American shops, all the shops seen on films, tv shows or in my case pinterest, all the time! I used to see something I liked on pinterest – you could guarantee it was from an American shop! Well now those shops are at my finger tips.
Moving over to Florida I had to find a new shopping groove. New go to’s for the kids, me, home and even food shopping! I was an expert shopper but suddenly these new places felt daunting. Every shop I went in I had no clue where anything was or sometimes even what would be sold in the shop!
A food shop would literally take me hours. Gone were the days of zipping through tesco with a trolley – or having my online order prefilled with essentials and the lovely delivery men putting all my bags in the kitchen!!
I’d stare at shelves, looking at unfamiliar brands, trying to see which was the best value. I mean a family of 5, you can imagine how long that takes.
Then I’d do it all again the next week, at a different shop trying to lower the cost. This was not a quick holiday trip to the supermarket, this was our new life and a budget that didn’t allow for costly supermarket trips.
Honestly, even now I’m still figuring this all out. I’ve gone from expensive shops that sell everything to fresh green grocer type places alongside $ tree and aldi!
I tried costco once a month to buy in bulk with a quick top up at a local shop. Costco though = $100s I want it all and its all big and expensive!
Then I found an aldi, roughly 11 miles 20 minutes drive away and started going every week. I got tired of weekly shopping so tried doing a 2 week shop – we have a big pantry but if food is there it’s most definitely eaten quicker than I anticipated! Food and drinks are packaged big enough at least to warrant only shopping 2x a month. I just have “hungry” ie.greedy kids!
Now I am trialing a bi-weekly shop at Freshfields Farm. A 30 minute drive up the freeway – hence why its taken so long to try regularly.
It’s basically a big greengrocer and butchers. Pick my own fruit and veg plus meat at better prices with much more selection than the other supermarkets I’ve tried. I can also buy a big variety of herbs, which for some reason are not readily available round here. All at great competitive prices, hallelujah, at last!
A big freezer is a must here, most houses also have an extra freezer in the garage! I separate all my meat for the 2 weeks and freeze in portions for 5. I’ve also started freezing the herbs as the packs they are sold in go off in a few days. Great way to ensure I’m getting moneys worth!
The following week I’ve started using walmart (asda) pick up. The big supermarkets still don’t offer delivery here (you can pay a provider that will shop for you at limited shops). Walmart at least do a pick up. I senf Rob as its near his office. He’s always made it back with everything and unflusterd so its a win! I use walmart for top up of fresh items and milk then snacks, paper products and other pantry items.
I mentioned budget earlier on. The food shop here, it’s not cheap. I almost stopped and cried at the cost of mandarins in aldi compared to home! I shop for things we need, not things we want due to the cost which makes me sad but hey ho we can’t have everything can we?? I’d have loved to have shopped M&S every week at home (Think Fresh market US friends)
At least it means I avoid that amazing sweet aisle in the pic above!
To ensure I keep the food budget I meal plan for 2 weeks – I use pinterest a lot for meal ideas, plus my old recipe books, facebook groups, instagram and magazines.
Then write a comprehensive list. I try my very very hardest to stick to the list. 100% easier if Rob or the kids are not with me 😂
I’ve also tried coupons but I find I buy the item because there is a coupon rather than needing it! Also the coupons are generally for brands and I couldn’t care less about brands.
I’d rather buy aldi own at less cost. Got to love a good branded BOGO(F) though!
Lastly, shops here giveaway free coffee whilst your browsing and publix give kids cookies. Perfect bribe!
Follow my blog, facebook page or instagram page to see my next shopping blogs. Clothes, home, bargains and a few lost in translation items!