Staying out of the Grocery Store Challenge: Week 2 (+ why this challenge came at the perfect time)

by Melody on August 13, 2012

For the month of August, I am trying something new.  We have been (and still are) super busy this summer and I feel like I have been in and out of the grocery store non-stop picking up things for this BBQ or that party or this get-together.  I have decided to do my best to stay OUT of the grocery stores for the entire month.  For all the details on this series, how I prepared and where I will be picking up the food we need, read my “Staying out of the Grocery Store Challenge Kick-Off”.

I had to run into Fred Meyer to scout out some prices for the Friends & Family Shopping Pass and since we had skipped our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up the previous week (we were in Oregon), I was dangerously low on produce.  I picked up a head of organic lettuce, bananas marked down at $.33/lb, a cucumber and cilantro.

We are so genuinely lucky to have a friend who gets us eggs.  She has a coworker who raises chickens and we pick them up at her work right up the street from our house for just $2/dozen!  My kids love to run around in the grass outside their office and lay in the puddles made by the sprinklers.  I also picked up a pound of Starbucks coffee with a gift card that I had been given.  I’m fairly certain the drive-thru was created by a parent of toddlers.

On Tuesday, we had our CSA pick-up.  It’s right on the way home when my husband gets off work, so he just swings in and picks it up which is so convenient.  One of the things I love most about our program is their flexibility.  Since we completely skipped the previous week, we were able to double up this week.  We got 2 heads of lettuce, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, melons and 2 enormous watermelons that we cut up for our son’s birthday party.  So convenient and so amazingly fresh.

My kids were hanging out with my mother in law for the morning while I cleaned our house to get ready to show, so while the realtor was here looking at it I decided to check out the Food Hub in Richland for the first time.  I am in love.  I was a little reluctant to take the kids because I just wasn’t sure what to expect, but they would have done fine.  I picked up milk and a few purple peppers and cucumbers, but they had SO much to choose from.  Local meats, chicken, eggs, produce, dairy, tons of organic packaged items.  They sell lunch some days and amazing-looking crepes on Wednesdays.  Super fun and I definitely recommend checking it out.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that our local milk we buy is the same price there as it is at Albertsons and Yoke’s.

We also supplemented our produce with a weekly box from Fresh Picks WA.  We had several appointments Thursday morning, so I just scheduled my pick-up right in the middle of them.  I didn’t even have to get the kids out of the car, just threw my amazing box of produce in the trunk while the kids ate lunch in their seats.  This will get us all the way through to the coming Thursday for fruit, as we do go through a lot.  Now I won’t have to run to the store!

Thoughts and observations

Even though I really only went to the grocery store once this week, we were still super busy each day.  I’m starting to think it’s not the grocery store that is the culprit, it’s just that we are so darn busy.  The great thing about the errands I ran this week was that I could squeeze them in with all the other things we had to do.  We didn’t have to make any huge shopping trips, we didn’t need to go to Costco for anything and the only thing I had to pick up for my son’s 4th birthday party was ice because we were so prepared.

Even though we were still super busy, I was very conscious of my buying decisions.  It’s especially tough for me, as I do weekly match ups for a few stores.  Seeing the deals can be hard to resist, but I just kept telling myself that there was nothing we NEEDED.  We ate well with basic dinners like spaghetti and meatballs, quesadillas, taco salad.  Just being creative and using what we have in the fridge or freezer is a time-saver.

This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time as we just sold our house this past weekend!  I’m going to do my best to not add to the clutter by picking up all the best deals that come along.  We will have enough to pack and enough to do without worrying about the stockpile shrinking.  One of the best parts about being a sort of coupon shopper is that my stockpile is more than enough to get us through a crazy month of packing and moving.

I’d love to hear if you’ve done something similar.  How do you stay out of the stores?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda August 14, 2012 at 5:40 am

Yeah for selling your house! If I recall correctly, it wasn’t on the market for long?
Now comes the fun adventure of moving…I always say that I will never move again because I hate packing and moving so much! Good luck!
After reading about still having errands to run this month and do a little shopping, I wonder if only needing a few items is the key to it being less stressful. You don’t have to go through the ad, make a list, clip your coupons, etc. (well…except when you’re doing your awesome matchups for us!)
I guess what I am saying is by already having your basic plans figured out you can just attend to your errands and activities without a lot of extra thought or planning.
Good for you for finding ways to make your summer more enjoyable with your family!


Anon August 14, 2012 at 8:07 am

Just wanted to know about the Food Hub in Richland. Is it an actually store or farmers market?
Thanks for all the great info!


Melody August 14, 2012 at 8:20 am

It is an actual brick and mortar store that sort of acts like a farmer’s market. They have fresh stuff for sale, but it is indoors and all sales go through the cashier, not the individual vendors or farmers. Does that make sense?


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