Grocery Shopping In The Dalles Is Hard For My Large Family

I’m into my second week of the $100 grocery budget challenge. My first week started off a little rocky and I didn’t make my goal of only spending $100 on food for our family. Maybe it’s just not realistic for a family of 6? I don’t know. While I would typically spend between $400 – $500 per week on food, I was able to spend under $150. I did save money and we still ate. No one starved! Baby steps.

While discussing my new grocery budget with a friend she suggested I get into couponing again. Something along the lines of “remember when you got all that free shit from coupons? You should do that again – that would keep you way under $100/week”.

I think the all telling word in her statement is SHIT. Yes, it was all shit. Boxes of sugar laden cereal, mac & cheese, endless tubes of toothpaste and frozen pizzas for pennies. No one in my household needs to eat that stuff. I’ll happily spend more for better foods. For those wondering, couponing is just not for me.

Here in The Dalles, we have minimal grocery shopping options:

  • Fred Meyer
  • Safeway
  • Grocery Outlet
  • Smaller Mini-Mart stores (expensive!)

I would venture to say that Grocery Outlet has the lowest prices on things. If you’ve ever shopped there, you’ll understand that its hard to go there if you have specifics in mind. I have better luck going there when I’m just stocking the pantry with random things for the kids. Additionally, their meats and milk are often times more expensive than the sale prices at the other two grocery stores.

During the warmer weather I love visiting Packers Orchard out of Hood River for their fresh produce and pickled veggies. There is also a Farmers Market here in town that goes from June – October of each year. I get our groceries from many sources in this town and often times I find the experience of visiting these markets better then the shopping itself.

One thing I miss from Portland is having a grocery store that had everything I needed at low prices. Winco & Walmart Superstore are the two main ones that I’m thinking of. I knew I could find anything I needed at Winco (my favorite) and that the amount I would spend overall would be considerably lower than going to a competitor. While I continue to strive for a balance between wholesome foods and a healthy wallet, living in The Dalles has proven to be one large obstacle in that department.

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