Sucker for a bargain

When I was a kid I remember my mother gathering the weekly grocery ads and scouring the three stores in our town at the time—Dillon’s, IGA and Homeland for the best deals. Then every Friday morning she’d pack up her farm fresh egg deliveries and go to the grocery store afterward. Us three girls would go with her in the summer and help deliver the eggs.

I think her hunt for a bargain at the grocery store became engrained in my psyche. I remember her dutifully making a list for each store, looking for coupons to match what she needed for the week and making sure we were all well fed. From the looks of my childhood photos, we definitely never missed a meal.

Now that I’m a mother and do a lot of the shopping, I try to save a buck where I can. When I’m on top of things, I make a list and gather what we need rather painlessly. Instead of clipping actual coupons, I load them on an app. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I struggle with eating healthy and saving money.

Blame it on the resolution season and the fact I can hear my checkbook groan when I make another trip to the store, but we really should be cooking more at home instead of stopping for supper in town. I struggle with cooking new things because I despise the statement, "Ewww… What’s that? I’m not eating it!" from my boys. Shoots the confidence down right away.

Last week I had a prime example of that. I’d been craving a beef roast in the crockpot for the last few weeks. I’d casually looked at the roasts at Wal-Mart and Dillon’s and really didn’t see one that fit my budget. The other local grocery store, Farmer’s Country Market, has the best meat counter. You can see the butcher through the window and if you’re lucky, he’ll come out and ask if you need anything in particular. They happened to have a family pack of chuck roasts on special for $3.49 a pound. Into my cart it went.

I texted my husband on the way home from the store and told him of my bargain and what I intended to make for supper. I got a very unenthusiastic "Sure" from him when I asked if roast was ok for supper. My reply? "You’re not nearly as excited about my bargain as I was hoping!" In return I got, "Stoked for beef…!!!" Well, that’s better! Now the two boys on the other hand, hit the front door with "What’s that smell? I’m not eating roast!!"

I’m not real sure why I get so disgusted with their reactions to roast. As I kid I didn’t like it either. I’m sure mom’s coupon clipping gave her the funds to spend it on beef roasts. Why can’t my own kids understand that! Plus the protein and nutrition gained from eating beef can’t be beat.

I managed to get the boys to eat the roast, but not the way I wanted mine (over mashed potatoes with carrots and gravy). Shaun wanted just the beef wrapped up in a flour tortilla, and of course after seeing big brother do that, little brother wanted his the same way. As long as they eat it, I don’t care. I’m going to call it a win anyway.

And this time the family pack of beef chuck roasts was a bargain. Three meals in one purchase.