February 20, 2017

Saving Money


Do high prices keep you from eating healthier? I am sometimes stunned by the investment. If I were the only one eating in my family, maybe I could justify it. It is true that cheaper products are often inferior because manufacturers have cut corners, added sugar and chemicals. It costs more to do it right, but is this a reasonable explanation for huge markups?

I occasionally shop at Whole Foods. The store inspires me despite their preference for carbs. I buy hard-to-find products and food items that are on sale or have a store coupon. My aim is to leave without having spent $40 for just 3 things.

I tried couponing in my early 40's. I was never extreme enough to become a ninja, but I worked up a sweat. Just my low-level commitment gobbled up my life. Even then, I rejected junk and I had no interest in storing up needless bulk items. I also had a pet peeve for being stuck behind the shopper with 50+ coupons. If patiently watching the scanning process was not enough, there were always discrepancies between coupons and what was actually purchased.

Couponing is no longer a hobby, but I still use them. I have found that I can buy high-quality, healthy products in discount stores — even those without membership fees. Grocery Outlet is a prime example.

Here are some of my recent Grocery Outlet finds . . .
Chosen Food's Avocado Oil Mayo with Harissa; Tejava bottled tea; Bragg's Liquid Aminos and Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; bacon, andouille and beer brats without nitrates and nitrites; organic chicken thighs; natural avocado dip without additives; huge packages of chicharrones; Chobani Mezé Dip with Smoked Onions and Parmesan; grass fed ground beef; and provolone cheese slices. (I make taco shells out of the provolone.)

I paid $62 after $54 was deducted! I bought a variety of items without buying too much of any one thing. I read labels for carb counts and hidden sugar. If one of my favs had gone up in price, I chose a less expensive similar product.

Unless the aisle is crowded, I usually make the NOSH isle (above) first on my agenda. I then head for the meat and cheese section. After I have selected things from these locations, I check my budget before moving to other sections.

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