For Love and Money

I have some BAD groceries in my house. Know the culprit who bought them? I'll give you one clue - he's the dude with the penchant for pinching pennies!

Sometimes I myself will shop in a thrifty/frugal/cheap-ass mood, and wind up reaching for the generic brands, examining the cost per unit prices, and even scouring that back table where they put the expired cat food, dented soup cans, old condiments and whatnot. BUT I never buy food that I know is probably crappy just to save a couple nickels and dimes.

I cherish my dear sweet mate and love that my husband grocery shops, but some of the things he comes home with are troubling. Allow me to give several examples.

1) The generic brand "Fruit On The Bottom" individual yogurts. This kills me. First off, buy the big cartons of yogurt and spoon them into containers if you want to save money - the individual ones are more expensive and wasteful. Also, that "fruit" on the bottom is less fresh and more funky. It's too sweet and tastes of old berry jam jar dregs or something. The quality of the dairy is also pretty bad - grainy and not creamy at all.

2) Bread that will go stale in one day - I mean you, cheap grocery bakery "Baguettes." By the time you get it home, its wannabe Euro crust is harder than a brickbat.

3) Bread that just sucks. Scott and I were on a roll with the Pepperidge Farms soft whole grain loaf, and then he had to go and save 35 cents with some Nature's Grain Valley of the Whole Wheat High Fiber Farms or something, and it's not good. Bread needs to taste good, so don't skimp. See #2 for reiteration.

4) Random meat on sale. Like I know how to put a meal together with five Andouille sausages? Leave that business to Emeril and buy me some hanger steak instead, please.

5) Six blocks of cheese. They were 2 for 1 at the store, huh? Well, unless you're itching to wolf some Nachos and Quesadillas every day, and you're ready to hit 250 pounds by Thanksgiving, I think we need to lay off the dairy deliveries, mmmkay?

This is just a sampling of some things that I find are problematic when you try to go too cheap. I'm all for being economical, but you don't have to sacrifice taste and quality to do so.



  1. Oh totally. Remember Ingles? Laura Lynn brand Mac & Cheese might have been the worst thing I ever tasted. And homegirl can eat some Mac & Cheese!

    I never skimp on Peanut Butter, Jam, fruit, lettuce, yogurt, cottage cheese or bread. In the end, it's just not worth it. If you're trying to go cheap, buy in season, man, that's always the best hidden deal.

  2. I thought this exact thing this past week after making a similar mistake. I went with the cheap grape jelly because I'm currently forced to penny-pinch. It'd been awhile since I skipped over halfway decent jam for giant on-sale jelly jar for PB&J. Big, nay HUGE mistake. It tasted like poorly made jello. Never again!

    (Side note: I've pinched pennies - or well, should be dollars nowadays - but now I have a bunch of great computer-based gadgets to help me. Unfortunately, while it makes the planning and choices much clearer, I find myself too often staring at the damn numbers as if by some force of mental telepathy they'll stop only going DOWNwards.)

    Word verification o' the day - joyagstf: should be read as "joy-agstf", as in the happy feeling one gets from saving money at the supermarket followed by the incomprehensible sound one makes when they realize the cheap stuff was not worth it.


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