Monday, October 1, 2012

One Month of No Food Shopping

As I have mentioned in the past, I am addicted to all things food, including the grocery store. You can find me perusing the aisles of my local mega-mart WAY too often. Like three times a week. Okay, four. Five last week, but that was a fluke. Really.

It starts innocently enough... I find a recipe I really want to make but I'm missing one key ingredient. I head to the store with just enough money to buy said ingredient - no list, no circular, just me and my mission. I don't grab a basket or a cart or anything - it's just one thing, after all. On my way to the necessary aisle, I see this cool new product and that awesome sale and this thing I just saw on TV and that other thing I just happen to have a coupon for in the bottom of my purse... Before I know it, I'm juggling 14 items in my arms while trying to dig out my debit card.

I remember one day I had a list of three things, and hubby wanted to get out of the house, so we all piled in the car. On the way, my son asked where we were going. I told him and he started to whine "Not againnnnnn". I told him to relax, it's only three things, we'll be in and out. He came back with "You say that every tiiiiiiiime and then you buy a million things and we're there for hooooouuuuurrrrssss. Pleeeeeease let me stay hoooooommmmmmme." I kind of laughed, but quietly wondered if there were groups for people like me. You know, like AA for grocery addicts. I can't be the only one, can I?

Anyway, I do a little extreme couponing when I get bored, so I have a basement pantry that looks like this:

This is only half of it. My family actually grocery shops in my house.
They also joke that my basement could be a bomb shelter.
(The really nice thing is that I got most of it for free.)

Now I've been doing this couponing thing for years, long before there were TV shows about it. I'm pretty good at it. Maybe too good. But apparently we can't eat as fast as I can shop, and the line between extreme couponer and hoarder is becoming more blurry by the minute.

So I decided to take a break from the couponing and see how long I can avoid the grocery store. My plan is to not shop for the month of October with the exception of milk, bread, and eggs. Thirty-one whole days. I think I can do it. I can totally do it. Right? Yeah. I have everything I need, and if I run out of one "essential" ingredient, oh well. How hard can it be? One of the phrases I heard constantly in the Marine Corps was "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome." And I plan to do just that. I got this. I think.

(To see how it turned out, click here.)

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