For my “going away” treat to myself I did a whole week’s worth of grocery shopping at the Co-op near my house. I love co-ops — of course, the produce and special-diet selection are unbeatable — but given my measly income, it’s Trader Joe’s that has my heart when it comes to weekly shopping. I love both of them equally in different ways, though. Sometimes even organic date rolls can’t beat out TJ’s cat cookies and ginger ice cream.
Luckily enough, while I did have the go-ahead from myself to splurge, at the end of the day I like budgeting, checking out sales, etc. It makes me feel good to be creative within a limit when it comes to weekly food shopping. Two good rules for avoiding a complete grocery store breakdown (you know what I mean, the kind where you come home with organic chocolate bars and coconut ice cream and $6 eggplants but not a lot of, oh, the food you actually needed) are as follows:
1) Don’t go shopping hungry. Otherwise you’ll crave everything…EVERYTHING!!!
2) If you know you tend to be somewhat of an impulse buyer, take two things out of your cart at the very end, right before you check-out. I like this tip because it allows me to truly take a look at what I’m buying. Maybe I really don’t need two types of frozen broccoli. Maybe I already have breakfast so why am I getting these chocolate chip frozen waffles?
My final total for the above selection was $35, only $5 more than what I usually spend. (Already at home: brown rice, French lentils, and olive oil.) Not bad. There have been a few recipes floating around the internet that I can’t wait to try, so here’s how I hope to utilize these groceries this week:
Breakfast: buckwheat groats with nut milk, cocoa powder, dried apricots, roasted cashews
Dinner: Sweet potato, broccoli, and tofu stir fry with brown rice
Inevitable sweet cravings: blackberries (hopefully I can steal a banana from work and make a berry variation on this banana ice cream)
Most importantly, I tried to make it so that by the time the week is over and I move out of my house, all the food is gone!
Things I did not buy but ooh-wee was I eyeing them: the Co-op has “grind-it-yourself” nut butters and raw farm honey…man oh man…