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Assuaging the Grocery Guilt

By Julie Norman

So I went to the grocery store on my lunch break.  I wasn't in the mood to calculate costs or think about the 2 small trips I'd made in the past few days.  I just wanted to buy what I wanted and be on my way.  That's not really like me.  I normally love the grocery store.  Still, today just wasn't one of those days.

When I got to the register I was too busy bagging to pay attention to the ever-rising total.  Frankly, I was surprised (in a good way) when the cashier announced that I'd spent almost exactly $100.  ($100.36).  Since that is my typical weekly budget, I should have been happy.  But, like I said, there have been a few small trips in the past several days for things like milk and apples. Oh, and generic Diet "Lemon-Lime" canned sodas.  The BF takes them with his lunch and I am NOT paying $6 for the name brand, which is all Safeway has had lately.  So they end up in a separate trip on the way home from work.

Anyway, my point being that I needed to find someway to make myself feel better about the trip and the amount that I spent.  So I sat down with the receipt and started calculating how much I spent in various departments. 

Grocery:  around $47, close to HALF of the bill. (the only reason is because I had to buy almonds and, since we eat them every day, it's worth it to buy the cheapest per ounce container, which costs $17 but will last at least 2 weeks)  This is the area that also includes random canned goods, pasta, etc.  I also needed honey and mayonnaise today, neither of which is particularly cheap.

Produce: about $25.  That's right.  ONE QUARTER of the entire grocery bill was fresh produce.  That's something I'm not ashamed of.  At home right now we've got asparagus (on sale for .99/lb), apples, bananas, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms...all sorts of healthy, fresh produce.  I know I'll use it all up before my next shopping trip too!

Meat:  $4.46.  There was a grass-fed beef chuck roast in the clearance bin!

Fridge/Frozen: $17 - Our 2% Lactose-free milk was on sale so I bought 2 cartons. That way I'll have enough to make ice cream!

Last was just some general merchandise.  It's possible I could have saved some money by getting that stuff at a drug store, but that would require an extra trip.

In the end, I know I went home with very little processed food and lots of great things for us to eat.  I've got a menu planned out and uses for all those things that I bought so that nothing goes to waste.  And really, in the end, isn't that what we're aiming for?  Not buying more than we can use?  If that's the goal then I feel like my trip was a success.

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