Grocery Price Lists

Apples, and Yogurt, and Eggs, oh my!

These are just a few of the things that I find myself returning to the store again and again to purchase, because we seem to go through them like crazy.  And because I no longer have a second refrigerator, I am really having to watch my grocery dollars.  No longer can I take advantage of the awesome bulk sales of refrigerated items.  So I am having to find a new strategy for shopping smart.

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Now I don’t mind clipping coupons, but I am NOT going to buy four bags of cat food in order to get one free (especially since I don’t have a cat).  (What IS it with the folks on those Extreme Couponing shows?)

I digress…

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In addition to clipping the rare coupon that I can find for an item that I will actually use, I have decided to start keeping a Grocery Price List.  Now this requires a lot of work in the beginning, but I am hopeful that it will save me money in the long run and make my grocery dollars stretch.  (Living in the D. C. area with a husband and 6 ravenous kids, 3 of whom are teenagers, and 4 of whom are in private school, is NOT cheap.)

Plus, we really try to eat as healthy as possible.  I’m not into having to have organic everything or grass-fed this, and free-range that.  But we do try to keep things as close to “whole” foods as possible, while keeping it fun and simple.  Still, meal planning can be quite the task when you have to please body-conscious teenage girls, protein-craving boys, little kids who don’t like “green things”, and a husband who would gladly eat frozen pizza every night.

I am kind of making up my price list as I go along, using categories such as date, store, brand, unit price, size, etc.  And I am entering it into a Numbers spreadsheet to keep it nice and neat.  I’ll let you know how it fares and if, after a few months, it seems to be worth the effort.

I would love to know any tips and/or tricks that you use to keep your grocery bills reasonable.  Feel free to share in the comments!

The Royal Baby…Who Cares?

There is a new future King of England.  He was born just a few short hours ago.  And already on Facebook and Twitter, I see multiple posts saying “Who cares?”  or “Why is this news in America?”

Well, I think this indeed should be news.

We spend hours of our lives listening to multiple accounts of crimes, scandals, and deaths of celebrities.  We analyze every aspect of the sad and depressing events in the world.  In fact, we seem to be a bloodthirsty culture…”if it bleeds, it leads” is  a well-known cliche.  The death of the future King’s own grandmother, Lady Diana, was a leading story for months.

In the midst of constant negative news such as murder trials, cities going bankrupt, political discord, and economic woes, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to celebrate a joyous event.

And frankly, if you don’t care about it, that’s fine…why take the time to comment about it on facebook?  And what would you rather see?  Another headline about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman?  More stories about how Congress can’t seem to get anything done?  This stuff is NOT news.

Here is something that is newsworthy:  God still sees enough hope and promise in humanity to continue blessing us with babies.  He keeps giving us more chances to “get it right”.

And even if you don’t look at things through a religious lens, you might be able to appreciate the humanity that joins us all, royalty and common folks alike…the welcoming of a new member of the family.

Those of us who are parents felt the excitement and anxiety along with the Royal couple as they awaited the birth.  We could imagine the Duchess laboring along, squeezing the Duke’s knuckles until they were about to explode.  (I don’t know whether she had an epidural or not, but from my experience, labor is never completely pain-free!)  We could imagine his helplessness as he watched the woman he loves perform the toughest task of her life.

Of course there are thousands of babies born around the world every day.  Most of these babies are born into socioeconomic circumstances that cannot even match a fraction of that which the new Prince will enjoy.  But family is family.  And it is nice to know that in a world of uncertainty and struggle, there is hope and promise for the future.  And nothing symbolizes that hope more than the birth of a new baby.

And so I say “Congratulations!” to the Royal family, and “Welcome to the world, Little Prince!”