Well, I don’t have much of anything interesting to say. I feel like I’ve been so busy, when the truth is, I’ve really been at home a lot! It’s funny how that goes, isn’t it?
This weekend, I went to a childhood friend’s wedding shower. I contemplated buying her a gift from her registry but the whole time, I kept thinking that something homemade would be better. I remembered that my mom had purchased some white dishtowels to use for embroidering, and since she and I wanted to go in on the gift together, it was perfect! I decided to embroider as many as I could in just a couple of days. I was able to finish three, but I wish I could have gone into more detail with one of them. Oh well!
As I’ve mentioned a few times before, money is pretty tight right now, thanks to the good ol’ economy. I’ve found that I’m still not very good at frugal shopping. The problem is, it’s easy to buy cheap food. It is not, however, easy to buy cheap healthy food (at least, not around here. We live in the land of convenience…there aren’t co-ops or many local farms, just oodles and oodles of stores and restaurants). I do my best but more often than not, I end up either buying too little food for too much money, or lots of food for a semi-good price that we don’t end up eating (or it goes bad before we get a chance). I’ve made some huge adjustments to what I purchase. I’m no longer a stickler about only shopping at health food stores (like Trader Joe’s, Henry’s, Whole Foods and Mother’s), but often choose to go to the cheaper, generic stores where I just have to weed through the bad food to find the good stuff. There aren’t many options when I go that route, but my checkbook doesn’t allow me to be so picky these days.
Today, I had a bit of a breakthrough, I think. We’re trying to shop less than once-a-week because sometimes, we have no choice. I prefer to get used to these things when I can so that it’s a no-brainer when I don’t have a choice. I decided that I’d try going to Trader Joe’s because honestly, I was sick of having such basic food from the regular stores. I needed some healthy variety. I went in the store resolving myself to purchasing some of their great frozen foods – simply because I knew they’d last as long as I needed them to, and I can trust Trader Joe’s to use the best ingredients (though I still check the labels, just in case). I also resolved to buy some of their delicious prepackaged salads, to try to find some fruit that would probably last longer than just a week, and opt for some dry goods (like mac-n-cheese with real cheese, Thai noodle bowls, etc). While I prefer to buy all separate ingredients so that I can make my meals from scratch, the items on my tentative list seemed like a nice alternative.
I ended up feeling so victorious in the end! The store was sampling an amazing frozen chicken meal, which I tried and immediately added to my cart. I got frozen (real) beef taquitos, (real) chicken pot stickers, gnocchi with tomato and parmesan sauce, mini-pizzas (for Ryan 🙂 ), potato-vegetable medley, (real) chicken fried rice, and two pesto tortellini bowls. I got six Thai noodle bowls, two boxes of (real) macaroni and cheese, refrigerated tortellini, marinara sauce, hummus, fresh mozzarella, three prepackaged salads (that can feed two people each), green beans, nitrate/nitrite free hot dogs, (real) ketchup, (real) mustard, veggie sticks, rice crackers, whole grain rice cakes, apple-grape juice, eggs, onion bagels, sourdough bread, naan, a huge bag of delicious oranges, bananas, toiler paper, and…a few more things that are slipping my mind…
…all for a grand total of…….are you ready?
$100! That may seem like a lot….but you see, what’s so great about this is, I already have tons of frozen chicken breasts in my freezer, an unopened container of Greek yogurt, squaw bread, cheddar cheese, zucchini, two Indian lentil meals, oodles of rice and pasta, two peaches and some lemons. So, when I added all these groceries to my kitchen for such a small price (especially from a health food store), I have a lot of food that will last a long time!
I will probably have to buy a few more things (I need water and milk), but basically, I’ve achieved something major (for me). Sorry for the long drawn-out list of items, but I just had to! I’m so grateful. When I arrived at the checkout line, I quickly prayed that the Lord would stretch our dollars and keep the total around $100. My cart was overflowing…and when the checker gave me the total, I was walkin’ on sunshine. 🙂
Anyway, that’s really all I have to say for now! I’m gonna go enjoy my food! 😉