Cheap Meals

Friday, April 10, 2015

I got an email from a grocery store saying:

Enjoy a delicious dinner for under $5 with our 3 Day Sale!

I thought that was pretty cool that they were sending an email to help me out with a "delicious" meal for my family.

After I opened it and saw:

Frozen Pizza
A lame bag of iceburg lettuce mix

I was pissed off. 

You see my thought was that "delicious" would also mean something healthy - and definitely NOT frozen pizza. 

I cannot tell you the number of times I have checked out at this same store and seen what other people buy - and what I buy - and thought to myself, "You bought crap & ramen and I STILL SPENT LESS AND GOT MORE!" 

Not that I hate ramen, but to all those people. 

You're doing it wrong. 

You see when I go to the store I spend time looking at the ad, looking at coupons online, checking the store website and getting texts and emails for further deals, THEN I make my list of the items my family will eat that I can get for a better price.  Always keeping in mind the need for fruit and vegetables, and healthy protein.

In fact, the night before I received the email from this store I had visited it to get some pork chops for our dinner.  I was going "off book" for how I cook and getting something thawed instead of using what I had, had been a rough day.

To my delight pork chops (really NICE bone-in loin chops) were on sale for $1.99/lb.

Why would this store not email me something like this:

Enjoy a delicious dinner for under $10 for your family of SIX with our 3 Day Sale!

Let's do the math: I got six thick bone-in chops for $6.23, I could add the lame 88 cent salad and some herb rice mix (Knorr pasta sides are usually a buck, let's say we use 2) and I would have spent $9.11 to feed the four adults and one child in my family - and how we eat there were TWO chops left over.

Hello lunch for me today with leftover potatoes and veggies from another meal.  

EVEN if I broke down and used a $2.50 bag of frozen or fresh veggies I would have been at $10.73.

Basically what I am trying to say is this:

Every week there are sales on some fruit or veggie - BUY THAT.

Every week there are sales on proteins - BUY THOSE.

Every week there are healthier choices of convenient foods - or buy some rice and dried pasta on sale and add your own can of tomatoes - often ON SALE.

Let me give you an example: I bought two huge cans of enchilada sauce when it was on sale for $1.50 and I had a coupon for $1 off two - plus 5% cartwheel and 5% Target RedCard discount. They ended up at 85 cents each for me and I can use them to make enchiladas OR dump over onions and a roast for a TRULY delicious meal for my family at some later date.  These cans of sauce are normally over two dollars each.

I am not against foods that make life easier. We eat frozen pizza on occasion (I got a NICE one for $1.99 from a text, White Chicken!) but as the place people look to for value and nutrition for their family why wouldn't grocery stores highlight deals on easy HEALTHY food for their customers that cost LESS?

Stores?  Cub, Target, Byerly's??? Anyone?

Or maybe I just start grocery shopping for others for a living.

It could happen.

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