Where do I shop for whole foods? That’s a good question I receive from many people–where do you shop? Well, you may not want to know the answer. I shop around. In this fast paced world, we would rather do one-stop-shopping, but that is just not practical when you live on a budget. And to be perfectly honest, we should all be living on a budget. After all, we are called to be good stewards of the money God gives us.
As a wife and mother who aspires to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, I choose to shop multiple stores in an effort to save the most money possible but trying my very best to purchase quality, whole foods. However, there are times when our budget is really tight and I have to make a judgment call as to which area we will compromise and sometimes it is food. I do try my very best to ensure my family has the best food possible so they can heartily and healthily fulfill God’s call for their lives.
I have about five grocery stores I visit regularly for groceries. However, I don’t visit each of them every week. I shop for different items at each store, purchasing them where they are cheapest. I absolutely LOVE Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but the closest stores are 25 miles away. To save gas, I shop Trader Joe’s once or twice a month. I shop Whole Foods once every month or two. Sometimes I carpool with a precious friend if it fits both of our schedules. I shop Bi-Lo, Publix, and Food Lion depending on sales. I shop Aldi and Wal-Mart weekly, but purchase most of our food and paper products at Aldi.
I am a pretty structured person, who thrives on organization and planning. I live by lists. So I NEVER grocery shop without a list. I plan an entire week of meals for my family. I write down what we’re having on each day of the calendar on our refrigerator so I don’t have to commit it to memory. I also hear “What’s for dinner?” about ten times a day, so my family knows to check the calendar. Writing it down just keeps me sane! The way I do things may not work for you, but here’s how I start:
When I sit down to plan my grocery list, the first thing I do is look at our calendar for the upcoming week. I see how much time each day I will have to cook. Some days we have extracurricular activities which require us to be out until late afternoon. No one wants to come home and cook at that point, so I usually plan a crockpot dinner or easy meal. I do very little cooking on Sundays. I always plan a crockpot meal, or easy sides with grilled meat. Many times I will double a recipe of lasagna or cheeseburger pie and freeze one batch. Then on Saturday I will allow it to thaw in the fridge and just pop it in the oven to warm through on Sunday after church. Sunday night is usually “clean out the fridge” night. I just throw all of the leftovers onto the counter and everyone takes their pick. Well, you get the gyst–easy meals on busy days.
The next thing I do is visit Southern Savers. This is a local couponing site which I follow. Jenny at Southern Savers is a life saver. She posts the grocery ads and references coupons for each item so you can get the best bang for your buck. I scan the ads she deals she lists for each grocery store. Then I either print my list from her site or I add the items to an app I use on my iPhone. I keep receipts and make a log of prices for the items I purchase each week, so I will know which store usually has the best deal. Then I compare the sales to that list to see where I should purchase that item for the week. Unless we are entertaining or having a special occasion, I try to plan my meals around what is on sale.
My circumstance may be a little different from yours in that 3 of my children have food allergies, so for the most part we are gluten and soy free. My two older daughters and I are also Trim Healthy Mamas so we do our best to eat clean and sugar free. So sometimes there are food products that are cheaper at one store, but they may not meet our food restrictions.
In another blog, I wrote several posts about some of the different products I buy for my family, where I shop for them, and how much they typically cost. I consolidated them to my current blog. Check them out!
In addition to reading the above posts, and food labels, begin paying close attention to the sale ads and also the quality and quantity of the food you purchase. Just because something is cheaper doesn’t mean it is always the best buy. Please feel free to comment and let me know if these posts are helpful to you or if you have any questions. I hope I’ve answered your question, “Where Do I Shop for Whole Foods?”.
For more information on whole foods and clean eating, you may be interested in reading the following posts: