Mr. Saturday and I almost always go grocery shopping together. With my partner by my side, everything is more fun. Except, truth be told, this is one of the only things that drives us a little crazy. You see, Mr. Saturday would prefer to take a slow stroll through the grocery store while sipping on coffee, while I’m usually out in a flash, unless it’s a shoe or home improvement store… (Mr. Saturday note: I think she likes when I take my time, because she bolts over to the shoes & swimsuits and I can’t find her!)
We already have most of our fruit and veggies from this week’s trip to our local farmers market, but it’s time to buy a few other essentials. Each month, we make our rounds to a handful of grocery and health food stores, and today is Target day.
(For an alternative shopping strategy – Mad Money Monster avoids the Target trap altogether!)
We pull into the Target store parking lot. People are scrambling to get the closest parking spots to the entrance, but we avoid that headache and look for a spot either in the middle of the lot or towards the back. We’re thinking ahead – we park next to one of those cart return areas so that we won’t have to walk far to return the cart later. By the time these other cars have found a suitable temporary home in the parking lot, we are already in the store.
So our trip today, as every Target trip, begins with getting out the coupons I’ve collected and the digital or hand-written grocery list. I usually keep a running list of necessary items so that we don’t get side-tracked in the store and spend more money than we intended. And, thanks to planning, we arrived at the store on full stomachs. Otherwise, I’d want to buy everything in sight!
I like that our Target store proudly displays its healthiest food choice at the very front of the store. We skip the Starbucks coffee shop at the front (since Mr. Saturday makes his at home) and start picking out a few fruit and veggies that weren’t available at the farmers market, or things we’re out of. We’re out of bananas, like always, so we pick up a bunch. Berries? Hmm, we’d better not today. They’re cheaper either at BJ’s Wholesale Club or the farmers market, so that’s not usually on our Target list unless we’re in a pinch.
We end up getting cabbage, garlic, and a few loaves of our go-to sprouted whole grain bread. The bread was on sale so we’ll freeze it. With the melon, pineapple, limes, green beans, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, green and red peppers, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and squash we picked up at the farmers market, we should be all set on fruits and veggies for the next week or two. We also have a consistent growth of green onions, kale, and herbs in our garden, so we no longer need to buy those.
Now it’s time to wander down the aisles. This is where will power comes into play. Repeat after me:
“I will not go down the baking or chip aisles.”
I refuse to even look down those aisles! Too much temptation… I will eat whatever is in the house, so I try to keep our stock healthy. In fact, we avoid packaged food as much as possible and try to stick to whole foods. The high cost of packaged food compared to whole foods is another incentive!
In the condiments aisle, we pick up hot sauce, Just Mayo products (love these indulgences!), and some canned beans. We tend to stock up on what’s on sale, and in many cases I won’t even consider buying it otherwise. Today the Target brand of beans are on sale, so we stock up on those. We use beans in our rice bowls or to make a creamy non-dairy sauce, so we’ll definitely go through these.
We skip the chip and baking goods, and while the cereal aisle catches our eye, we decide we better steer clear. Again, we usually buy cereal in bulk from BJ’s Wholesale Club to save money, and they have a couple healthier options that we like.
I know we’re about halfway done with our shopping trip and I better keep Mr. Saturday on track, so I start to run down the list. I send him off to pick up the non-dairy milk, raisins, and frozen veggies for our stir-fries, and I go find the paper towels and cat litter.
Good – the paper towels are on sale and I have a coupon! It’s time to take out my phone to run a quick cost analysis. (Yes, I’m one of those people!) You would think that the larger packs of paper towels would be the best deal, but not always. We’re not talking about a whole lot of money here, but I just can’t stand the idea of paying more for something when I don’t have to. Sure enough, the mid-sized pack is actually cheaper per square foot than the larger pack. Tricky, tricky!
Mr. Saturday finds me while I’m running the cost comparison on the cat litter, and I see he’s also carrying a carton of chocolate milk in addition to the other items on the list. I had a feeling he would pick up the extra chocolate milk, but I don’t mind because I’m already looking forward to having a glass when we get home! (Mr. Saturday note: I know, I’m a bad influence. ;-D )
Since we don’t have too many items today, we choose one of the easy self-checkout lines. I watch the prices like a hound as Mr. Saturday rings up our items, although it’s going to be rather annoying to request a price check at the self-checkout. Anyhow, I watch just in case. After scanning my mailed Target coupons and those I found in the newspaper, Mr. Saturday uses our Target Red Card to save another 5%.
That should do it! Until next time, Target!