Grocery Shopping: It's Kind of a Drag
By Elaine Griffin on March 30, 2012
I don’t know how people with more than a couple of kids are buying groceries these days. Has anyone else noticed the prices creeping up and up? In the last couple of weeks most of my old standbys have almost doubled in price. It’s making grocery shopping kind of a drag.
I used to really love grocery shopping – buying quality ingredients that I can make into great meals for my family. It was the one thing I didn’t skimp on. Yep, I hit the olive bar and specialty cheese shop weekly. My feeling was, we worked hard, we have to have food, and if we are not ordering out all the time, we should be able to afford ourselves the luxury of great ingredients. Not so much anymore. I find myself cutting down, and trying to do more meal planning, but coming up short because I’m uninspired with my lower-cost options.
I don’t know how families can afford to buy convenience food – chips, soda, juice boxes, sugary snacks. I see people piling into their carts and I think number one – why? And number two – how the hell do they afford it all? Most of the time people are buying the name brands! I never buy name brands. I find that even with coupons, which I rarely remember, they are still more expensive than their just as good, generic counterpart. An extreme couponer I am not.
My mother, although not an EXTREME couponer, was an excellent coupon user. She was like Wonder Woman when it came to providing food sustenance to our family. We went through a time when we pretty much had no money. So my mother was given the task of stretching a non-existent budget, and at the time she had a teen athlete, always in need of some sort of gear and money for away games and not to mention all the other school trips. She also had a pre-schooler and a formula-fed baby. We didn’t qualify for food stamps or any other financial assistance. But, somehow, she made it work.
Not only did she make it work, but we had amazing food on a regular basis, and special times – Christmas, birthdays, New Year’s Eve, Super Bowl Sunday – we were treated with steaks, shrimp, artisan bread, and the like. She created wonderful memories, with food and family as the centerpiece. She satisfied our souls.
I don’t know how she did it. Maybe she begged and borrowed. Maybe she robbed Peter to pay Paul. I don’t want to know, to be honest. In my mind she planned like nobody’s freaking business, and she gave us everything we wanted and needed and more.
That is what I want to do for my family. I just need to tap into her planning and creativity!
How do you stay creative with your meals as food prices climb higher?