may grocery challenge: update #2

whoa – hold your horses! how did it get to be the middle of the month, as of tomorrow?!

it’s time for our second update for the great may grocery challenge – that means that (hopefully) i have spent less than $200 on groceries, so far. no tabulating allowed, but my hunch is that i am doing well. however, we won’t know for sure until approx 10:00 p.m., may 31st!

here’s an example of one of my shopping trips (this one was to valumart) from the past seven days…

clockwise, from L: yogurt; frozen mixed veg; oatmeal pacs; crab (on sale + a coupon!); pickles; pears; date squares

…and here are some observations!

the end of the line jar: i finished my maranatha crunchy pb this week…that means no more of this fabulous brand until june as it is never on sale.

the gratis restaurant occasion: our family outing on mother’s day to solé restaurant in honour of g’ma’s 90th bday! (recap + photos coming tomorrow!).

the discovery: peanut butter on PEAR tastes just as delicious as pb on APPLE! highly recommended! [i picked up pears when valu had this fruit on sale, and absolutely zero varieties of apples on special].

the swap: cauliflower for broccoli ($0.99 on sale vs $2.99 not on sale at valumart).

the disappointing failure: those date squares in the photo, above? virtually inedible. they are tasteless and dry. i still have 5/6 of the tray in the freezer, and i think i am going to need to chuck them, unfortunately, that’s how totally unpleasant they are. [i think i need a tshirt that says, “life is too short to eat cruddy date squares.”].

the cheat workaround solution: i need my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salads. despite scouring the sale flyers, the only greenery i could find on sale was romaine hearts, 2/$6 at valumart. do you know how puny and skimpy romaine hearts are?? and that price is still highway robbery! no way was i forking out that much moola for rabbit food. so, brilliant plan: i asked DAD to pick up lettuce for me at the market since mooching and freeloading is allowed for this project. (yes, i did feel a little chagrined). thankfully, this week there are more – and cheaper – options available in the greens dept at area stores!

the problem with a rule of this challenge: since the (self-imposed) rules state that only items on sale may be purchased, sometimes the sale price is more than the regular price. case in point: those oatmeal pacs – it’d be cheaper to buy a bag of oats, but they were not on sale, and the individual pacs WERE on sale, so that box went into the grocery cart. i always used to buy my oatmeal in those individualized serving sizes, and i realized buying them again now that you get spoiled, just grabbing a pac instead of measuring out oatmeal (like it’s such a hardship, that extra 23 seconds!) and you create more garbage! [for whatever reason, i swear the oatmeal tastes miniscule-y better from the little package…].

the yucky substitute: when i finally did locate apples on sale (zehrs at conestoga mall), i had to settle for the macintosh variety. thank goodness i only purchased two because they were mealy and soft – exactly the texture and taste i intensely dislike in an apple.

next tuesday will be recap #3!


the k-w record featured a really interesting grocery-related opinion piece last thursday. check out busy grocery shoppers shouldn’t read this column.

how much time would you say your average grocery shopping trip takes you? me = 5-10 minutes. most often, i buy a backpack’s worth of groceries at a time (so, not a whole lot). i never shop without a list. the only variable is how long the checkout line takes!


an idea for a future kiki project??!

in the latest issue of runner’s world, this small story caught my eye:

now this is creative!

this woman ran every day…and also drank a DIFFERENT TYPE of beer every day! how fun would it be to streak run and consume a NEW CEREAL every day??! that might be a bit preposterous for a year…but totally do-able for a month! need to ponder!…

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  • Dorry (@dorrybird)  On May 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I’ve been eating a lot of pears lately because they are so cheap at Trader Joe’s – and so delicious and juicy! apples have been hard to come by in the Big Apple – crazy, right? there’s one place I can get my favorite apples at a great price, but I have to plan ahead to get there since it’s not right in our neighborhood. Maranatha crunchy almond butter is my favorite thing in the world – I could eat it by the spoonful all day long. I haven’t had their peanut butter, but I’m sure it’s equally as delicious (and addicting!). bummer about the date squares, but I agree that you can’t eat them if they taste like crap. Billy and I are having a great time finding our best deals in the neighborhood.

    • 1970kikiproject  On May 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

      dorry, i am already making a list of groceries to buy on june 1st when it will not matter if they are on sale or not. maranatha pb (and maybe almond butter, too) are at the top of my list! soooo wish we had trader joe’s!! i love reading about all the neat places you and billy are discovering in nyc!!

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count  On May 15, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I like the idea of a run/cereal challenge. For you of course, not for ME!! 😉 When you get apples like that, chop those babies up add some cinnamon or apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice, some kind of sweetener if you like and raisins and toss them into the crock pot! They smell SO good and taste So good. Great on oatmeal or with yogurt. Or you could pour some milk over the dreaded date bars, microwave then add some of the apples. No waste!!

    • 1970kikiproject  On May 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

      fran, you are a genius! i LOVE the idea of mixing the date square with apple and milk and making a sort of apple crisp – brilliant!! good luck with your day!

  • Lisa  On May 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Great update! It does seem like this challenge is going well, even without tabulating yet!
    Maybe you can doctor up the date squares? Like crumble them up and add them to your oatmeal or yogurt (maybe with something added to them? Who knows, just a thought!
    I love that you’re doing this challenge—it’s inspiring (although I don’t know if I could do this exact thing—but some kind of spin-off!).
    The cereal challenge would be really interesting—but I bet it would get hard!! I think you’ll come up with the perfect thing to do 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On May 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

      thanks for the feedback, lisa! i was thinking, too, of maybe crumbling up the squares and adding them to … *something…” – i like the yogurt idea (the freezing it? date square frozen yogurt ice cream?!). your recipes over the last couple months have inspired ME! after this challenge (when i can freely shop at the health food store) maybe i shall try some of your ideas! i like your recipes because they are not too complex!

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