UNITED STATES—I sometimes hate grocery shopping and I’ll tell you why. It seems no matter what you buy at times, it’s never enough. Let me better explain that; sometimes when you’re looking for the right items you can never seem to find them.
I’m a fan of the summer months, because the warm weather is the introduction of some of the tastiest fruits of the year. Those fruits that are never in season are now in season, and I tried to absorb as much of them as I can. This weekend, while at a specialty store, I liken it to a farmer’s market; I had a grocery list of all the things that I wanted to buy. So why in the world couldn’t I find half of the things that I wanted?
They weren’t in season. Just a few weeks ago, I saw peaches and apricots, but on this outing they were nowhere to be found. That same sentiment can be echoed for fresh watermelon, cherries and pears. Some might call me crazy, but I absolutely love cherries, I mean I could eat them all day long if given the opportunity. Some have even called me crazy for spending $11.00 a pound for cherries when they first arrive for the season. Yeah, they might not be the sweetest, but when you see cherries you have to grab them.
I found myself picking up items that I didn’t necessarily want, which forced me to put many of those items back in their appropriate places. Perhaps the toughest thing for me to shop for is meat. I’m a picky eater, but more importantly I like a bit of variety in my diet. Eating the same thing day in and day out is no fun at all if you ask me. Of course you have your staples like chicken, pork and beef, but I like to try new things. Flank steak, lamb chops, brisket, pork butt, lobster, tuna, shall I continue?
One of the problems I might have when I hit the grocery store is I tend to shop with the mindset of thinking about preparing a different meal each night, versus purchasing the essentials and crafting the dinner menu at a later time. I always say buy what you like and not what you think you should have in your refrigerator or freezer. That’s important because you don’t want to be the person throwing away food items you never touched. Trust me that is an epic pet peeve of mine. I hate, I mean hate, wasting food.
Try never to over purchase fruits and vegetables. They don’t have the longest shelf life, especially fruits, so if it’s an item like strawberries or raspberries, which are no good after 3-4 days make sure you intend to use them for a recipe or dinner staple. Vegetables on the other-hand you can get away with for a few extra days, but there is no need in buying five seedless cucumbers if you only need one. Remember just because an item is on sale, doesn’t mean you have to buy five. Get only what you need, unless you’re having a major feast and need to purchase items in bulk.
When I venture over to the cheese counter, I’m not a fan of those plain cheeses, I want the exotic. I want Fontina, Manchego, Gouda, Smoked Cheddar, the list can go on and on, but on this visit, none of the items I wanted were in stock, which caused a sad face to say the least. It’s like when you want to spend money, its hard to find the things that you want. The opposite always seems to occur when you don’t have money to spend; you find ALL of the items that you want, without any fuss.
Look at your local sales ads; see who has what on sale. Next, don’t be afraid to shop around. I know it’s convenient to do all of your shopping at one store, but why spend $300 when you can spend $150 and still get all of the items that you want and plenty more. There was a time where I would do everything at one store, but I have since learned the value of quality, quantity and saving money. If you can save more that gives you more to spend at a later date.