Friday, February 20, 2015

Don't Attack My Wallet

Like many women in my age range, I have developed good shopping skills.  I have a sense of what an item's worth is to me and refuse to pay more than the predetermined price.  Looking for a while is not a problem.

Groceries are no different.  Even though we see prices rising steadily, and my predetermined price has to be altered, I won't go over my personal pre set cost.  As an example:  mayonnaise in my area sells for very close to $5.00 a jar.  To me that's highway robbery.  I won't buy it.  To complicate matters, this is one of the couple of items I use that is brand specific.  I'll go without if need be.  I suppose it's a matter of pride.  I'm not sure, I only know I will not buy it at that price.

Last year cream of mushroom soup was $1.29 to $1.59 a can in my area.  I only bought four cans the whole year with a coupon and sale.  I started making my own creamed soups when mushrooms went on sale.  I not only got enough soup for a casserole, there was enough for a side and the stems were dried and crushed to make mushroom powder.  Now all I use is my home made soup.  Don't mess with my generation.  We don't like it.  Especially when you attack what's in our wallets.

I will, however, allocate money in my budget for good meat and dairy products.  Meat comes from a butcher shop.  The smell in the shop could be more alluring, but I recognize the smell as healthy meats.  Most of the time I get my proteins from dairy or nut sources, but about twice a month I eat meat.  Chicken is no longer tolerable as that was the main meat served when my husband was with me for dietary reasons.  One day I looked at the chicken on the plate and said, 'No more'.  I will eat it in a chicken salad sandwich with celery and my favorite mayonnaise, but that's about it.  No more pot pies or chicken and biscuits.  I recently tried the pot pie thing.  Yuk!

The meat I  purchased is to make a pot of red sauce - hamburg for meatballs, pork to flavor the sauce.  That sort of thing.  I will also buy one steak and divide it into 3 meals and freeze them.  It's only been recently that I figured out what to buy to   reduce waste.  It's taken four years to train not to purchase waste.  It's not as easy as you would think to change and - most importantly - hit the target.

Another important item to me is dairy products.  So much can happen to dairy products from the animal to the table that I made a conscious decision to eat less and eat only those things without hormones or additives.  The taste is what I remembered as a child, but the price is quite a bit higher.  So I eat less in a portion than I did before.  The funny thing is, I feel more full than when I ate twice as much of the regular store bought foods.  Who knew?

I'm not advocating that you change out what you are currently doing, or to blow your budget.  My goal is to inform you so when the time comes that you can make adjustments, you'll have a starting point.  No one knows about feeding a large family like I do.  Some things are beyond the ability to institute just now.  Just keep in mind what the changes I've made are so when you want to step forward you'll know where to begin.   Balancing budget and good eats.

The soft boiled egg I was after didn't quite work out.  So I turned it into
an egg on toast rather than an egg I could dip into with the toast.  A
bit of salt and pepper and it was yummy.


  1. Mushroom soup in cans is rather unknown here. I have never seen it in our shops (Maybe in next town) I use to buy a packet of fresh brown mushrooms and I use one half on a pizza and the other half for a sauce with noodles or mashed potatoes.
    A soft boiled egg is always something delicious. We like it with potatoes and spinach.

    1. I had no idea how horrible canned soup was until I started making my own. A soft boiled egg with spinach sounds good. I have some spinach in the freezer from the garden. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Recent health issues have had the disheartening side effect of paying more at the grocery store for things like canned, creamed soups, easy-to-prepare (meaning my guys can cook it) foods, and some specialty items required for my current dietary restrictions. Also, because I do have a household of guys and one of them is diabetic, we can't really use meat as a just a flavoring... it's a key part of two meals per day. I get a lot of veggies for free from my neighbor who at 94 still volunteers at both the Food Bank and Farmer's Market; I use that and sales on meats, dairy and starches to feed them and us. Eggs are now $4.99 a dozen for the "regular" large, white eggs in our stores. I'm just buying free range w/o antibiotics for the same price. Total cost for groceries last week was a whopping $130. Eek!! Went to Dollar Tree yesterday for some canned goods, broth and such.