Food and Funds

Becoming Frugal

Money’s tight and it stresses me out.  Each paycheck is gone as soon as I get it.  Sacrifices needed to be made in order to stay afloat.  A tough decision to make was to cut back on the amount I spent on groceries.

Whole Foods, or what my friends and I call Whole Paycheck, used to be the only grocery store I’d shop at.  I believed that everything should be of top quality and organic if it was going to enter my body.  That quickly went out the door when choosing to be more frugal.  I would easily spend over $100 every week, week and a half, when shopping solely at Whole Paycheck.  It broke my heart to shop elsewhere but I knew it’d be for the best.  I could follow a healthy diet no matter where I shopped.

I began checking out Stop and Shop.  I compared everything in there to Whole Paycheck.  My initial worries were centered around produce.  Would such a large chain like Stop and Shop take as much pride as Whole Paycheck in providing the freshest of the fresh?  Surprisingly, I found that I wasn’t so put-off by what Stop and Shop had to offer.  Their produce selection was terrific, at least at this Stop and Shop.  I can’t say the same for the one in my home town, granted I haven’t been to in about 7 years, but is quite frankly dull and disappointing.

I filled up my cart with my staples and headed to check out.  I was ecstatic to leave Stop and Shop with more than enough food for a week and spend less than $80 dollars!  I was eager to see what the other two stores in the area had to offer, Big Y and Trader Joes.  End result:  Big Y isn’t a favorite of mine; more expensive and arranged in a strange fashion.  Trader Joes is a supplemental store, a place I can go for trivial things like trail mix or frozen vegetables/fish.

I now shop primarily at Stop and Shop.  I try to buy most of my essentials here: fruits and vegetables, greek yogurt, soymilk or almond milk, bread, pasta, baking/cooking essentials, and meat/poultry/fish.  They often have great sales, which I definitely take advantage of.  Triscuits can always be found in my pantry and that’s feasible impart to a classic 2 for 1 kind of deal.  Greek yogurt is always in my fridge, and now in my freezer, thanks to a 4 for $5 deal.

I haven’t completely stopped shopping at Whole Paycheck.  I still go there for the following items, most of which are found in the bulk bins:

  • raw, unsalted almonds
  • raw, unsalted peanuts
  • raw, unsalted walnuts
  • coffee:  their $4 dark roast makes my day!
  • quinoa
  • any flours that I need in small quantities for a specific recipe, like whole wheat pastry flour.
  • fish.  I really prefer their selection as they always have more to offer in terms of fresh fish not previously frozen fish.
  • random things like truffle oil/salt that most stores don’t offer

Im not gonna lie, I sometimes get distracted and end up with a two, three, maybe 12 other things 😉  But overall, I am saving money which is saving me.  I want to see if I can become more frugal, heading to the store prepared knowing what is on sale ahead of time.  They say planning ahead saves your waistline as well as time and money and I am all about that!





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