After I make (Or print out from an online menu site) my menu and shopping list, I head 30 miles away to a discount grocery store called Grocery Outlet. There they sell items like milk, eggs, cheese, bread, tortillas, coffee, juice, rice, beans, olive oil, spices, broths, condiments, and more for less then regular grocery stores. If I got everything that we need there, I would spend way less then we do. But I can’t buy everything there, as I have to get most of our groceries organic/natural due to allergies. I get as much as I can there on my list, this usually includes oil, cheese, sometimes coffee, depending on what they have, a few spices, condiments, spaghetti sauces, and broths. I buy a case of both beef and chicken a month, yes I know I should make my own.. but I don’t.
From there I head to the nearby Fred Meyer, where there is a health food section. This is where I get our organic milk, eggs, whole grain flour, organic sugar, vanilla, and bulks foods like natural m and m’s, craisins, yogurt covered raisins, granola and such. I also buy pasta here.
From there I head home, where I buy our meat. I shop for meat locally because we are friends with the butcher, and I know that the meat is fresher, and better quality. He will also alert me to any good deals, and on more then one occasion, I have found a meat I just asked about and discovered costs too much, suddenly in the reduced section. Make friends with your local grocers and make sure they know you have a lot of mouths to feed. It doesn’t hurt!
I plan meals that are flavorful, don’t take a lot of preparation or cooking time (one reason I love the menufortheweek, the meals taste great, even the ones that sound funny, take little prep time, short cooking times, usually 30 minutes start to finish) this way I am in and out of the kitchen, most are easy enough the kids can help with, or even do most of the prepping and cooking. When kids help cook a meal they are more likely to eat it! Look for one more post on this tomorrow!