2/2/13: Something I Have Never Done Before: Grocery Edition
Saturday, February 02, 2013
This is so big, that it warranted a SECOND blog post of the day. I know, crazy right?
I woke up after a TERRIBLE night's sleep and my sister and her boyfriend were playing video games in the living room area and it was SO LOUD and SO OBNOXIOUS and I wanted to pummel their heads. Instead, I decided it would be more beneficial to do some lower body training for the day because I should do SOMETHING even if I don't have the plan all figured out. So I did some squats and some of those hamstring flexions (those are so much fun! holy my), and then they were STILL loud and obnoxious, so I figured I would "inconvenience" them by inventoring what I had as far as food goes, throwing out old stuff in the fridge, etc.
First, Sister was sitting behind him on the couch. Like, you know what "straddling" is? That's what it looked like. Second, he was shirtless. I don't really care what people do in private places. But the living room is not a private place. It is a communal place. This is NOT "their" apartment. I didn't have to let Russell come live with us, and had I said no, and had Winnie said she was going to live with him anyway, Mom and Dad would've cut her off financially. When we were finding a new apartment, Mom had even told her, "This is not an excuse for you and Russell to play house. This is to keep your costs down."
And yet, they keep treating this like it is THEIR place that they so graciously let me stay in... But it's not. They did NONE of the work in getting this place. For all intent and purposes however, it is OURS, shared EQUALLY.
I angrily opened a can of tuna and made myself a tuna melt. I used light babybel cheese (I cut it thin) for the cheese part, and then instead of using mayo or miracle whip, I used plain nonfat greek yogurt! It was delicious, but I was still mad.
So, I decided to go grocery shopping, and this is where I did something entirely new for me. The sun was out, it's really warm today, and eating tuna two days in a row had me wanting feta cheese, blueberries, and strawberries- but I'm obviously not going to find good prices on out-of-season produce. So what WAS in season?
Look at me. I'm so darn cute, caring about eating seasonal produce!
Well, I looked it up online, and basically nothing I liked was in season. The only seasonal produce I like happen to be of the more exotic variety- and where am I going to find that in HELENA of all places?
I hopped in the car, and I drove... to Natural Grocers. It opened up while I was gone over Christmas break. I figured I might as well try it out... I am a girl who shops at walmart or costco. It has always been the cheaper deal, and well, I'm a college student. I swear more things are labelled as "Kirkland" or "Great Value" in my kitchen than anything else.
But I went into Natural Grocers, and I walked out with a giant box of ORGANIC groceries... all for under $35.
Yes, that is right, lovelies. Under $35. That bought me 1.82# apples, 1.26# pears, 1.33# tangelos, 6oz blueberries (couldn't resist for the price), 2.21# celery, ~1.5# green-leaf lettuce, TWO bags (albeit small) of vegan "meat" products, a pound of golden flax seeds, and a new blender bottle. I was looking at the prices of their protein/supplement bars, and while I didn't buy any, I was amazed at how much cheaper they were there than at other stores! But the produce... that is what amazed me the most. If you were to take out the blender bottle and the "meats," I spent $19.12 on the produce. Organic produce. The only two produce items I didn't buy at the natural store was cucumbers (totally spaced on those) and bananas (because organic was a LOT more expensive and they are one of the 12 LEAST contaminated produces so I figured it was okay). I spent the MOST on the celery- $6.17 to be exact- but I love celery, and it IS on the dirty-dozen list (along with everything else I got organic) and I thought... it is worth the splurge.
The amazing thing is, I went to walmart right after Natural Grocer's, and I was comparing prices. NON-organic wal-mart apples were MORE EXPENSIVE than my organic cameos. NON-organic wal-mart blueberries were MORE EXPENSIVE than my organic ones. NON-organic walmart pears were MORE EXPENSIVE... you're seeing the trend aren't you? The lettuce was a little bit more expensive organic, but they both priced by the bundle, and my bundle was HUGE compared to Wal-Marts, so I figure the price is about the same... and yes, the celery was way more expensive at Natural Grocer's, but I am still really proud of myself.
At Walmart, I bought nonfat cottage cheese, nonfat greek yogurt (flavored, so I could eat that as a snack), bananas, and cucumbers (I wish I had paid attention to the organic cukes, so I could compare prices), and then I went ahead and picked up a bit over a pound (20 oz) of ground lean turkey (I'm thinking lettuce wraps for dinner one night) and a small container of feta cheese.
I feel AMAZING right now. I parked the FURTHEST I could get in the Walmart parking lot (I have a picture to prove it! haha), and while walking back to my car, a group of young men in a red truck whistled at me... it was slightly embarrassing but also humorous. I was just in black leggings and my running shoes and a loose top and light jacket... They looked like high school seniors to freshman in college-aged, so... close to my age. Definitely not "looking around" for anybody and I love my honey very much, but I'm going to consider their gesture a compliment and gladly receive.
Once Sister and Russ leave to do laundry, I'm going to cut up my new produce. I've decided that it is NOT enough for me to simply "have" them on hand... I need to cut them up, put them in baggies or tupperware, and label them "Monday Breakfast" or "Thursday dinner" or 'Sunday snack" or whatever. I always have problems getting in my veggies so hopefully this will help me!