I'm sort of frustrated these days by my grocery experience.
Tonight, I found myself at 4pm strolling through Whole Foods to grab spinach, artichoke, cashews, goat cheese and basil. I was making a cashew encrusted chicken breast salad with crostini for my family.
My bill after adding a gallon of whole milk for the baby, some additional veggies and a baguette was $53. I can't put a price tag on the serenity of my experience or the good feeling I had putting my baby in the grocery cart or feeding her a sample pineapple chunk and orange slice.
Because we subsist largely on one income, it's really hard to spend hundreds of dollars a month for a family of 5 on groceries. And yet, I can think of no better use of my money than to feed my family with good food and to maintain my sanity while doing so.
There is a WalMart a hop, skip, and a jump from my home. If I'd have gone there, my grocery bill would have been half the amount. I would not have put Claire in the cart even with the sanitizer wipes and I'd have probably been pissed with the lack of customer service.
So, where's my middle of the road? I'm certain that it's growing a larger garden in the summer and freezing produce for the winter. It's probably cooking more meals that can be morphed into different variations throughout the week, instead of purchasing ingredients for 7 meals. It's also probably sucking it up and paying more for fresh produce and an environment that I feel clean and calm after I leave.