Friday, 20 November 2009

Feeling better & the first grocery shop this month

I love to food shop. Honestly, it's one of my favourite things to do, although I know plenty of people who find it a huge chore. I imagine it's not so much the shopping as finding the time to do it when you have a family, but I love wandering the aisles and can spend quite a bit of time lost in my own little food world. I'm better now than I used to be, but still love to discover all the foods (and, I suppose, "food") that we North Americans have to choose from.

We are ridiculously, undeniably, utterly spoiled here, even here in the North where we sometimes don't get fresh produce because the trucks can't get through in winter and with some scary prices hovering around simple veggies. I remember a good friend of mine coming to visit me when I lived in Victoria. She was born and grew up in East Germany and I believe that her visit to me was the first time she'd been in a "normal" grocery store. She simply couldn't get over how much choice there was - of everything! Anything and everything you could possibly want and/or need under one roof and we weren't even in that large of a grocery store (relatively speaking, of course). And daily deliveries of produce, meat, flowers, baked goods, deli goods...

It can boggle the mind if you let it. I choose to not let it and am just trying now to live within my means for food, instead of just randomly buying stuff and then tossing it away because it doesn't get eaten. That still happens, unfortunately, but when it does it at least goes into the compost (which, I'm aware, is only marginally better than the garbage). A goal of mine is to cut this waste down even further.

Part of this goal is to start making menues for my meals (Hey! Great idea, Annie! How'd you come up with that one?), so that's what I did today before I went out shopping. I took my jar money ($140 bi-weekly), made a list from several cookbooks and wrote down everything that I needed. I spent $115.61 of my budget and should have enough meals to last me through to next payday.

That's what I bought at the top and this is how it breaks down:

Carrots: 2 - 0.62 (.260 kg @ $2.40kg)
Gala apples: $5.33 (1.215 kg @ $4.39kg) - not on my list
Lemons: 4 - $3.56 (.89 ea)
Red grapefruit: 4 - $7.16 ($1.79 ea) - not on my list
Red onion: $1.72 (.465 kg @ $3.70 kg)
Green onions: 3 - $2.17 (.79 ea)
Snow peas: $2.59
Broccoli: $2.29
Ginger root: .34 (.130 kg @ $2.62kg)
Yam: $1.50 (.625 kg @ $2.40 kg)

Bow tie pasta (x2) - $3.36
Linguine: $1.99
Orzo: $1.99
Eggs: $4.99 (PC large, free-run)
PC Macaroni & Cheese: (x2) $2.38 - not on my list
Feta cheese: $5.49
Macaroni & cheese (side dish): $4.29 - not on my list
Half & half: $1.48
Chicken broth: $1.18
Beef broth: $1.18

Steak: $5.39
Chicken: (x2) $10.73
Salmon: $15.76 (family size...and why is it Atlantic??!)

PC "Loads of" Peanut butter/chocolate ice cream: $5.99 (actually a very good price, although it's not on my list)
Toilet paper: $16.99 (30 dbl rolls)
Freezer bags: $3.99

Total: $115.61
Items not on list total: $25.15! Ouch...

That's not an inconsiderable "overbuy." I also bought stamps ($15.30), two bars of soap and some more Christmas cards ($14.14) at Shoppers Drug Mart, but that's the last of my Christmas card necessities. Now I just have to get them written up and sent off in the next week or so.

Despite the overspend on my grocery bill, I am pleased with what I bought. I don't buy ice cream every single time (think it's been a couple of months since I last had some), the grapefruit and apples looked very nice - and they're nice to have for snacks at work - and the mac 'n cheese...well, I just happen to REALLYREALLYREALLYREALLY like it. Again, not something I always buy, but easy and quick if you're home and feeling a bit rushed, cold and not wanting to break out all the pots and pans.

My flu seems to have moved on, which I'm eternally grateful for. It doesn't appear to have as been nearly as bad as some, but was certainly miserable enough. The last vestiges are on their way out and I'm back to sleeping through the night, which I'm pleased about. Now that I'm feeling better, I can concentrate on getting organized for Christmas - few presents again this year, but D has requested a camera so he can take and post photos of the mine. He doesn't want it fancy, but can you get anything that isn't even a little fancy these days? I'll set a limit for it and stick to it. It shouldn't be difficult. I asked for an iPod Nano, so I have something to listen to on my way to and from work. I currently have a Walkman MP3 player that I can't unload, so I've been listening to the same 100 songs for 3 1/2 years...


Canadian Saver said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE grocery shopping too! Lately I've just been going in for quick shops and grabbing sale items, but I like when I have more than 1 hour in the store to browse.

It's very interesting to see what you bought and the prices you have to pay up north...

That ice cream is making me drool :-)

Canadian Saver said...

PS glad you're feeling better!

Northern Living Allowance said...

Hi CS! Thanks, it's good to feel better :) If you haven't tried the PC ice-creams, I highly recommend them. They are quite delicious...I also think that next time I do a grocery shop, I'll head to SuperStore (I shopped at Extra Foods today) and see if there's a big price difference in some things.

Asian said...
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The Asian Pear said...

I love grocery shopping too. I have a special fondness of it from my youth. On a side note, I STILL can't get over the pricing up north. I guess I'm spoiled. I'm used to paying cheap cheap prices especially in oriental supermarkets where everything is further marked down because it's from asia. I'm used to paying broccoli for 79 cents and 3 green onions/$1. Anything else I think it's too pricey. O_O;