Finding balance between budget and premium at the grocery store.

Midwest Munchers Jordan Durst

Hello Dairy Carrie Followers! I’m Jordan, the face and voice behind Midwest Munchers!

When Carrie sent out a call for guest bloggers I immediately and eagerly raised my hand. I used to be an elementary school teacher so TRUST me when I say that my hand raise was both immediate and eager. 

Carrie and I began discussing topics for my guest post and she suggested that I write about my experience grocery shopping and what I look for when I shop  for my family. Please note that “family” is a bit of an exaggeration since I live with my boyfriend Mike and my three dogs. Honestly, talking about grocery shopping is pretty darn easy since grocery shopping is one of my favorite hobbies. There’s nothing more perfect than leisurely going up and down each and every grocery store aisle. When I first got my driver’s license I remember one of my very favorite things was when my mom would give me her credit card and I would happily go grocery shopping each week for the family. It wasn’t like my mom was too busy to do it. She just knew I enjoyed it so damn much. 

It’s also pertinent to note that I’m the world’s cheapest person. I proudly flaunt anything I buy on clearance. I once had a boyfriend ask me “If I could *please* stop telling everyone about the things I bought on sale.”

My answer was, “NO. I obviously CAN NOT stop doing this.”

I was raised by an accountant so being frugal runs in my blood. 

I proudly purchased 90% of the furniture in my house off websites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Once I even bought a mattress off of Craiglist. 


When I told Mike my plan to buy a mattress off of Craigslist he rolled his eyes, but went along with it. Our relationship consists  of a lot of eye rolling. 

When I grocery shop I still try to be extremely frugal, but I’m also someone who truly appreciates good food. On any given day you can see me rifling through the discounted produce bin in order to salvage that one imperfect zuchinni and then later that day shelling out $15 block for a tiny brick of 10 year Hook’s aged cheddar. 

To me it’s all about balance.

If I can save a few bucks buying discounted produce I’m going to do it. I also will regularly and frequently “splurge” on local high quality products. I want to buy GREAT food and support local producers as much as possible. 

Here are a few ways I save money while buying great quality products for my family…cough cough…dogs and boyfriend.

Flashfood App– I stumbled upon this app through a random Facebook ad. The Flashfood App is genius because it prevents food that is about to expire from ending up in landfills. The grocery store simply keeps track of when food on their shelf is about to expire and a few days before it expires they take it off their shelf and sell it for 50% off on the Flashfood App. You purchase the food directly through the app and pick it up at the store. I love that I can purchase my normal staples at a super discounted price. It also allows me to try new brands or products that I normally wouldn’t want to pay to try. I have a hard time shelling out my hard earned money on things that I might not like. Flashfood makes it easy and cheap to try new things.

Discount Produce Bin- Almost every grocery store now has a discount produce bin. If you search around the produce aisle you’ll eventually discover it. It’s never super clearly marked or out in the open, but it’s there. Most of the grocery stores simply mark everything down to a dollar or two because the produce will be past its prime in a few days. If you’re someone who is flexible with how you cook, this is a great way to make cheap meals. Basically any vegetable can be combined with sausage and chickpeas and roasted in the oven. Discounted produce is perfect for this!

Farmers Market- Buying food directly from the farmers market is one of my favorite things to do. I love supporting a local business and at the same time produce, cheese, meat and bakery items are significantly cheaper when you buy them straight from the producer. One of my favorite types of goat cheese is the Apricot Honey & Lavender Goat Cheese from Dreamfarm. I can buy it at my local grocery store for $11 or I can go to the Farmers Market and buy it for $7.

Not a hard choice right?!

But at the end of the day, I really do just want to eat great food and support local business owners. So if that means spending $20 on Hook’s 10 year aged cheddar, then GD I’m going to do it. 

You can follow along with my food adventures as Midwest Munchers on Instagram.

Carrie here! Thanks so much to Jordan for sharing her thought process at the grocery store! If you want some more awesome cheeses to try, click HERE.

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