Monday, October 26, 2015

How I Grocery Shop

Over the years, I have changed the way I grocery shop many times. That is because tastes change, the number of people in the household change, the amount of money coming in changes and health requirements change.

Up until 6 months ago, I would say we ate pretty healthy but still incorporated some canned and  processed foods into our diet. Now I shop for a really healthy diet. 

Each week we buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season. Right now that means we are eating lots of apples, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and cabbage in our diet. The bonus of eating in season is that they are at their cheapest prices all year. I don't  find many coupons for these items so I only buy them when they are at the lowest price. Most of my purchases are made at a local produce market.

In the summer when many fruits and vegetables are at their peak, I can them to use all winter. I also freeze lots of vegetables and fruits. I made enough strawberry and peach jam to last us for a year this summer when those fruits were at their peak.

We buy a lot of chicken breasts at under $ 2.00 a lb and fish and occasionally shrimp when they are on a good sale. Beef roasts are purchased in bulk when the sirloin tips are at  $3.99 a lb. I roast them, grind them for lean ground beef, cut them into chunks to make beef stew in the crockpot or cut thin strips for stir fries. We only buy steaks in the spring and summer when they are on sale and we can grill them outside.

We also buy ground turkey when it is on sale, corned beefs in March, and legs of lamb around Easter.  Occasionally, we purchase lamb chops or veal cutlets.

In November I will buy turkeys and hams when they are at rock bottom price. We are about to roast a 22 lb. turkey for Thanksgiving that I bought last year.

When turkeys are cheap and I don't have a lot of freezer space, I buy a few anyhow, roast them and use my food saver to freeze them in portions. I use the portions in recipes that call for chicken. I also make broth from the carcass and freeze it until I need it.  

We do buy bacon for breakfasts and an occasional BLT for dinner. But it has to be on a good sale.

We try to go meatless 2-3 nights a week. This cuts down the amount of money we spend on dinners.

I am not true to any local market, meat or fish market. I buy where the best prices are the best if they are within my 15 mile driving limit.
    
Pizza night is always on Fridays and I make homemade. We usually eat cheese pies.

I purchase a variety of cheeses at Sam's Club or Aldi's depending on who has the lowest prices. We also buy butter, milk, eggs, and sour cream at Aldi. 

I usually buy all of my flours, sugars, rice and dried beans in bulk at Sam's Club. I store them in food grade buckets in my basement. Recently Aldi had a good price on flour so I purchased 25 lbs. there. I also purchase my olive oil and canola oil in huge containers at  Sam's Club.

I make all of my own baked goods: cookies, quick breads, cupcakes, cakes, donuts, English muffin bread and all other breads. I also make my own pizza crusts, muffins, hamburger and hot dog rolls, and donuts.  Once in a while if I have  a large coupon, like I do now and there is a sale,  I will purchase Thomas English muffins. 

We also make our own salad dressings, tartar sauce, enchilada sauce ( now that my canned are gone), BBQ sauce,  mayonaise, and just about any other sauce that you can  think of.

We do buy ketchup, mustard, pickles and olives.

These foods are the basic mainstays of our diets. Most of our meatless meals are skillet dishes that incorporate some kind of bean and rice in them. The cheese pizza also count as meatless meals. We do make grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade tomato soup. The sandwiches go on homemade bread and the soup is made from tomatoes that we canned.

Our breakfasts consist of oatmeal, toast with peanut butter(purchased at Sam's) and homemade jam, homemade pancakes or waffles, homemade granola and milk, or bacon and eggs and toast. We buy our oats in bulk at Sam's Club. We also buy dried fruits for granola there.

Most spices are purchased in bulk from Sam's Club or ordered from San Francisco Herb Company online. 

Lunches consist of veggies and homemade dill dip, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, turkey or chicken salad, or a tossed salad or cup of homemade soup.

We make dinners from our freezers and fridge and is whatever I plan for the week.

We eat veggies and dip for snacks, cheese and crackers or just grab an apple or banana. Sometimes, I dip the apples in peanut butter. It is so good. 

Since I rarely have coupons, I try to keep my costs under $300. - $ 350. a month for the two of us. Sometimes it is lower and sometimes I go  over when I am stocking up. But the average over the year will hit that target. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask it by commenting.  
              
   

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