I used to think that I understood grocery shopping. I was so certain I had it figured it out. Grocery shopping was simple: it was an ever changing collection of variables (sales, coupons, manager’s specials) that repeatedly collided with and shaped itself around an immovable force (ME! And by me, I mean my budget and our diets).
But as I am learning on my all my grocery trips this October, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
October has been a great month of grocery shopping, I have to say. Yes, I’ve been over budget on every trip (this one being no exception) but what’s a few dollars when compared with personal growth? I was able to let go of some of the decision making anxiety that usually haunts my grocery trips, and dance to the beat of my own drummer…literally. This week, I am learning that the world, and grocery shopping, is not as rigid a place as I once believed. And maybe I am not the immovable force I thought I was.
It all started with the steak. I was checking out the meat selection, bummed that the prices weren’t great and I had no good coupons, but no so bummed that I was tailspinning about the weekly menus. See? Progress. I left meats and headed over to ice cream. Where I immediately started thinking about the amazing steak salad I made the other night. I wanted that salad again. But I hadn’t gotten steak because I wasn’t blown away by the prices. I’ve hit this issue before, many a times. I want a thing, but do not get the thing because I shop according to prices, not my desires. Immovable force, remember?
But I don’t know. The steak wasn’t terribly priced. And I really wanted some. And really, who wants to be an immovable force when you can be a flexible force noshing on delicious steak salad with homemade vinaigrette? So back across the store I went to get some steak. And while I was getting steak, my Glass Slipper asked if she could have some bread. We normally don’t do bread because of the carbs, but you know what? I had just gotten some steak because I wanted it, so I figured she could have some bread. Back we went over to the deli and bakery.
But once we were there, I realized I would like some cheese to go on that bread. I hadn’t gotten cheese on our first run through of the store, so we grabbed our bread and hopped in line at the deli counter for the cheese. While in line I met a lovely woman who comes from a different small town in Indiana to our neighboring small town in Indiana just to shop at this Kroger because they are the only Kroger for miles that has Maple Honey Ham, which is her favorite. Here I am, an immovable force who usually beats herself up for wanting something that is not the absolute lowest price it has ever been, and this lady drives 30 minutes out of her way once a week because she loves ham.
It made me think back to only minutes before, when I had been starring longingly at the ground turkey. You see, I had a coupon for .50 off one pound of ground turkey, but I needed two pounds to make chili. I really wanted chili, but I really didn’t think I could justify the cost of a full price pound of turkey. But why not? Why not buy the extra pound of turkey and treat myself and my family to a meal we hadn’t had a in a while? Life is short, and there is more to be gained by enjoying a meal as a family than beating yourself up because you spent $2.99 on turkey. A nice lady who enjoys ham taught me that.
Now I fully acknowledge this month of blissful shopping is brought to you my third trimester hormone surges and sleepless nights, but I am okay with that. This week was a nice reminder that even when it comes to things like grocery shopping, I can always keep learning, growing, and doing better for my family and myself.
- Angie’s Kettle Corn-$3.49. Manager’s special for 50% off!
- Bananas, 1.83 lb-$1.26.
- Bell Peppers (3)-$2.97.
- Black Plums, 1.19 lbs-$1.77.
- Boar’s Head Maple Glaze Turkey, .75 lb-$7.19.
- Boar’s Head Pepperjack Cheese, .25 lb-$2.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni, .5 lb-$4.67.
- Clementines, 3 lbs-$3.99.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 5.15 lbs-$10.25.
- Kroger Ground Turkey, 2 lbs-$5.48. *Digital Coupon* for .50 off one pound.
- Kroger String Cheese, 12 ct-$3.29.
- Private Selection Angus Steak. 2.16 lbs-$10.78.
- Private Selection Pasta, (2)-$2.20. *Digital Coupon* for .80 off two Private Selection Pastas.
- Private Selection Ice Cream-$4.49.
- Private Selection Whole Wheat Bread-$1.99.
- Raspberries, 12 oz-$2.49.
- Red Gold Tomatoes (2)-$1.78.
- Red Grapes, 1.66 lbs-$1.46. Two kinds of grapes. Like a baller.
- Roma Tomatoes, 1.25 lbs-$1.61.
- Romaine Lettuce, 1.26 lbs-$1.88.
- Strawberries, 2 lbs-$2.49.
- Yellow Onions, 1.39 lbs-$1.38.
- *Digital Coupon* for 3x the Fuel Rewards Points on Fresh Produce.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta (.20 off Any Item)
Total Budget: $65.08
Total Spent: $77.45
Total Saved: $25.69
Deducted from Next Trip: $12.37
I know that deficit keeps growing and next week I’ll have to be a little stricter on budget. But don’t be surprised if it’s just $50 worth of ice cream and a piece of chicken. That’s just the kind of month we’re having and if it ain’t broke…
Are you an immoveable force when it comes to grocery shopping or do you have a little wiggle room? Have you ever had a change of heart about your grocery philosophy mid trip? Would you drive 30 minutes for ham? Tell me all about it in the comments!
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 three 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!