Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Grocery Shopping... Then and Now


     I am a huge fan of grocery shopping lol shocking huh? well, I love eating so it makes sense that I would enjoy the process of acquiring what all I am going to have available for me to consume. For a while, about two years ago, I was all into coupons. Having never heard of those until I moved here, I was super pumped at the thought of getting discounts on my foods.

    I was far from being an extreme couponer but I think I would on average save the same or a little more than I spent. I was so proud when I walked out of that store with a cart full of cookies, crackers, and all sorts of processed junk for only a few bucks. I would balk at the prices of meats, fruits and veggies and would choose to go down the prepackaged aisle instead. I got to a point where I refused to buy much of anything I did not have a coupon for. So of course, fresh food was the last of my shopping priorities.

     While I was never in a terrible place moneywise, I chose to put so little value on what I ate focusing more on quantity over quality. My old logic would say, Hey I can get a box of pasta for a buck and a jar sauce for about two more, why in the world would I pay $6 for lean beef and about the same for some fresh veggies to grill? It was not that I couldn't afford the latter, it was that I had retrained my brain to get the bargain. How it affected my health and weight, never came into my mind.

     Part of my journey has entailed trying to rewire my brain to think in terms not only of quality but also of health. To be ok with not getting the "best deal". I have a long way to go still, but I have made great progress. One of the main things has been avoiding the middle aislesand choosing to buy the periphery of the store instead. I remember several years ago someone had written about that. Back then, I had scoffed at it and thought the writer was a snobby butt. Fast forward to the present, it makes perfect sense.

     The periphery of the store would include vegetables,fruits,nuts dairy,beef, fish, pork, poultry,cheeese,yogurt,deli and bakery. According to that article, that was where you would find the healthy and real stuff. The middle aisles would have the cake mixes, hamburger helperish boxes,candy, cereals, grains, sodas, chips and all that processed crap I now do my best to avoid. Of course, there are some exceptions to this. In my store, the frozen veggies and fruits are actually in the middle and I consider those a good choice when I cannot get fresh. I am picky about my fruit, so another thing I like having on hand for emergencies is no sugar added fruit cups. Again, not as good as fresh but not the worse either.

     I would love to be able to afford  (mentally ;) and financially) to buy all organic, grass fed, non gmo and whatever other label everything but at this moment I can't. I do as much as I can feel comfortable with and that is fine for me. Most of my organic produce usually comes from Costco, since I tell myself I get a much better deal there. It may not be the case but I feel better telling myself that haha I respect what other do and feel strongly about in terms on what they choose to purchase and promote, but I recognize that we all have different ways of living and spending our money.

     As I took my groceries out this afternoon, I was again happy with my choices:
     I have enough for at least 2-3 weeks of dinners. The freezer cooking is really working great forus Those frozen veggies make prep time faster and the end product is just as tasty. I am once again, trying my spinach. I bought just a little box this time. I didn't have any issues last time, and I hope that my hives were in the end not related to it. Keep your fingers crossed for me, I love me some spinach!

     I forgot to mention that tomorrow I am doing my Employee Biometric Screening at 3 . I am excited and scared at the same time. I know it will be pretty bad on paper but find comfort in knowing that it was even worse before I started my journey. This is not an obligatory thing but I volunteered to get it done asap. This is monumental for me, it is facing another fear and conquering it. Like it was with the scale a few months ago,I have put it off "knowing" my numbers for so long that I feel like I WANT and NEED to know. I expect everything will be out of whack and I have tried to prepare myself mentally for that. I want to focus my attention not on how bad it is but on how I am going to get better so that I can continue to make good choices and take good care of me. I want there to be Alati for many many more years to come! I will have to let y'all know how it goes!

     Finally I leave you with my LUNCHBOX OF THE NEXT DAY:

I made me a little veggie platter to snack on with a couple ounces each of cucumber, radishes and carrots. I have a little container of celery sticks and a small spinach salad with an ounce of feta and a hard boiled egg for protein. Can you tell I like to have different choices?   Until next time!


  1. I am new to your blog and glad I found it. In the past couple of years, I have definitely noticed a difference in my grocery shopping habits. Most of my shopping is done around the periphery of the store too. There is just too much temptation in the other aisles.

  2. Good job on the shopping, Alati, and I don't buy grass fed or all the other stuff too. I rarely go to Whole Foods, and buy what organic veggies I can at the regular market most of the time. We are still WAY ahead of the game. Yes, we could be better, but we ain't bad.

    good luck with the test!

  3. In my experience coupons are typically for the unhealthy junk you don't need. You might have to pay a little more for fresh, healthy foods, but factor in the cost of medical expenses for unhealthy living and suddenly those healthy foods are a bargain!

  4. We are very low income, so I have to watch our grocery shopping carefully. But it is still possible to get healthy food cheaply. I don't cook with meat, but a box of quinoa costs the same and feeds my family for at least two meals. Lentils and dried beans are even cheaper and great sources of protein. Our grocery store will often have reduced price fruit and veggies. I just have to check often and make sure to use them quickly!


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