For the past few months, Chris has been taking a lunch into work. This saves us tons of moolah, and has helped him to drop almost 40 pounds. About a month ago, we began shopping at winco, and noticed that their prices were significantly cheaper than most grocery stores, especially for the lactose free milk that our kids and I need. We are also just $2,000 away from paying off the car. We've had a 'murphy' moment pop up every week or so, which has been melting our debt snowball, but so far we've been able to pay for all issues in cash. I've become a little insanely OCD though, in an attempt to control life and keep murphy at a safe distance.
Grocery shopping is only once a week. I don't go into a grocery store unless it is grocery day. I used to run up to winegars if we ran out of something, but not anymore. I just have to make something else, and get really creative. We set Thursday as grocery day...the last 2 weeks, Thursdays haven't worked well, and my Fridays are a total mess, and I'm really irritable, because my routine has been thrown off.
One of my favorite winco things, is that I get to bag my own groceries. So when I'm unloading them out of the cart, I do so with the process of how they will be grouped at home. First I do produce, then dairy, then frozen, then pantry items. I can then bag them and make sure they end up in that same way. See, no matter how many times I have placed items together on the belt in Walmart, they ALWAYS MIX MY STUFF UP. And then putting groceries away takes AGES. Now, I can get home and put the fridge and freezer stuff away all at once, and have no fear of stuff melting or getting warm that is supposed to stay cool. Also, I can leave out the things on the counter that need to be bagged up for lunches. Ah yes, here comes my favorite part.
Once the groceries are put away. I get out my cutting board and knife, and ziplocks. I wash and slice up the celery, and bag it. Then, I measure out the fruits, bag it. measure out the snacks (cheez-its and chips and/or cookies) by serving suggestion for 100-150 calories and bag those. This has got to be my new favorite routine. Why? Because, I'm not a morning person. So, when Chris is gearing up to head out the door at 7:45am, and I'm fumbling in my morning stupor, minimal thought and coordination is required. I only need to unzip the lunchbox and then start grabbing various Ziplocs and whole fruits. Apple--check. Celery baggie-Check. Carrot baggie--check. snack baggie--check. The hardest part of the morning is shoving salad or a sandwich into a bag and zipping the lunch box back up. LOVE! <3 It's the best way to ensure that Chris gets a healthy lunch that will keep his mind going. It's also nice for me and Ava during the day. If she wants a snack, I have the snack bags sized out for her. This ensures she eats something (because all 3 years like it better out of a baggie) and keeps the mess situation minimal if it gets dumped. It keeps me from consuming an entire package of chips or cookies or what have you. Chris has lost another 5 pounds since I started this new routine. AWESOME! I want to start adding almonds, but have no idea what a good deal for those are. Anyone?
I then--and here's where it enters crazy town--enter my receipt into a spreadsheet. Item, quantity, price. I do this for a few reasons. 1. I want to make sure that I'm paying attn to how much we're spending on things. 2. I want to make sure I'm still getting great deals week to week, since we are driving to Ogden to shop there. 3. The grocery list is FAR EASIER to do now. Instead of sitting with a pen in hand, and being roadblocked every 3 items as to what we need, I simply pull up the spreadsheet of groceries from the past trips, and write down what we had purchased, and the price of where it needs to be around to buy again. This has saved me from buying things that sit in the pantry for years (stuffing mix, etc) and getting things I know we all do love and eat. It's the craziest and yet smartest part of the whole deal. It also helps for me to really know why last 2 weeks were only $75 on groceries, but this week was $90. No guessing. I really can see and understand where I'm overspending.
So, last night, after a terrible,horrible, no good, very bad day full of Simon crying every moment he was awake....I really didn't want to go anywhere but a dark dark hole of silence. We did a family walk, and Chris put him to bed about 6:55. About 7:15, Ava and I decided we'd have some adventure time and we went to the store. It was fun. She really knows when I'm stressed and how to make me laugh. She probably already is too keenly aware that her mommy is crazy. She fell asleep on the way home, and Chris put her to bed. We then unpacked the car, and I took a whole 3 minutes putting things away. I then got to my OCD routine of washing, cut, bag. When I finished that, I felt so in charge of the night, that I cleaned the kitchen, living room, and finally boxed up the old clothes that have been on that 'to do' list the past 6 weeks. This morning, when Simon woke up at 5:45, it was nice to come down the stairs to a living room not cluttered with laundry and toys, walk onto my non-sticky kitchen floor, and open my fridge and know exactly where everything is. Too bad my OCD only strikes once a week.
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