Maybe, I am biased, but there are two luxuries I think every working mother should at least contemplate: someone (besides you) who regularly cleans your home and groceries, delivered to your door. I’ll get to the house cleaner one day but today, I’m going to focus on the groceries piece. I love to cook. My mother owned a gourmet catering company for more than 15 years and many of her recipes were tested on her family of six. All meals were from scratch with the highest of quality ingredients. I was spoiled.
I’ve tried to continue that tradition as much as I can and aim to provide my family with home cooked meal 5 of the 7 nights a week (Friday and Saturdays are my “vacation” days.) This means weekly, full grocery store trips, are a must.
Before I had kids, I used to go to the grocery store (okay several different types of grocery stores) each week with this list to guide my purchases but once I had my first child, I quickly started to HATE grocery shopping. Part of what I liked about grocery shopping was getting lost in the experience – picking up food, smelling it, being inspired and of course comparing prices and ingredients. The process takes much longer with kids and cuts into our fun family time. I find it extremely difficult to think with two kids begging for whatever latest item their friend had in their lunchbox while climbing in and out of the cart.
So, I’ve resorted to PeaPod for most of my shopping. PeaPod has a great list on its website that allows me to easily add things I commonly buy to my cart. You may be thinking – wow, online grocery shopping is super expensive but I’ve found that it’s actually much cheaper. Every time I go to the grocery store, I consider myself lucky if I spend under $200.00. With PeaPod, I actually struggle sometimes to spend $100.00. At the grocery store there is MUCH more impulse buying that occurs. On PeaPod, I often find I’m adding and removing things from my cart as I think through what I REALLY need for the week and as I go and check my cabinets only to find I already have six cans of tomato paste. Now on Friday nights, it’s common that while watching a movie, I will have my recipe & cookbooks sitting next to me so I can plan my meals for the following week. I look at the ingredients and order EXACTLY what I need and nothing more. I also have a list of meals I commonly prepare so my husband can peruse the list and make some requests.
It doesn’t mean I still don’t visit a grocery store during the week because some things are better bought fresh (like fish) and sometimes my kids plow through milk much faster than usual. There are also weekends that if we have nothing else going on, I will force myself to go to the grocery store with the kids because I think it’s important for them to be a part of this process and learn about different foods. On those trips, I use my checklist to indicate what I need to purchase for upcoming recipes but also do a lot of impulse buying. I happen to have a large shelf in my basement filled with stock items and so the trips to the grocery store allow me to replenish the stock and sometimes buy things I don’t really need. And then, I use PeaPod for the next several weeks, guilt free.