Monday, March 14, 2011

The Great Grocery Crunch Week 2

Groceries Week 2



This past Saturday I KNEW I was over when I went shopping. Actually, it was a lot less over than I thought it would be, which was a bit of a relief. I didn't get a really great picture this time-I guess I need to stand farther up on a chair and angle the camera more.

Most ouch worthy item was that large can of Nabob coffee. Just six months ago the same can of coffee was about $11, and now it's $16. I actually went home to Hubs and told him that either we need to change brands (sorry Nabob), or re-think how much coffee we drink. His reply? He'll drink less, but there's no way I'm changing the brand of coffee until it hits $20 a can. Now that's loyalty! On the other hand, this week there was lactose free milk! Yay!

I couldn't find the Green Works toilet bowl cleaner I like. Darn. Just wasn't any on the shelves at all. But then again, a small container of Tide was only $5.99 (from the usual $9.99), and chicken was super cheap at about $8 for a pack of 3 big bone-in chicken breasts.

You probably noticed the wine and cigarettes in there. The wine was for something I made for dinner this week-I rarely buy wine, but once in awhile I enjoy it to cook with. Painted Turtle is a cheaper wine at $10, and sometimes I drink the remainder, or I freeze it and use it in other dishes. The cigarettes are for Hubs. Before you leave me a long winded comment about the evils of smoking, just know that my husband has smoked since he was 13, he's now 60, and it's not a deal breaker for me. I am not going to make him quit or threaten divorce if he doesn't. They are his lungs and as long as I don't have to smell it, I'm happy. Please don't offer me advice on how to get him to quit-believe me, he's tried them ALL.

You might have also noticed the Annie's boxed macaroni and cheese. Ooo....why am I buying THAT? Well, you may have noticed that I'm on my way to the Kraft Kitchens over spring break, and what better way to check out food than to sample some of the competition?

The verdict: I still hate boxed macaroni and cheese. Annie's has a much smaller serving, and it doesn't taste as artificial. Kraft Dinner has less sodium, but contains tartrazine. (which is a deal breaker for me)

I loved finding Natural Olympic Yogurts on sale for $4.99, Rolled Oats "from the Canadian Prairies", and a LOCAL cuke from Roosendal Farms. I can't wait until they have tomatoes!

There were a few ouch worth items this week. One was the Splenda brown sugar, which at $7.69 for 454g, which always makes me cringe. That stuff is so that Hubs can eat his favorite cookies, but yikes! The other was 1 lb of dried chick peas, which cost me $5.69. That seemed like a lot, but they were the only ones in town I could find and I really wanted to try cooking beans from dried, so I took the plunge. I blame Katie over at The Muffin Myth and her enthusiasm as soon as I tweeted my plan to start cooking dried beans instead of using canned.

I'm finding that this highlights a dilemma; my reason for switching to dried beans is to curb our sodium intake, but the beans feel more expensive to begin with. I do know that they swell and that single pound of beans will end up yielding far more than it looks, but right now? Ouch. And even with tomatoes-do I go for the cans from Italy (totally not environmentally friendly) with zero salt, or the ones produced in Canada, with piles of salt in them, and cheaper? I chose the Italian tomatoes.

In a perfect world, all the food would be environmentally friendly, sustainable, and healthy. Reality is that you can't always have it all. Take Raincoast tuna and salmon, for instance. I thought about buying some but when I saw the prices, which are between $5-7 for a can of salmon or tuna, I almost fell over. Sure, they received a passing grade from Green Peace for sustainable fishing practices, it's local, and their salmon is delicious, but who can pay $6 for a can of tuna, when you can buy Clover Leaf for $1.50 and the only reason THEY failed is that they didn't answer the survey?

*sigh* It's a dilemma. I want it all, all the time. And the more I shop, the more I find I can't always have it and so I choose the healthiest at the best price, and after that decide on sustainable and environmentally friendly. In other words, it becomes a game of what I'm willing to compromise on, and what I'm not. Sometimes that means I buy the cheaper vs the organic item, which bothers me when I sit and really think about it..

What about those whose only deciding factor is price? Shopping is frustrating, and I admit, with the challenge it's taking me a lot longer because I scrutinize everything.

What am I cooking up this week?

-chocolate chocolate chip cookies
-Meyer lemon curd (I finally made it on the weekend)...maybe in tarts?
-cheese and chive biscuits
-home made spaghetti sauce and burritoes (both from that ground beef I bought last week, in the freezer for lunches)
-pasta and clam sauce
- home made pizza (it's a good way to use up leftover veggies. I'm going to make my own sauce from the canned tomatoes I bought, since I can't afford fresh at $3.00/lb)
-Chicken, Chorizo, and Chick Pea skillet
-lots of chopped salad
-home made dressings, with balsamic and olive oil
-cobb salad w/ leftover turkey bacon, hard boiled eggs, etc. Not totally sure on that one.

Non food shopping:
plastic scrubby things: $ 1.49
freezer bags: $2.48
clothing detergent: $5.99
toothpaste: $2.49
gum: $6.44
cigarettes: $18.58

HST (12%): $4.50

Total Non food: $41.97

Food: $179.39

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