Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Holy groceries! (and other news)

So, Monday was our belated grocery shopping trip. This time, I had a plan. I made a rough meal plan, and then I kid you not, I did three drafts of my list. The final was broken down into categories, with price estimates for the things I would need that weren't in the sale ad. It was three pages, broken down into departments or clusters of aisles.

I ran and grabbed the big stuff first. All the things that are on the heavy side when you are walking with a folding grocery cart, a three and a half year old, and a brand new five year old. The only "big" things I didn't get at the start were dairy items. I grabbed soda to last the month, and all the meats. Within 15 minutes of starting this semi-kidless shopping trip (Cynthia was in the car with the kids), the cart was already heavy. After the sodas, I grabbed roughly 45 pounds of meats. 

I then went to the entrance and proceeded through the store on my usual route. I updated the price for things as I went, starting from the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of my price estimates were way off on the high side, meaning I could get a few things that I'd forgotten to put on the list. The motivation behind this gargantuan shopping trip was simple; get enough to last the month (minus things like milk because we go through a lot of it) and build up my very pathetic excuse of a pantry, which will over time bring down the amount of money that I spend. 

I'd brought my bags, as I'm making a habit out of using them since Dallas now charges a nickle per bag in the city limits.The store I went to just happened to be in Richardson, so not having enough bags wasn't an issue. Once everything was bagged and paid for, the bagger and I each pushed out a cart and loaded up Cynthia's trunk, and the floorboard at my feet. Oh, and my lap.

Cynthia ran her little girl in to use the bathroom while we loaded up. When she got back, I ran Landry and Ryli in, and then we were off to the house. After what seemed like a million runs back and forth between the car and the house, Cynthia headed for home, and I set out on the herculean task of putting all those groceries away while simultaneously keeping the locusts out of the haul.

It took awhile, and the first shake ups to the meal plan, which were expected. There was no way the Boston butt would fit in the freezer, so that slid into the Tuesday slot as Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, along with the Slow Cooker Carne Asada. I don't have a dutch oven of any size, so I've always made the shredded pork in the slow cooker. I learned that if you get a larger roast than what the recipe calls for (in my defense, they were on sale for $1.99 a pound, and and 8+ pounder was the smallest I could find), the lid to the crockpot will not go on correctly, adding a bit to the cook time.

So, as you can imagine, the house smelled amazing. The carne asada finished up just in time to make some really good nachos. The shredded pork was plucked from the slow cooker after our meeting last night and shredded when it cooled a bit. I suspect it will easily be Saturday before I need to cook again. That, to me, is awesome. It means more time to play dinosaurs with Landry or Littlest Pet Shop with Ryli, or on occasions, the best of both worlds... dinos and LPS coexisting side by side. Win-win in my book!