Filling the Fridge

>> Monday, December 8, 2014

We returned home from Thanksmas to a completely empty refrigerator last night. Thank goodness for freezer meals! I was chatting with a friend yesterday about how quickly I’ve plowed through our frozen stash, but I still have a good number of veggie burgers, buns, and soups. Looks like I’ll need to do another BIG cooking weekend sometime in the near future, though.

Oh! We tried something new today. I went to Wegmans to do my shopping because Ada is now three, which means she can play in their kid area while I cruise the aisles. I know it may sound silly, but this is a tremendous help! Or, I guess in theory it will be. We showed up around 10AM and there was only one other child there. I got through the produce section and through part of the dairy and then my buzzer went off around 20 minutes after I had left her. I guess the boy’s mom picked him up and Ada got a little freaked out being all alone.

It was a good first try!

I haven’t updated you all on groceries in a while. I still shop at Aldi, but I’ve also been having good success saving money at Wegmans using their newly promoted Family Packs of all sorts of different ingredients. The store has started labeling these offerings using little yellow and red tags throughout the store. I’m not affiliated with Wegmans in any way, I’ve just been a customer there for a while, and I like seeing the deals right in front of me.

Here are some of the foods we can buy in "small bulk" quantities and get around the same prices we pay at Aldi.

(18 count = $4.49)

(24 ounces = $3.99)

Organic Spring Mix 
(16 ounces = $4.99)

Grape Tomatoes 
(1 quart = $3.99)

Red Pepper Hummus 
(32 ounces = $4.99)

MacIntosh Apples 
(8 pounds = $5.99)

Gallon milk 

Rolled Oats 
(2 pounds = $3.39)

I definitely bought over our budget this week ($109), but I also bought a lot of food that will likely last into next week. Regardless, I’m going to try and balance going to Wegmans with shopping at Aldi about every other week. I love Aldi -- but the variety of Wegmans is certainly appealing and good to mix in so we don’t get too tired of eating similar meals. I also tend to have more trouble being spontaneous with cooking in winter, so I like filling the fridge with new foods.

And, yes. That’s 2% American cheese you spy in the dairy drawer. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love eating it on grilled cheese and we give it to Ada, too, since it’s the only cheese she’ll tolerate between two slices of bread as well. I found this cool article on The Kitchn about how to make American cheese at home, and I’m certainly intrigued. Has anyone tried making it? (Or does anyone else enjoy how it tastes?)

Another benefit of hitting Wegmans? Tofu! We don’t cook with it much anymore, but I’m going to make some Baked Sesame Garlic Tofu. Or maybe toss it in a stir-fry. Earth Balance! For all that cookie baking I’ll be doing this month. And protein powder. I decided on Plant Fusion in Chocolate. I also got lured in by the individual cups of flavored Greek yogurt. I know they’ve got extra sugar and aren’t price-savvy, but it’s been far too long since I’ve indulged. Also: Sparkling water. I love it. Pomegranate is my favorite flavor.

How do you guys mix up your grocery shopping for the best prices and variety? 

Now off to boil some eggs!

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