There is one grocery trip each year that I dread more than any other.
More than trips made for food related holidays. More than trips that occur during the coupon dry season. This grocery trip stresses me out so much that I spend an entire year planning for it. I leave myself little notes, hastily scribbled on scraps of paper, and taped to my computer so I won’t lose them. I wake up in the dead of night, muttering, “Extra pepperoni!” This is my least favorite shopping trip ever and it is finally upon us.
The time has come to buy groceries for the week I am at church camp.
Every year I chaperone the girls group I lead for a week of friendship, fun, and faith. Mr. B, champion among men, takes the week from work to stay home with our little girls so I can pour into the big ones. He loves this week. He gets to bond with our kiddos, he gets to relax and work on projects around the house at bedtime and nap time. He gets to watch soccer without me next to him making loud noises in excitement and fear. This is his favorite week of the year.
But there’s one thing he doesn’t do. He does not cook. Mr. B can make a delicious egg, a scrumptious oatmeal, and an amazing cup of tea. But that’s it. His repertoire ends there. My children cannot eat eggs all week. Come to that, neither can Mr. B.
Now I can make them food, this is not a problem. Casseroles, proteins, side dishes, everything labeled neatly. I can leave a list for Mr. B of what is where and how much of this is that and who the when is why. But the reason I dread this trip so much is that in differs from routine so sharply. My life is a well oiled machine and y’all have realized by now, I do not do well with change. So having to second guess my established normal is not my favorite. “Okay, don’t get onions because no one will eat them if you’re not home. Don’t get cheese. You can’t take cheese to camp. Wait, maybe get cheese? Maybe you can bring cheese to camp. Should I get extra bread? How much bread will they eat when I’m gone? What if the bread goes bad? What if the bread becomes sentient and takes over the house?”
This is my brain on camp stress.
You might say that the shopping stress isn’t really about the food at this point. It’s really about the fear of being away from my littles for a week. And you would be right. AND. And. There are three littles now. They outnumber us when we’re at full strength. What will they do when Mr. B is all alone and defenseless? What if they team up with the sentient bread and there is an uprising?
By the time you’re reading this, I’ll already be at camp. Maybe I’ll be enjoying a book by the pool during free time. Maybe I’ll be sitting knee to knee with some of my favorite teens as they share their hearts. Maybe I’ll be starring wordlessly at my phone, waiting for the daily text that everyone is doing well and eating their fruits and vegetables. Maybe all three, but probably not all at once.
- Bananas, 2.10 lb -$1.98.
- Blueberries, pint-$2.49. In store sale.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni, 1 lb -$9.17.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breast, 3.82 lb-$7.62.
- Kroger Sausage, 2 lb-$5. in store sale for 2/$6 stacked with *Digital coupon* for $.50 off.
- Kroger Milk, gallon-$1.49. In store sale.
- Mango (2) -$1.98.
- Nectarines, 1.16 lb-$1.73.
- Private Selection Angus Steak, 4.85 lb-$24.25. In store sale, $4.99 a pound.
- Private Selection Pasta (2)-$2.15. Stacked with two coupons each good for one use: paper for $.40 off one Private Selection Pasta and *Digital Coupon* good for $.45 off one Private Selection Pasta.
- Private Selection Ice Cream, 48 oz-$2.99. *Digital coupon* for $1 off.
- Private Selection Wheat Bread (2)-$3.98.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, 1 lb -$8.31.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, .73 lb-$1.23.
- Roma Tomatoes, .75 lb-$.74.
- Strawberries, 2 lb-$4.
- Simple Truth Chocolate Almond Milk (2)-$5. In-store sale, 2 for $5.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.25 Off Any Item, $.20 Off Gallon Milk), CoinOut
Total Budget: $85
Total Spent: $83.37
Total Saved: $37.37
Rolled Over to Next Week: $1.63
This is a funny trip because it looks like a normal trip if you squint, but up close it’s all funky with double of some things and missing essentials. It’s like the alternate reality of grocery trips. This is what my shopping looks like on Earth 19.
What shopping trip is your least favorite? What food does your partner excel at? Did you love camp as kid? Show me what you got 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 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!