Girlfriend in Tacoma

Jun. 18, 2008 at 5:46pm

Ouch.

(at the grocery store, at the pump.)

A $277 grocery bill slapped me in the face a couple of days ago.  Being that we were at Fred Meyer and all, I have to admit that the order was not only groceries; there was a Baby Alive, a couple of keys, a bottle of Advil, dog food, and laundry detergent. Add to that the extra food needed for the sleep-over, and I guess I can almost explain away the sticker shock of that grocery bill, but then I kinda' go, puh-leeeze! There are only two of us!   And then the next day I remembered some forgotten items (there goes another $30 ) and then I grabbed a quick grab-&-go dinner on the way home from ballet, and there went another $20.(But it was healthy, anyway...)  --Add to that, the gas tank's empty, so I'll kiss g'bye nearly $50, there... 

So now I'm trying to think of ways to get creative about my gas and grocery bills. I can go to the Commissary once a month, and get things like dog food, laundry detergent, toilet paper, olive oil, coffee, cereal, meat, toiletries, and OTC meds.  But will my savings make up for time & gas?  Will getting organic produce and milk delivered offset my gas use?  And, being that our freezer's only wee, will I be able to store the purchased meats?

On that topic, knowing that the commissary has really really good prices on meat (even though The Kid's mostly a vegetarian, and I'm mostly not so big on meat, myself, mostly just chicken breast) --but is the meat complete hormone-infested crap?

Or is it worth getting meats from local sources, too?  (I had about the best salmon in my life, from the downtown farmer's market last year, and I know Cheryl Ouilette has good meats there, too...) --How do costs compare?  At what point should I not worry so much about cost, and go for quality?  Can I save enough doing the commissary for the main, storable stuff, so that it defrays gas costs and enables me to get better quality meat, produce, and dairy??  Maybe on COmmissary days, I also do Trader Joes days?  But then that becomes a huge time-suck, between all the traveling, shopping, loading and unloading...  Again, is it worth the time?

--really, it's a lot to think about, and it requires some lifestyle restructuring.  And trying to figure scheduling to coincide with when I run out of the stuff I just bought, as well as when I have money probably means I'll go back to being apathetic, and getting most of my groceries close to home, and then getting the rest further afield and in random spots (primarily, Fred Meyer, with the odd farmer's market and delivery bits thrown in for good measure...)


oh well...  it's something to think (and write) about...

comments [4]  |  posted under coping strategies, Home Ec 101, Tacoma

Comments

by izenmania on 6/18/2008 @ 6:31pm
In my limited experience (not having cooked it, but having eaten it), it seems like Dave's over on 21st is better, healthier but also pricier for a variety of meat products, over grocery stores. I can't speak for Commissary prices, of course.

by jenyum on 6/18/2008 @ 6:42pm
I don't buy my meat there, but Saar's is good for just about everything else. Far lower prices on produce than any of the other chain markets in the area.

You can also save a ton of money shopping for produce at the East Asia Market and some of the small Asian grocers out in McKinley/Lincoln. Paldo World has a great meat department. But that does involve shopping around and taking more time. I usually just end up at Saar's on Pearl, with a Fred Meyer run for meat, cat food, gluten freeness, and soy milk. Or a late night run to Metropolitan Market for coffee beans, soy milk, and coffee.

Oh, who'm I kidding there's no quick way or one place to go I guess. But those would be my sightly closer to home recommendations.

by fredo on 6/18/2008 @ 6:50pm
Jen@good recommendation on Saars. They've got a pretty good ethnic food section if you want Mexican or Russian food. Make sure you give the check out lady your address so you can get the good coupons in the mail. The circular you pick up at the door...that's not the good one.

by chrism39 on 6/18/2008 @ 8:11pm
Saar's is not the place for meat, I learned that the hard way last month. I bought chicken breast there and spent 20 minutes cutting off fat and then when I cooked it, it turned a dull grey color. We had eggs.

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musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.

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