After I spent the better part of the morning at Target, I headed over to Trader Joe's where I spent another hour conducting a little experiment which I'll call "Healthy Eating While Living on a Budget." It goes something like this ...
We spend a small fortune at Costco each and every week. I seriously cannot go in to and come out of that store without dropping at least $200.00. Over the past year, almost all of our grocery shopping has been done at Costco. But more and more, I've noticed that the selection at Costco leaves a lot to be desired. Probably because I've been doing a lot more shopping at the new Trader Joe's and local Farmer's Market that just opened by our home and am starting to compare.
This has got to be every retailers worst nightmare.
A comparative shopper.
Now, Costco has just about everything a person could need ... but they don't have much variety. Their fresh produce is typically good, although you can't find anything organic, unless it is frozen. And even then, their selection is limited.
Did you know that meat quality goes: Select, Choice, Prime - with prime being the best cut of meat? Whereas our local grocer stocks predominantly Select cuts, Costco stocks Choice - which means that their meat selection is a great value. Their fresh fish, baked goods and wines are excellent as well.
But, so much of the food at Costco is processed. Although that's nice to have when you're in a pinch, we're really making a concerted effort to eat healthier. We're trying to eat more greens. We're snacking on nuts. We're buying more organic fruits, vegetables and dairy - and trying to make almost everything from scratch. With Charlie being the phenomenal cook that he is, we're having a blast with all kinds of new recipes. I'm actually trying to convince Charlie to start his own cooking blog to showcase some of the stuff that he's been whipping up.
Sometimes I think that he might have missed his true calling in life. "Cooking with the Red Hot Chef Charlie." Did I ever mention that one of his life aspirations is to have his own restaurant? It's true. Another aspiration is to travel around the country in a motor home, visiting every National Park. My greatest life aspiration is to get our three-year-old children to stop wearing diapers.
Anyway, back to my experiment.
I went shopping today at Trader Joe's and our local Farmer's Market and with an entire shopping cart full of predominantly organic food
So far, my experiment is yielding that I can buy healthy food for our family for less.
To offset the cost of the awesome organizational supplies that I spent a small fortune on at Target, I purchased All laundry detergent in lieu of Tide ($9.00 savings) and bought Target brand instead of Ziploc brand bags and Johnson's brand baby wash ($14.00 savings) (We go through a lot of bags and soap).
I also saved $2.50 because Christmas peanut M&M's were discounted 70%. That's a lot of green. And nuts.
As you can see, I'm off to a roaring start.