The Day I Got Mad at Groceries, Part 2 (Is Balance Possible?)

Read Part 1 – The Day I Got Mad at Groceries and Food in General here.


groceries 411

After processing with you some of my frustrations with being able to achieve balance when striving to…

  • Save money on groceries
  • Fill us with nourishment
  • Satisfy my teenage sons’ huge appetites
  • Not spend hours in the kitchen
  • Keep up with life during a busy season

…I headed to the grocery store.

I had my list ready to go. I also had our full calendar in mind, knowing all too well what the next two weeks held for my family. Which was bigger – my grocery list or my to-do list? Oh, now that’s a tough one.

So I prayed for a balanced approach to my shopping. God is not above me asking for help in selecting food for my family. God cares about every detail. He knows my desire to be a good steward and also my need to not over-burden myself in the kitchen. He knows what’s on my calendar. He knows how much my boys eat. He knows we need a new vehicle. He knows.

groceries june 17

At the store, I filled my cart with a wonderful variety of fresh produce from strawberries to peaches to zucchini to peppers to apples to asparagus to watermelon to avocados. I got all the produce at wonderful prices thanks to price-matching.

Then I compromised and bought a few loaves of bread, even though I know how to make it myself. I bought pre-made frozen hashbrowns, even though I know how to make them myself. (By the way, the only ingredient in the Mr. Dells brand frozen hashbrowns is potatoes. The lack of fillers made me add three bags to my cart!) I bought several packages of nitrite-free, uncured beef hotdogs for fast and fun lunches on the grill. I bought bottled BBQ Sauce, even though I know how to make it myself.

Truth: Everything I bought was still real food. (Yes, I realize I’m pushing it when talking about hotdogs. Work with me here. They’re trying. Really they are.)

I got good deals. I was careful about everything that went into my cart. But doggonit, when I want to make Grilled Chicken this week, I’m gonna open up a bottle of pre-made BBQ Sauce, dump it on, and go about my day.

I think we all have to:

  • make decisions about what works for our family and what doesn’t.
  • realize that just because something had been working for our family, sometimes a change is in order.
  • ask God for clarity, peace, and help in all areas in our lives.

My conclusions about groceries…today

Actually, I have no conclusions. I conclude that what I conclude today may be different from what I conclude next week. Right? Often if it’s best if we just think about today. I trust God to make it all clear to each of us when it comes to saving money, eating well, and saving time.

Today’s conclusions are:

  • I will continue to follow Simple Meals plans because without them, I’m lost and frustrated at dinner time. The recipes and every aspect of these plans are so easy I barely have to work and I rarely have to think. This is how I’ll continue to do dinner.
  • With that, when a recipe calls for BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, or beans – it’s coming out of a jar, bottle, or can because it is still real food, the price is still reasonable, and I don’t have time to make every single ingredient from scratch right now.
  • Lunches and Breakfasts might need to be some of the same choices over and over for a while. This will cut down on my need to think so hard, and make it easier for the boys to help themselves.
  • As long as I always have plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies to fill the table, I can relax about the occasional hotdogs or pizza.

Balancing Nourishment, Time, and Cost When Grocery Shopping

What have you found helps you most when trying to find balance in saving money, eating well, and saving time in the kitchen?

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  1. Carol says

    Your comment, “Often it’s best if we just think about today,” reminds me that Jesus teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Be prayerful, and be thankful. I think that is what you are describing.


  2. Janelle English says

    I really appreciate your balanced , non-crazy perspective on groceries and feeding your family!! It has helped set me free…..for realzz. I no longer freak out about non-organic fruits and veggies. I even started buying a bit of cereal again (oh the horror)….because Bran Flakes with blueberries are the So thanks! janelle


  3. Erin says

    I would love a brand for real food (or close) BBQ sauce. My kiddo only likes the mild ones at restaurants and they all have hfcs. I need to just have an option to make more simple meals but tasty.

    Don’t ever feel like you have to apologize for buying instead of making. Many of us are doing our best as well but need an option that keeps us sane. ????


  4. Amber says

    I agree about balance. It would be really helpful if you could tell us what brands you use with store bought items. I have not been able to find a bbq sauce that I find acceptable. Condiments are the hardest to find. I buy our bread at great harvest. Love that you found one ingredient hashbrowns. I do buy applegate hotdogs and homel nitrate free bacon, which I find acceptable.

    I find the balance hard, especially since I have severe insulin resistance, which I believe happened from growing up eating ready made processed foods. I really want to save my two teens from the same fate. Unfortunately, food and disease is intertwined. But the tides are changing and better options are becoming available. Dr. Mark Hyman asks the question, “what’s an eater to do?” I think we are all trying to figure that out! And the answer will be different depending on season of life, and any illness we are dealing with.

    Thanks for the post! And please let us of know of ready made groceries you find!


  5. Lori says

    I always try to find balance in our diet. My husband never eats vegetables, my kids are following his lead. I am a vegetarian so I eat veggies all the time, every meal. I will continue to serve the veggies and hopefully one day they will eat them


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