Tuesday, March 04, 2014

How We Do - Groceries


That word makes me cringe.  It means that I have to think and go and spend.  A lot.

We shop in three major places to keep our family stocked with foodstuffs.
(Edit: Okay, apparently we shop in 5 regular places.  I just had to write it all out to realize it.)

1.  The bulk of our shopping happens at Costco.  We have seven mouths to feed, so I don't have the energy or patience to be going to typical grocery stores every week to pay more for less.  I go to Costco twice a month (and if I had the pantry space, I'd go less!) to stock up on what I consider our basic Costco list.  I also stock up extra on anything that happens to be on sale.

Affectionately dubbed 'the dining room pantry', this wonderful little cabinet stores about half our dry groceries.  It's deep shelves allow for several rows of items and the space between the shelves gives us plenty of room to stack things up.  As you can see, we're a happy hodge-podge of organic and, well, not. 
And I'm just gonna go ahead and confess, I prefer to do Costco with my husband with me, but that's not how our lives work out.  So, I load up the kids and we go around lunch time.  We wander about the store and the kids eat from all the samples being handed out.  This is how I know my oldest child really likes sardines.

I. Can't. Even.

If they aren't full after all the samples, we grab a bit of pizza at the in-house restaurant after we check out.  It's not an easy outing, but it's always fun!

2.  Another place that gets a portion of our grocery budget is Publix - it's really close and convenient, plus they run some pretty good buy one, get one deals.  I keep an eye on Southern Savers for a listing of sales (I LOVE this site and the added simplicity it lends my life!)

3.  Right next to Publix is an Aldi.  Now, I'm leary of Aldi, if the truth is to be told.  But I do purchase some of our produce there and all of our paper products.  We have saved a bundle this past year on toilet paper and facial tissue, thanks to Aldi.  So, I guess they should get a shout out, for anyone who has one close and is trying to care for their family on a budget.

4. Finally, we are a part of a food co-op here in Huntsville.  We *could* order just about all of our groceries through them (many of the vendors we purchase from are also vendors for Earth Fare and Whole Foods, so we're getting excellent products).  However, even at wholesale, I can't stretch our dollars enough for us to eat all organic.  I'd love to, but we do the best we can with what we have.

We purchase cheese, maple syrup, bulk dry items (which we store in 5 gallon buckets that float around my kitchen, much to my chagrin), a fair amount of produce, and a variety of other things.  It's an excellent resource that we don't utilize to the fullest, but we are thankful to have at our disposal.

Once upon a time, I kept the buckets in the laundry room... I don't know at what point I gave up.  We are in and out of these buckets regularly and now they just live in my kitchen.
At least they make great places to sit... 

5.  Another major factor in how we purchase our foods is that we buy all our pork and all our beef from local farmers.  We purchase half a cow per year and half a pig per year.  The animals are grass fed and cared for by families who believe that what you put in your body matter.  We've been purchasing our meat like this for several years now (most of our kids lives!) and love the freedom of knowing we have good meat and lots of it in our chest freezer. 

We will not speak of how this picture makes me twitch.  There's no way to even pretend there's a clean spot in our garage.
There's also no way to park a car in there.   

I'm not a great cook nor am I an adventurous person when it comes to food.  That being said, I keep a list of the recipes we love the very most (I have different lists for warm weather and cold weather) posted inside one of my cabinets.  At all times, I have the ingredients to make any of the items on this list.  It's just the way I plan and shop.  It works for us.  If I run across a new recipe I want to make, it usually requires a special trip to the store, and that's okay.  (Frankly, that doesn't happen very often.)

This list includes a handful of ideas for breakfast and lunch, since the kids are largely responsible for making those two meals (that's a great post for another day!).

This is about as close as it gets to meal planning around here.  Meal planning is a great idea and one I ascribed to until the fifth child.  After that, Streamlined Survival became a motto around here

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1 comment:

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

I covet your pork. Which sounds worse than I mean it to be.