What a Couple in Tennessee Spends on a Week’s Worth of Groceries – Grocery Diary

Title: Nikki
Location: Harriman, TN 
Variety of folks within the family: 3
Age: 34, 35, and a couple of years
Occupation: I’m a chemist and my husband, David, is an EMT.
The place you shopped: Dealer Joe’s, Sam’s Membership (as soon as a month), and Walmart
Quantity spent: $263.17
Dietary necessities: David is allergic to shellfish and might’t eat fried meals or pasta. For household meals we keep away from these issues, however apart from that we’ll attempt something as soon as!

This week we shopped at Sam’s Membership and Dealer Joe’s. We don’t store at these shops usually as a result of they’re too far to be handy (plus we are likely to make extra impulse purchases than we’d like at each locations). These shops will put us over our weekly finances, however many groceries we purchase will final for about two months. We even have plenty of stuff at residence we are able to burn up, so I’m hoping to steadiness out the finances through the use of up these objects. I additionally make a mid-week run to Walmart to choose up a number of further objects for an impromptu taco evening.

What’s your grocery technique?

I’ve tried every kind of methods: procuring at a number of shops to chase gross sales, going to at least one retailer as soon as per week, and procuring as soon as a month and making a bunch of freezer meals forward of time. I’ve discovered that it’s greatest to remain versatile and do what works for us within the second.

We wish to maintain a great stockpile of family staples, together with low-carb tortillas (my daughter, Cleo, likes cheese tacos and tons of leftovers could be made into tacos!), some sort of fruit, bologna, cheese (I purchase blocks and reduce it into cubes or sticks for Cleo and shred it myself for different meals), eggs, canned and frozen veggies, and many sauces and seasonings. I get aggravated by all of the sauces we now have within the fridge, however they’re so useful once we’re throwing one thing collectively.

We even have a deep freezer crammed with beef (we acquired half a cow final month so we aren’t shopping for beef proper now). Beef is our favourite protein and it was cheaper by the pound to get it in bulk. We additionally love supporting an area farmer (and it tastes so significantly better!).

I don’t typically store gross sales or use coupons until I’m in a rut and want concepts, as a result of I often find yourself shopping for issues we don’t want and spending an excessive amount of cash. I am going by way of our freezers, fridge, and pantry earlier than making a grocery checklist every week to see if I’ve substances that should be used up or I need to incorporate into the week’s meals. 

Throughout weeks we’re attempting to save cash, we wish to make what we name a “put collectively meal,” which doesn’t contain a lot planning and makes use of no matter we now have round that day. It’s enjoyable and a bit adventurous and has resulted in some actually tasty dinners! Not too long ago, I made fried rice; David is a wizard with marinades and the sluggish cooker. 

Thursday: Leftovers, Dealer Joe’s Rooster Tikka Masala, and Extra

I’m out of the home at 4:15 a.m. on workdays, so I take breakfast, lunch, and snacks with me to eat all through the day. Immediately I’ve cereal, leftover enchiladas that I meal prepped, some freeze-dried fruit, and pudding. I largely drink water flavored with drink packets all through the day. It’s extraordinarily uncommon that I am going out for lunch whereas at work (often, I’ll be a part of if all my coworkers are going out as a bunch).

David takes the remainder of the leftovers we now have, together with some enchiladas, tacos, and beef fried rice. He’s working a 48-hour shift and it will account for many of his meals throughout that point. Immediately he has Subway ($12) for lunch as a result of he’s on a name. 

After work, I choose Cleo up from daycare and we go to the park for a short while to get some sunshine and to keep away from going by way of the drive-thru! After we get residence, Cleo has ravioli, taco bites, corn, and oranges and I’ve a Dealer Joe’s frozen meal that I supposed to take to work for lunch till I understand I’d must warmth it for seven minutes within the microwave. I don’t need occupy the workplace microwave for that lengthy, so I eat it for dinner at residence as a substitute. Cleo asks for an applesauce, bologna, cheese, and to share a donut with me. I suppose the sunshine made her hungry!

Friday: Freezer Pancakes, Turkey Meatballs, and Do-it-yourself Zucchini Bread

We’re up and out early to beat the visitors and crowds and benefit from a great toddler temper! Breakfast is freezer pancakes for Cleo and a few bologna and cheese. She would most likely eat bologna six occasions a day if we let her. She additionally has what she calls her “espresso, ” which is milk with a splash of chocolate milk (it makes her really feel like a giant lady to have espresso like Daddy does). I eat the pancakes and cheese Cleo decides she doesn’t need. David makes venison tenderloin biscuits at work with venison and biscuits he takes from residence. 

Cleo and I head to Sam’s Membership after which Dealer Joe’s the place we discover every little thing on our checklist, plus loads of different objects (there’s positively a motive I am going there sometimes). On the way in which residence we share some hen nuggets and fries ($8.95) — at all times a great post-shopping snack! As soon as we’re residence we now have the pear that Cleo picked out at the moment. 

Whereas she naps I do some laundry, dry out some past-its-prime bread within the oven to make breadcrumbs, and take a look at a few of the little peppers we purchased with ranch dip. They’re actually good and I’m hoping it will likely be a brand new veggie for Cleo — she likes to dip issues in ranch. 

When Cleo wakes up we make zucchini bread. Baking is one in every of our favourite actions to do collectively and we bake one thing virtually each weekend. It’s enjoyable for each of us, academic for Cleo, and a cheap strategy to have a freshly baked merchandise all week. It’s additionally one thing we are able to share with family and friends in the event that they occur to cease by. 

I additionally make turkey meatballs to have with some pasta for dinner, after which freeze the remainder of the turkey I purchased earlier at the moment. I take advantage of my breadcrumbs within the meatballs and a few Parmesan cheese we now have within the fridge. It isn’t my favourite meal — I maintain including Italian seasoning to issues I feel I ought to, regardless of disliking basil — but it surely makes for good leftovers for David. Cleo elected to have one of many items of dry bread I made breadcrumbs from and naturally eats the whole factor regardless that she barely touches her dinner. David remains to be at work and nonetheless working his method by way of leftovers. 

Earlier than mattress Cleo and I share a slice of zucchini bread. I didn’t eat a lot of my dinner or the bread, and I’ve a few of the Syrah-soaked cheese with crackers. It’s our favourite cheese to snack on!

Saturday: Do-it-yourself Pizza and Takeout

I make smoothies with frozen blueberries (as a substitute of the pancakes I initially deliberate) and check out the breakfast sausage I acquired with Cleo. She loves it and in addition publicizes that the smoothie is her favourite! We have been going to have pizza for dinner, however David is working once more at the moment (happening 72 hours now), so I get it began for lunch as a substitute. The pizza shouldn’t be the prettiest factor I’ve ever made, but it surely’s so good and Cleo actually likes it too! 

Our electrical energy goes off for a number of hours within the late afternoon/early night and David lastly will get to depart work, so he brings us Taco Bell ($14.76). We had issues we may eat with out cooking them, however I didn’t need to open the fridge.

Sunday: Leftover Pizza, Snacks, and Dinner Out

Cleo spent the evening at her grandparents’ due to the ability outage, and she or he has eggs, fruit, and a Little Debbie cake whereas she’s there. David has a slice of leftover pizza and I’ve a few of the breakfast sausage. 

For lunch we now have pizza and apples, and Cleo has a cheese taco and apples. I attempt a few of the candy tea I made with Splenda as a substitute of sugar (don’t @ me, fellow Southerners!). Milo’s is without doubt one of the teas we like most and I’m attempting to determine recreate it at residence — it’ll save us cash and I could make it at any time when we run out. The primary try was under no circumstances profitable, however this one is rather a lot higher. 

We take Cleo for spring photos at the moment; afterwards we exit for an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant ($25). As a result of we now have such an early lunch and dinner, Cleo snacks for the remainder of the day: an orange at a buddy’s home, then an orange and applesauce and cheese taco at residence. Fruit is without doubt one of the issues she is going to at all times eat so I wish to maintain a spread available on a regular basis.

Monday: Zucchini Bread, Dealer Joe’s Vegetable Biryani, and a Cheeseburger on the Baseball Recreation

David and I each work at the moment; I’ve zucchini bread, yogurt, pretzels, dried fruit, an apple, and a freezer meal all through the day. David has tuna and crackers and goes out to the identical Mexican restaurant for dinner once more along with his companion at work ($8). Cleo goes to daycare and I choose her up once I get off work and take her to observe her cousin’s softball recreation. Now we have some pretzels, juice, and raisins for a snack. She additionally will get some chips and sweet from her aunt and uncle. (She’s going residence with them to spend the evening in order that’s simply high-quality with me!) I used to be going to eat leftovers once I acquired residence, however I’m fairly hungry so I get a cheeseburger and chips whereas watching the sport ($4). 

Tuesday: Leftovers and Fish Tacos

I pack an analogous breakfast (yogurt and zucchini bread, this time with some peanut butter) and snacks (pretzels, apples, tortillas, and chickens strips) as yesterday, and I’ve my leftovers from Sunday’s dinner out on the Mexican restaurant as a substitute of a freezer meal. I’m at all times looking by way of the fridge and attempting to eat the oldest issues first. Normally I’m not excellent at consuming leftovers, however previously couple months I’ve dedicated to it and am doing higher.

David and Cleo are at residence at the moment; Cleo has a cheese taco, goldfish, and applesauce whereas David has leftover meatballs. He went fishing on Sunday after the picture session and caught three rainbow trout, so we modify up our plan and have fish tacos for dinner. I cease by Walmart to get some further objects, together with a number of that may develop into toppings for the tacos. After Cleo goes to mattress, I’ve a cheese plate and get began with a hen marinade for tomorrow’s dinner. 

Wednesday: Extra Leftovers and Marinated Rooster Thighs

I pack an analogous breakfast to what I’ve been having the final two days (yogurt and zucchini bread with peanut butter), and a few of Cleo’s taco bites. I typically pack a few of her leftovers and steadiness them out with a bit with veggies or one other nutritious facet. Immediately I pack the chipotle bitter cream, mango pineapple salsa, and cilantro slaw I made for the trout tacos, which works contemplating we ate all the trout. 

David and Cleo have eggs for breakfast, and in any other case snack all through the day and eat leftovers. For dinner, we now have the marinated hen thighs with a number of sides, every little thing cooked by David. One of many issues that appears to work for us is for me to prep one thing the evening earlier than after which, on days he’s residence, David begins cooking once I go away work. 

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Mara Weinraub

Way of life Editor, Groceries

Mara is the Groceries Editor at Kitchn. She’s fascinated with how we eat and what it says about our society. She lives in New York Metropolis the place she shares a minimal of three peanut butter jars in her house always.

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