So I did a thing.
Before you question my sanity, know that I had a $2 off coupon if I bought four. So it made them $2.50 each and I have absolutely no regrets. The overwhelming favorite of most readers was Cherry Garcia, so I had to try that. Mr. B preferred to sit out the taste testing, so I got him his Tonight Dough. They didn’t have the runner up flavor, Half Baked, so I went with the Shake It Shake It Truffles, or whatever it’s called. It sounded delish even if I couldn’t wrap my head around the name. Finally, I thought I better grab a Phish Food, just in case the other two flavors were a disaster.
It struck me, as I loaded my cart with ice cream, how strangely vulnerable grocery shopping is.
This week, I went shopping alone. It was nap time, Mr. B was home, I saw my window and I took it. But being alone while shopping gave me a lot more time to notice my surroundings and the people sharing the space with me. Normally, my mental energy is consumed with making sure all three children do not eat food off the floor or off the displays.
It’s a funny thing, we all load up our carts, and walk around for 45 minutes with everything we’re buying on display. Doesn’t that strike you as an extraordinarily brave thing to do? Once a week, you go to a place where your choices are exposed and open to judgement by other people doing the exact same thing you are.
It reminded me of something that happened almost two years ago. I was with just the Glass Slipper and we were checking out. Right by our checkout lane passed one of the trainers from the gym I go to. People are often surprised I go to the gym, because I am not tiny or buff. I have an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s, which makes it challenging to lose weight. But I’ve long since learned that weight is not always an indicator of health. So I go to the gym because I’d like my body to be the healthiest version of itself that it can be. I lift my weights, I zumb my zumbas, and I feel pretty good about it.
This trainer was not mine, she didn’t teach any classes I attended, but we knew each other by sight. She stopped to say hello, we had a quick chat, and then she cast an appraising eye over my groceries. “Okay, okay, looking good on the groceries. Good job.” I smiled politely, trying to figure out what she meant. We said our goodbyes, and I turned to the cashier to pay. The sweet cashier handed me my receipt and said, “Wow, you saved $44. I’m always impressed by people like you.”
Two interactions around my groceries, one which left me feeling great and one that left me feeling not so great.
It took me a minute to figure it out, but here is where I landed. One interaction celebrated my accomplishments, namely, saving money. And one interaction was less a celebration and more like I had passed a test I didn’t know I was supposed to be taking. The trainer from my gym was evaluating my groceries based on what she thought I needed to be buying vs what she thought I might be buying. Maybe she expected to see four pints of ice cream. But that day my cart looked like it usually looks: lots of produce and some cheese.
Now, I’m sure she meant well. Her intention was probably to encourage, even if it struck me as just slightly condescending. I like to think people have the best intentions. If you’re wondering why I didn’t have my epiphany on the bravery of grocery shopping right then and there, instead of almost two years later, here’s why: almost immediately after this I had the disastrous trip where I got sick at Kroger and learned shortly thereafter that we were pregnant.
If I had any concern about what the contents of my cart looked like to other people, that surely was shed during the wild months of grocery shopping while pregnant. Remember that one trip where all I got was plums and onions? And I’ve spent all the trips since having the Teacup just trying to keep everyone alive and my trips under budget. It doesn’t leave much brain space for anything else.
But as I wandered around Kroger, foot loose and child free, the incident with the trainer came back to me. And I wasn’t salty, or angry, or bitter. Mostly I was impressed with myself, and with you, for doing something each week for the good of your family that requires you to be vulnerable. I’m reminded one of my favorite lines from The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien: “It’s a dangerous business, going out your front door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” It’s a dangerous business, going grocery shopping. Well done, you.
- Bananas, 2.61 lb -$1.54.
- Bell Peppers (4)-$5. In store sale.
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, pint (4)-$9.96. Buy 5, Save $5 stacked with *Digital Coupon* for $2 off 4.
- Black River Blue Cheese-$1.89. Manager’s Special!
- Boar’s Head Ham, .5 lb-$4. Trying to get the kiddos to branch out on deli meats.
- Boar’s Head Pepperoni, .5 lb-$4.58.
- Clementines, 3 lb-$3.99.
- Green Peppers, (2)-$1.38.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 9.41 lb -$18.74.
- Kroger Market Mill Whole Wheat Bread-$1.39.
- Kroger Greek Yogurt-$0. *Digital Coupon* for Free Friday Download.
- Pecorino Romano-$3.19. Manager’s Special!
- Private Selection Wheat Bread-$1.99. Two breads. Kids bread and adult bread.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, .5 lb -$4.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, .63 lb-$1.08.
- Roma Tomatoes, 1.15 lb-$1.14.
- Silk Almond Milk (1)-$1.99. Down with B5S$5.
- Simple Truth Organic Broccoli Puffs-$2.39.
- Simple Truth Organic Teething Rusks-$2.49.
- Strawberries, 2 lb-$2.49.
- Top Round London Broil, 2.61 lb-$7.92. Manager’s Special.
- Vidal Onions, 1.54 lb-$1.52. In store sale, $.99 a pound.
- Yellow Peaches, 1.75 lb-$2.61.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.20 Off Any Item), CoinOut
Total Budget: $76.53
Total Spent: $85.84
Total Saved: $16.90
Deducted from Next Week: $9.31
As much as I hate going into a new month at a deficit, I am 100% confident it will right itself next week. Check back then and I’ll tell you why. ;)
And some quick meal plan ideas, if you’re into it!
- Saturday: Meat Sauce and Spaghetti (sausage and pasta, previous trip)
- Sunday: Spike Chicken Salad (lettuce, chicken, peaches this trip)
- Monday: Oven Chicken Fajitas (chicken, peppers, onions this trip)
- Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan (chicken, romano cheese this trip, mozzarella from Costco)
- Wednesday: Sausage Stuffed Peppers (sausage previous trip, peppers this trip)
- Thursday: Steak Taco Bowls (steak this trip, peppers this trip, rice Costco)
- Friday: Ham & Cheese Sammies with Carrots (ham, cheese, and bread this trip, carrots Costco)
- Saturday: Whatever we get on the grocery trip!This week, as you head to the grocery store, know that I celebrate you. I applaud your bravery. Whether you buy four pints of ice cream, four peppers, or four pounds of cheese.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!