Saturday, November 18, 2006

Grocery Shopping

I'm still trying to work out this grocery-shopping thing.

My boyfriend and I did a round of shopping today—really the first full round since I moved in a month and a half ago, the first shopping that wasn't just, you know, pasta, chicken, a can of soup...i.e., the first round that was planned. We went reasonably far abroad to shop—our local grocery store, just downstairs, is really lacking (this is an unfortunate fact of living in a neighborhood in which we can afford the rent), especially where produce is concerned.

Overwhelmed by the presence of fresh produce, we spent $86. For not that much food (not even a week's worth of groceries, because of the whole Thanksgiving thing). I mean, it doesn't break my budget, but clearly I need to work on my grocery-shopping skills.

Reasonable, if unpredicted, factors accounting for the high cost:
1) We're still laying in staples, like flour, vanilla, spices, &c. We probably spent about $25 on just that stuff.
2) I bought enough ingredients to do a big batch of macaroni & cheese for freezing.

Things that are just errors:
1) Grabbing stuff not on the list. Avocadoes, Leibniz biscuits, bagels & cream cheese, three cans of the hard-to-find soup I used to eat as a kid...nowhere on the list. (But very tasty.)
2) Too much cheese. It's expensive! We bought feta for couscous salad, chevre for baby-spinach-walnut-cranberry-apple-deliciousness salad, mozzarella for burritos, and a brick of white cheddar for macaroni & cheese.
3) Really, we just do not have the means for fancy butter, no matter how immeasurably it improves sauces (which it does).

So I think for next time I'll be a little more careful in my planning, and set a modest goal of only spending $70. It'll be more food next time, but less pantry-stocking. So that's my benchmark.

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