First of all, I’d like to say a big thank you for all the encouraging comments I’ve already seen in regards to last night’s post about Harlie. As my mom reminded me today, “The Lord has walked with her so far, and the Lord will walk with her the rest of the way.” If you are praying for Harlie, whether I know you in real life or not, thank you being there for my family!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve discovered that the most economical way for us to eat is to do a huge once-a-month shopping trip*. When I did my trip in February, I decided to take cell phone pictures throughout the process in preparations for a blog post. It seemed like more fun and less work that way. (It was later in the afternoon on the same day that I found out that Harlie was sick, which is why I’ve been delayed in making this post.)
*I do shop about once a week for milk and produce, so I cannot say that I truly shop only once-a-month. I also take a separate shopping trip to Wal-Mart once a month for non-food items that we need,but that is more of a fun trip whereas the grocery trip is more stressful!
So, it’s come to this. I’m posting about grocery shopping.
If you have the same love-hate relationship with grocery shopping that I do, I would like to encourage you to write your own blog post about your grocery shopping process.
Who knows, maybe we could start a grocery shopping revolution!
Whatever that means.
Anyway, I prefer to do my grocery shopping on a Tuesday or Thursday morning. Tuesday or Thursday because Ava is at preschool then, and although she is not that bad of a child in public, my general rule is shopping with 2 is much easier than shopping with 3. I prefer the morning because A) the boys nap in the afternoon and B) weekday mornings are, in my experience, the least crowded times at the grocery store.
Before I can even go on my grocery trip, I first have to make a menu. I don’t necessarily plan on what day we will eat what meal, I just simply make a list of about 10 meals that I will prepare throughout the month. (That doesn’t sound like much, but all of my meals generate enough leftovers for at least one more meal. Between leftovers, occasional eating out, and a few quick meals like spaghetti, ten meals works out just fine to last us a month.)
After I make a menu, I make a grocery list including a list of general groceries that we need (milk, eggs, bread, cereal, etc.) as well as the ingredients that we lack for each meal. This system drives Josh crazy, because he prefers his list to have items together that can be found near each other in the store. But I like my system, because if I find myself running low on money or time, I can easily eliminate all the items I need for one meal from the list. Makes perfect sense to me.
OK, so now we’re at Wal-Mart! I generally wear Egan in the wrap on my big grocery trip as it frees up valuable cart space and he’s more likely to stay happy the whole time. My rule for Izzy is that he can ride in the cart until we get to the “cold stuff.” From that point on he has to walk as the cart is getting too full for him!
I also usually let Izzy eat while he’s riding in the cart! He is pictured above eating pretzels out of the pumpkin shaped container that lives in the diaper bag. If it’s closer to a meal time, I will get Izzy a Happy Meal from the McDonalds at the front of Wal-Mart and hand him chicken nuggets one at a time. I have even, in a pinch, fed three children dinner in that fashion while shopping!
Here is Izzy getting out to walk in the cold section!
Since it is pretty much always lunch time when I finish my shopping, I often will pick up a sub sandwich at the deli for my lunch. If I don’t feed Izzy lunch while I’m shopping, I will sometimes let him pick out a Lunchable for his lunch. When we get home, I can open it up for him, and he can eat lunch while I put the cold groceries away.
Here is my cart ready for check-out! I know it looks really full, but I want to say that it worked out this time where I didn’t have to buy quite as much as usual. Anyway, either way, it’s pretty full!
Izzy loves looking at the little toys that they have at the check-out line. And they’re always way overpriced. Well. Played. Wal-Mart. So I don’t usually give in and buy him anything, but if he’s been especially good, I might just get him a peanut butter cup and surprise him with it in the car.
I think this was a particularly long wait for check-out, so I had to play Bounce the Egan to keep someone entertained!
After making small talk with the cashier about how many groceries I’m buying, and after pushing a very heavy cart uphill (ALWAYS uphill, no matter what Wal-Mart you go to – has anyone else noticed that???), we are back where we started!
And all of this has to go into the car!
Ta-da! I love how Izzy’s shirt matches my reusable bags.
And this is what Egan thinks of that process!
Now, aren’t you glad that I clued you in on that part of my life?