Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Questions Answered

Since I've started my grocery project, I have received several question, both IRL and by e-mail. I have also found that more local people than I thought read my blog- and it's the locals who are particularily interested in my grocery experience. So I will do my best today to answer a lot of the questions I've been getting.

1. Why are you doing the grocery project? This is actually a complex question. But I think the real answer to it is that I am trying to do my best to manage my husbands hard-earned money in a more positive manner. He works very hard, and he is well rewarded for his efforts. However, we are still paycheck to paycheck people, and in my belief, I am not honoring his hard work by spending all his income frivolously. Being one who loves to cook, it is very easy for me to be frivolous with my grocery shopping. And the worst part is that at times that frivolity leads to wastefulness. I go a little crazy with the produce, and much of it ends up spoiling before I get to use it. So while the ultimate goal of my grocery project is to reduce our money spent on food each month, it's more about being the best wife and money manager I can be for my husband, and to honor his hard work by spending our monies accordingly. So that when he needs something, I don't have to tell him he has to wait until next week. It's a work in progress, but I wholeheartedly believe that in the end, the rewards will be abundant.

**A secondary reason for reigning in the spending is also an attempt to have a well-stocked pantry. Being in the construction industry, Andy could spend some time laid off during the winter. And what I am trying to do is have a pantry stocked enough that he could be off for an entire month, and I don't need to worry about groceries other than perishables like eggs and milk.

2. Where do you shop? This is the question I've been getting a lot from people I know- sometimes I can be a little vague on my blog. Currently, I am doing almost all of my grocery shopping at Sam's, but I am supplimenting a little with Woodman's. In Appleton, they are literally across the street from each other, so I'm not going out of my way. In the past, I have found that I save the most money if I make my grocery list according to what's on sale at Copps with my key card. Then I buy ONLY the stuff at Copps that I get on sale, and then I go to Woodman's to round out my shopping list. I will still do this at holidays. Copps runs all the usual holiday foods on sale - plus free turkeys and hams, so it's a very good deal around Easter and Thanksgiving to shop there. I have found that by shopping in Appleton instead of Green Bay, I cut my grocery bill by at least 15%- and I am not kidding. All the stores in Appleton are slightly cheaper than in Green Bay. Go figure. When it's in season, I buy my produce at Wagner's Market in Black Creek- and they are bountiful now- so go while you can. I do not grocery shop at Festival Foods or Cub Foods- at Festival is because I cannot stick to my budget there- they are priced to match Copps, only they don't have a discount card. And Cub Foods it's a quality issue- they're not the cleanest store in the pack. Again though, for anyone local trying to save a bit- do your own experiment. A regular grocery cart for me at Woodman's in Green Bay will come out to about $120 at the checkout- and that doesn't include diapers. A regular grocery cart at Woodman's in Appleton is always under $100- that's a huge difference!

3. Do you have to shop at Sam's? Yes. In my little part of the world, Sam's is the only choice for bulk shopping. It is entirely possible that if there were a Costco or BJ's here, I would shop there, but I don't, so I need to go with what is best to reach my goals in question #1. And someday if you'd like to get in an arguement about how I'm supporting big bad evil, knock yourself out, but I am very knowledgable in that area and I will forever cherish Starbucks Cafe' Mocha's and the American Entrepreneurial spirit. All I will say here is that why is it that an entrepreneur comes up with a successful business model, and then, after it's successful, it starts getting knocked down by other people. Grow up. Sour grapes that you didn't think of it first.

4. Why aren't you cooking as much? *Sigh* For that, I am sorry, it's been summery, and to be honest, I've just not been in the mood much. Andy has been working late nights most of the summer, so it's hard for me to get the motivation to cook a real meal for myself and the kids- to be reheated later for Andy. And then on Friday thru Sunday, we're having such a great time as a family, that I don't want to tear myself away to spend some time in the kitchen. Plus, Abigail has taken more of an interest in her food as of late, and it seems that our persistance is paying off with our two-bite rule. She's been eating really well, and part of me is afraid to mess that up by preparing something exotic to her palate. Be assured that I have a renewed interest though since it's cooling down, so stay tuned, there is more coming.

5. Where do you get most of your recipes? This goes in streaks. Sometimes I will cook a lot from cookbooks, sometimes a lot from magazines. Lately I've been trying out recipes that I've found on Recipe-Zaar, and for the most part, they're pretty good. Definitely check out that website when you get a chance. It's changed recently- and the slick new design is very nice. Magazines that I recieve are Cooking Light, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, Gourmet, and Everyday Food.

6. Are you going vegetarian? Lol. No. But I do enjoy good vegetarian cooking. I do want to implement more veg meals into my repertoir, as I think it's very healthy to do so. What I don't enjoy is soy products- except for Gardenburgers- those are pretty good. But no, even though I went through several periods in my life where I didn't enjoy eating meat, I happily do so now.

Any other questions? Feel free to e-mail or leave a comment, and I will answer it as best as I can. Later today I have something new planned for dinner- so hoepfully I will get back to post it. As to the kiwi project yesterday... I made a Kiwi Quick Bread and it was terrible. I tasted it a few times to make sure it was as awful as I thought it was, oh blech. And it really wasn't operator error. So how it got 12 5-star ratings on Recipe-Zaar, I'll never know. Taste is all subjective.


Anonymous said...

To add to your savings when shopping at Copps, shop on Wednesdays-- they double coupon values on Wednesdays at Copps.

I know coupons can be a pain, but it's so worthwhile when you can double your savings! :)

CJ McD in Oshkosh

Erika said...

I didn't know Copps doubled coupons! I'll have to remember that- thanks so much for sharing!