  12. List maker & menu planner. I cannot believe the cost of food, it is SO expensive to eat healthy. I prefer to shop alone & I hate to run into people I know when grocery shopping, I see them peering into my cart ... I have not seen a coupon for anything in so long, it would be nice to get some pennies off, no wait we don't use pennies anymore.

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  13. Well...in no way shape of form am I a list maker! It's enough to go through the grocery store, purchase the food, load it into the car, then unpack it and store it when I get home! I am no fooling with a list. Never have....I pretty much keep in my head what I am after for the weeks meals. However, it seems our grocery bill never goes down!!!!

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  14. I try to be a list maker, but it always happens that I do not follow the list once at the store. My worst problem is going in for a carton of milk and leaving with 69 bucks worth of "I did not need all this". When I was younger I used to buy a lot more junk...oh my poor kiddos. But now, my husband is on a LCHF diet for his diabetes and it's a rare day I buy anything sweet. I don't use coupons either...I tried it many years ago and kept buying stuff I either didn't really want or didn't really need, which was extra money spent for nothing. I don't understand extremers, but to each his/her own. :)

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