Strategic Shopping

Salvatore Vuono photo.

I am a  huge fan of strategic shopping.  I wasn’t always.  Wandering the aisles aimlessly and grabbing whatever looked good was the old plan.  It explains why I have tons of condiments in the fridge and pantry.  Returning to school, buying a house, rising gas prices, and growing kiddos forced me to re-evaluate and put spending in check.

But the budget does not keep me or the family from eating well.  Coupons, store specials, menu planning, and a stocked pantry make all the difference.  When I shop for produce, I check for sales, but make sure I wander around for goodies.  It’s the only section I wander aimlessly in anymore.

We hit Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or Earth Fare for my hippie stuff I can’t get in the standard grocer.  Vegan chorizo, coconut milk or almond yogurt, and an assortment of gluten-free baked goods are what I look for.

Big box stores may be the bane of some shoppers, but they are awesome for my budget.  Bulk almond butter, agave nectar (if on the list), and organic produce are ready and waiting at killer prices.  Thank you, Costco!  Ethnic markets are good for the budget, too, but I have to admit I haven’t visited one in a while.  I have to see if I can score gluten-free soy and hoisin sauces.  (I cannot believe how much i miss hoisin sauce! Okonomiyaki is just not the same without it.)  

How do you shop?

And on that note, I need to get to making my shopping list.  Off to check Southern Savers for this week’s coupon match ups!  Peace, all.

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