There’s a question that pops up in surveys from time to time that was really on my mind this grocery trip.
“I am the first to try new foods.”
Please select one.
- 1-Does Not Describe Me at All
- 2-Does Not Describe Me Somewhat
- 4-Somewhat Describes Me
- 5-Completely Describes Me
I used to be a 4 bordering on a 5, but now I’m a 2 with shades of Neutral. On good day.
I didn’t realize I had gotten so boring until around January. In January, spurred by my desire to get back on track with the budget, I bought some protein choices I usually don’t know what to do with, simply because they were on sale. One option was whole chicken, which I tackled, conquered and served with baked apples and carrots. My family loved it and I had enough left overs (because it was a WHOLE chicken) to make another meal.
The other protein option I took a chance on was a roast. I had tried to make a roast a few years ago and it did not go well, so I have avoided that cut ever since. But it was sooooo cheap that I really couldn’t say no. I brought it home, experimented with some of my favorite spice mixes, threw it in the crockpot with some homemade stock and butter, and voila! My most favorite thing. Seriously, it was delicious. I served it with rice and caramelized onions and peppers and then it became Mr. B’s favorite thing.
I was so emboldened by these two successes that I incorporated them into my 2019 Grocery Resolutions. “Buying to the Sale” is not just about saving money, it’s about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to create new meals for my family to enjoy.
I had gotten into a rut for two reasons, I realized. The first couldn’t be helped: when I was pregnant, my body reacted to foods differently. Things I had loved now tasted gross, and things that my family loved were trying to kill me. Because I couldn’t predict how my body would react, I stayed with safe, predictable foods or followed my crazy cravings (much to the detriment of my budget).
But the second reason was a little complex. I realized I had been sticking with foods that I not only know the exact taste of and meal options for, but I knew the exact cost of. I’ve mentioned several times how math has not been my fave since returning to the grocery fold after having the Teacup. So of course I was avoiding food options that required me to do the math: it was easier and safer to just get what I always got and pay what I always paid.
That was on my mind this week, since my Kroger was having a Buy One, Get One sale on roasts. For $19.23, I got about six and a half pounds of meat. One roast alone provided dinner and lunch for our family, eight servings over two meals. I kept thinking how I would have missed out on this great sale if I hadn’t taken a chance a few weeks ago.
Then I came upon a bread I wanted to try. And I realized I could try it! Because of the in-store sale, digital coupon I had, and the extra room in the budget. Now, with all those savings, this bread was only 29 cents more than my normal bread. But without knowing there was a leeway in the budget, and without having recently broken from my routine and purchased something that turned out to be a massive success, I don’t know if I would have made that leap.
What I discovered when I took a chance and branched out with new food in a cost effective way is that it cleared up a little bit of my budget to try other new foods. I swapped out my cycle of repetition for a cycle of discovery.
- Bananas, 2.52 lb-$1.49.
- Ben & Jerrys, pint-$2.49. In store sale stacked with *Digital Coupon* for $1 off.
- Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey, .75 lb-$7.19.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni,.75 lbs-$6.83.
- Boneless Chuck Roast, 6.5 lbs-$19.23. BOGO makes it about $3 a pound!
- Blueberries, pint (3)-$5.64. In store sale for $1.88 a pint.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 5.15 lbs-$10.25.
- Kroger Whole Milk, .5 Gallon-$.77. In store sale. So, this was crazy. Half gallons were $.77 a pop, while whole gallons were $1.99. You could get two half gallons for less than the cost of whole gallon. And it’s the same amount of milk. Do the math!
- Kroger String Cheese, 12 count-$3.29.
- Mangoes (3)-$2.97.
- Merry Mozzarella Ball-$2.99. Manager Special!
- Parmasean Reggiano, .25 lb-$2.66
- Private Selection Ice Cream, pint (3)-$4.50. In store sale 3/$5, stacked with *Digital Coupon* for $.50 off.
- Red Gold Canned Tomatoes (2)-$1.78.
- Roma Tomatoes, .82 lbs-$1.06.
- Sara Lee Artisano Wheatberry Bread-$2.29. In store tale for $2.79, stacked with $.50 off *Digital Coupon*.
- Simple Truth Organic Raspberry Fruit Spread-$3.59.
- Sweet Tarts Soft Chewy Rope-$0. Free with my Free Friday Digital Download Coupon.
- Vidal Onions, 2.04 lbs-$2.02.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.10 off Any Item)
Total Budget: $88.58
Total Spent: $80.93
Total Saved: $34.43
Rolled Over to Next Trip: $7.65
The bread ended up not being my favorite, but that’s okay. Because it didn’t break the bank, I’m able to see it as a successful attempt at branching out and not a waste of money.
Do you ever get stuck in a grocery cycle of repetition? What are some foods you’d like to try? What’s a food you’ve tried in the past that you’ve stayed away from since? Let’s talk food solutions 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!