UNITED STATES—I have told this to people in the past that the cost of food or groceries (it depends on who you speak to) is costly. I tallied my receipts for the past 2 weeks and I spent over $200 in groceries! Yeah, it baffled me because I had to think about what I purchased and then I realized I hadn’t purchased much which was the frustrating thing.

I’m a frugal shopper in most aspects. I write a list and people think I’m crazy for doing that, but this is the best way for me to remember what I NEED versus just going to the grocery store and shopping blind. When you shop blind you tend to purchase things that you don’t need. With that said, that happened in my most recent trip. I purchased salmon burgers, cod loins, pita chips, cherry juice, etc. The list goes on and on.

A lot of the things I purchased were slightly snack items as I call it, with the exception of the cherry juice. I actually have to have that as it keeps my joints from hurting and halts any possible gout attacks that I had occur in the past. When you add a few of those items up that is easily $30 to $40 and guess what, I only have like 5 or 6 items, which is disheartening to say the least. With that said, there are stores that are a bit pricier than others.

For example, Whole Foods, sells great healthy things, but the price of those items are just out of my budget. $100 there is really only about $20 of groceries for me. Eating healthy should not cost more money in my opinion, but that seems to be a trend in the grocery world America. However, if you go to the big box retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Kroger, Ralph’s and a few others, what you spend at a health store or organic establishment doesn’t compare to the quantity you receive elsewhere.

However, I do like what I like. We have a local farmer’s market that I frequent at least once a week or every two weeks. I’ve been shopping there for more than 8 years maybe longer, I honestly cannot remember. They just have brands of foods and items that I like and I’m a fruit and veggie guy. So I like my fruits and veggies to last a while if possible. I purchase lettuce or mangoes from this establishment and they last more than a week. If I go to one of the big box retailers they might last a few days or a week at most.

Fresh fruits and veggies are good for the body and they are items that you do indeed have to purchase weekly. They don’t last for weeks’ people and they’re not like things you can store in the pantry or cabinet for months. I spend $70 one week, $60 the next and I already have to go to the grocery store again! I’m not even eating that much, but I tend to grocery shop based on meals that I want to cook, which is NOT all that smart America.  Some of those meals can be quite pricey as well, so I have to start thinking of ways to curb costs. Perhaps, I should change the approach and focus on getting the staples that way I don’t run out. After the staples have been purchase I can focus on my specialty items. I mean purchasing a chicken breast stuffed with ricotta and spinach is not smart, when I can simply purchase a pack of chicken breast, spinach and ricotta cheese and have enough to last 2-3 days versus a serving for just one day.

There are two things I want to get at here: 1) the cost of food should NOT be as high as it is 2) we have to be smarter about how we spend our money America. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you should frivolously spend it. Try to make those dollars stretch and last as long as you possibly can people. Food is something we all have in common. Some of us like certain things and that will never change.

I am one of them, with that said, the past month has opened my eyes to be more ‘aware’ of not just what I’m spending, but how I can make what I spend to stretch as long as possible. I mean who wants to be going to the grocery store EVERY SINGLE WEEK! I know I don’t even though I will admit grocery shopping can be quite therapeutic at times America.

Written By Jason Jones