Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Grocery Shopping

If you're at all interested in eating on the cheap, you can't miss the Iron Chef Moms Challenge this week, with a faceoff between the Aldi Queen and Meredith, who will be shopping the loss leaders. I bet Meredith will win in the price department, but for us, the convenience of Aldi's far outweighs the slight savings we might get by hitting half a dozen different stores. Of course, Aldi's doesn't have much selection, but that's the beauty of it. If there's little selection, it's easier to tell your husband what to get without thirteen calls to clarify or (depending on the husband) having him come home with exactly the wrong thing.

We're also fairly picky about how healthy the food we eat is, so we do a mix of things: produce, basic canned and frozen goods at Aldi's, and lots of ground turkey, milk and eggs. For convenience health foods (unsweetened applesauce, whole wheat pasta and when I'm really tired, bread), loss-leaders (chicken goes on sale a lot), and miscellaneous other stuff, I hit Meijer every other week. We buy grains and beans in bulk from the co-op, and split spices from there with DOB's family whenever it's a spice they use. (Pity, DOB's mom can't stand marjoram.)

Even so, it seems to us like we spend way too much on food. Maybe it's our standard of comparison (which for DOB is none, before he got married, and for me is the amount I split with my two female roommates). Maybe it's just the amount we eat. I don't have a dainty appetite, even when, as now, I'm not feeding someone else while I'm at it. DOB always eats enough for two or three, and as for the ducklings, they missed the memo about toddlers being picky and sporadic eaters. (Which is not to say our mealtimes are entirely without conflict--the conflict is just over whether they are going to finish every thing else before they get more tomatoes.)

Maybe it's just that food is such a mundane thing to spend money on, when you could be buying books.


Amy said...

Thanks for the links to the challenge. It is turning out to be a fun week. We sound like very similar shoppers because I prefer to buy my chicken from Meijer too. I love those buy one bag get one free on their chicken breasts and when they run their pasta for $.25 a box. I do stock up on occasion there, but love the convenience of being able to do it all in one store!

Thanks again!

Rose said...

Yes, I've been watching this contest with bated breath. Now I can't wait to make Chicken Lo Mein!

Meredith said...

Thanks for the link! Lucky for me, I live within walking distance of two great stores. Our new Aldi has too much bruised produce to make it as reliable as my old Aldi.