Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grocery shopping with summer break in mind

Shopping day finally arrived, which is usually the first non-weekend day following a payday, but can be delayed if I haven't properly organized my list, my coupons, and my menu yet. So today was a bit delayed since payday was Friday. I got my coupons organized this morning, my menu planned yesterday, and I still didn't have more than a mental list, but I went anyway.

I did have my little rant on coupons the other day, but I do use them. I saved $40 today using them. I just operate on the principle that a good deal on stuff that isn't good for us isn't a good deal. We do eat plenty of treats, but we avoid the really processed stuff. My rant the other day was over someone who was insisting on a coupon site that it was worth it to brave the Saturday crowds to get junky cereal (okay, it was Corn Pops) for $1 a box, and most of the coupon deals on the site are for toxic chemicals or junk food.

We were out of cereal and lots of other self-serve snack items. I tend to make more of the snacks in cooler months and when I'm not, well, gestating. Now it's one thing I'm happy to find on sale with coupons. I stocked up on Go-gurt with no dyes or HFCS and on granola bars with no HFCS. Other snack and lunch side items are string cheese, fruit, carrots and celery, applesauce, and crackers.

The Jedis and I came up with weekday lunches for the summer, with plenty of sides/snacks that we'll keep on hand. We also came up with a dinner menu for the summer. We'll have Tex-Mex, pasta/Italian, Mediterranean, Indian/curry, barbecue, and pizza. We'll keep the basics around for each variety and vary the flavors with fresh and hopefully local food. Most nights we'll be grilling part of the meal in order to keep the kitchen cooler and because grilled food is delicious! I'm hoping it keeps me from having to make unplanned trips to the store in 90 degree weather with 3 kids. Dr. O' has agreed that he should stay home with the kids while I shop in the evenings or early mornings. Then he can unload the car. Anything beats shopping with A-man in the summer because he gets moody when we go in and out of stores and he gets too cold and too hot. Miserable!

We made up a daily schedule for the summer that includes reading time and quiet time, 3 short cleaning spurts, craft times (because I hate craft mess!), outside times (trying to avoid exposing Irish skin to midday sun!), and times when it would be best to go out for an activity. Our weekly plan will involve looking at the various options available and planning 3 outings per week. IM can go to day camp for free every Tuesday, and they'll pick him up near our house! We'll probably buy a city pool pass and buy a zoo pass again. We're planning to buy a children's museum pass as well. In addition to those venues, there are lots of other activities to go to throughout the summer.

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