• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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How I Shop

I made my bi-weekly trip to Publix today.  In case you’re not from the South, Publix is one of our mainstream grocery chains, and it’s my preferred grocery store.

Usually, our grocery schedule goes like this:  Every other weekend, I create a list based on specials at Publix, coupons I have, and what I want to cook over the next couple weeks.  Then, I make a “big” grocery trip.  Usually, each week, we make a stop at Publix or Whole Foods to pick up other odds and ends.  I tend to make a “mini trip” to the store on my off weeks to grab a couple things that are on special that week.

Here I am in my Sunday morning grocery shopping getup:


Early Sunday (before 9:00 A.M.) is my favorite time to hit Publix.  (Hence the hat, hiding my messy morning hair!)  It’s not very busy, but they have a lot of staff there to get ready for the Sunday afternoon rush.  This means there is always someone to help find an item!

My grocery shopping essentials include my coupon file:


Also, my list that I write, which is categorized by department:


And lastly, my reusable shopping bags:


We have about 10 of these stashed in our cars and by our front door so we can use them on every shopping trip!  The Publix ones are my favorite because they are really heavy-duty, but I also like my NPR bags, which I totally got from donating to my local NPR station during a pledge drive!  (I am a nerd.)

My local Publix store:


The first thing I did this week was grab a Sunday newspaper, because I am an avid newspaper reader.


I always hit the deli/bakery/meat department first, then the dairy department at the back of the store, and then the produce department.



In between, I venture into the soup/pasta aisle, the baking aisle, and the cereal/coffee aisle.  I occasionally visit the frozen food section, too.  Those are the only middle aisles where I shop for food – I follow the adage that the healthiest foods are around the outside, which is completely true!

My cart today ended up looking like this:


On a Sunday morning, there’s always a checkout aisle open at Publix!  This means it was a quick trip between the checkout lane and my car, which is always nice.


The total cost of my grocery trip this week was $85, with a savings of only about $10.  This is kind of a high bill with low savings for me – I am usually more of a bargain shopper!  However, I got enough stuff to make three tasty meals with leftovers, plus some extra stuff, so I should have to hit the store for a couple of weeks!

What is your grocery shopping technique?  How do you plan and execute your grocery trips?

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