Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Traumatized By Grocery Shopping

Last week the hubby and I were up by the military base so we decided to hit up the base commissary for some groceries.  Now we used to do this each week, religiously, especially when we had a house full of kids.  It was pretty routine to go to the commissary each week, go to some grocery stores in town and pick up a bunch of loss leaders, then make a Costco run once a month as well.  Needless to say we ended up with a lot of food and some pretty big grocery shopping bills but we figured that the money was well spent as it went to keep us and kids fed plus gave us extra groceries to stockpile in case of emergency.  Oddly enough we never really paid attention to how much we actually spent on groceries and since, at the time, we often ate out a lot too, we ended up throwing out quite a few items in the fridge each week that had morphed into balls of green slime.  Yikes.
Fast forward to last week.  I'm not sure what come over us--besides the really good prices on most grocery items at the commissary--but we started filling our basket with all kinds of canned food, produce, meat, and other things that looked tasty.  Unfortunately when we got through the check out line, we ended up with a bill for $117.30!!!  We haven't shopped like this in over a year!  I guess we got kind of carried away with the fact that we now have an actual home and an actual kitchen and we immediately reverted back to our old ways.  Bad idea.
We were both still reeling from the shock when we got home and put away all of the groceries and we decided then and there that we would never grocery shop like that again.  Over the past year we have learned to shop for only the items we will be cooking during the next few days.  No stockpiling, no taking advantage of low prices and buying a case of a product when we only need one or two cans.  And you know what?  This method has saved us a lot of money.  It has allowed us to cut down on the amount of food that we waste as well as made us use up all of the perishable items we bought instead of using a bit of this item and bit of that item and leaving the rest to moulder away in the veggie bin.  Most importantly, we aren't buying all kinds of things that we will never use and eventually end up giving away to the food bank or throwing away because the item has reached it expiration date.
It may seem wasteful to some people not to buy in bulk but we have found that for just the two of us, buying a minimum amount of groceries at a time is the best way for us to shop and allows us to save a lot of money too!


  1. I went shopping yesterday, and I also spent way more than I planned.

  2. I shopped like you did in the past, but now only buy what we need for two weeks (and staples like flour, oil, sugar and so forth). It's the only way I can stay within our food budget. We also have almost no wasted food these days.

    Haven't been to a commissary in nearly 20 years (husband is retired navy, but no commissary nearby). My favorite commissary story though is we had a (civilian) neighbor back in the day who thought we shopped the commissary for free as one of our military benefits - just went in once a week and filled our car with whatever. Yeah, right.

  3. I needc to do that also, but just can't get my head wrapped around it.....


  4. Its harder now because prices have gone up so much also.

  5. I stock up on certain things mainly because I absolutely hate grocery shopping. I buy mostly frozen veggies because the fresh kind go bad too fast. The prices are about the same and I don't have to prep them (I hate cooking too). When the Steamfresh varieties are on sale, I stock up! Dog food, cat food and kitty litter are big expenses so now I get the big bags which are cheaper in the long run.