This week I went shopping at the Commissary on the Army Post for groceries. It's mostly just like an ordinary American grocery store, but there are a few key differences. Most importantly, I've learned that their stock changes a lot more than most grocery stores. If I come across something that I haven't seem before, like a certain kind of cheese or frozen salmon, I buy it IMMEDIATELY. There's no guarantee that they will ever have it again, and some items sell out in what seems like the blink of an eye. Secondly, they accept expired coupons. I thought they were crazy at first, hanging up all of these expired coupons next to items on the shelves. It turns out that they ignore the expiration dates because most of the coupons are shipped over from the States and the delay means that they are often close to expiring once they arrive. Lastly, I've learned to pay attention to the little white signs labeled Manager's Special, most of which are tucked away in corners and on end caps. They don't do proper sales, but some of the Specials are insanely good. I picked up two pounds of frozen, breaded tilapia for $3 a few weeks ago! I took advantage of a few this week, too, which I'll talk about below.
Here's what I bought:
I still had a few odds and ends left over in the refrigerator, so I didn't pick up too much produce. One of the biggest challenges with a household of only two is making sure that you don't over buy and then have to throw out spoiled food. I got some green grapes for snacks with the yogurt left over from last week, two bananas, a tomato, a beautiful green pepper, a sweet yellow onion, two white potatoes for soup, a zucchini, scallions, and a bag of celery. Most of the veggies are going into dinners this week. Managers specials were the green grapes, the bananas, and the yellow onion.
Actually a lot of my cans this week are boxes, not cans! I picked up a can of chicken for fried rice, a bag of Special K cracker chips for a snack (they were good!), little cans of tuna for lunches, creamed corn and whole kernels, both for a sort of corn/corn bread bake I'm trying this week, a can of beans for a dinner, seasoned bread crumbs because we were out, raspberry NutriGrain cereal bars for quick breakfasts for the trips we have planned for this weekend, graham crackers for crushing up in a cookie recipe, Worcestershire sauce for seasoning potato soup, and a can of tomato soup for lunch. The graham crackers were a Manager's Special for $1 and for some strange reason the raspberry bars were almost a dollar cheaper than every other flavor.
We still had a bunch of cheese left over from last week's haul and I tried to plan dinners that would use them up. All that we needed was skim milk, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Parmesan, and light sour cream.
Bread and Pasta
Another category where we still have some things to finish up! I got a loaf of Home Pride 100% Whole Wheat bread. This is mostly for Hubby's sandwiches that he takes for lunch, although I occasionally have toast in the morning. I also got a package of whole grain spaghetti for a pasta dish and flat bottomed taco shells for a taco dinner. I think that I will wait and make them next Tuesday so I can call it Taco Tuesday! The flat-bottomed taco shells, and only the flat ones, were a Manager's Special at a mere 51 cents for the box.
I got a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies (peppers and onions) for fried rice, Morning Star Farms burger crumbles for tacos and stroganoff, and a bag of frozen dinner rolls. Our bakery in town has been closed for a few weeks because they had something mechanical break. I couldn't read the entire sign in their window since it was in German and I still don't speak or read very much of the language, but they aren't set to open again for another week. So the frozen rolls are to tide us over for right now.
Dinner plans for the week are: tacos, vegetable pasta, fried rice, vegetarian stroganoff using the crumbles instead of ground beef, a cornbread bake, potato soup, and lentil stew.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and make sure to check out my grocery haul video here: