August 23, 2010

Shopping, and Lack Thereof

The past 5 weeks I have shopped only for basics.  I bought some milk, one loaf of bread (plus won more in a gift basket off the radio), some fresh fruits and vegetables, diapers, and duct tape (turned out I did have some, like I thought).  Here is why I chose to do this:
  1. Save time, money, and reduce stress.  I did not look at a single shopping ad for 5 weeks!  
  2. Prove to myself that I could live without shopping at all for a month or more, if I had to.
  3. Determine what my fridge, freezer, and pantry are missing.
  4. Rotate through some of the food that I had.
My experience was very successful.  My family noticed very few differences in our diet.  Here is what we learned:
  1. Country Cream powdered milk and Morning Moo's Milk Alternative are both pretty good.  I could get used to them if I had to.  Usually I mixed them with 2% milk, and it tasted great.  Powdered milk from the cannery tastes nasty.  Even mixed with regular milk, or with a little vanilla or sugar.  Gross.  I did like it, though, with Nestle Quik.  I would even mix the dry milk with warm water, Quik, and ice cubes and drink it immediately.  
  2. I missed yogurt and sour cream.  My son missed yogurt and cottage cheese.  My husband missed fresh fruit.
  3. We can see that if we had to continue doing little or no shopping for a couple more months than we would get bored with the food we have.  Just one month wasn't a problem, but any more than 3 months would get boring.  So, we intend to store a larger variety of foods as finances allow.
Today I went shopping, and had a fairly normal trip.  I just bought what was on sale!  This included eggs to freeze (I used frozen eggs on Saturday in waffles, and it turned out great!), and the milk and sour cream I found discounted for quick sale.  I intend to freeze this as well.  Frozen sour cream will work great in something like enchiladas.  I just wouldn't want to put it on a baked potato.  I also bought a ham shank for 99 cents/pound.  I intend to use this with dutch oven potatoes, baked beans (I'll freeze some), and freeze slices to use for pizza, omelets, and ham and eggs.

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