Grocery shopping should be an Olympic sport. At the very least, it could be a competitive sport.

Alright contestants, you have three hours and $400 in which to buy two weeks worth of groceries – that’s fourteen days of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks – for a family of seven. Oh, and here’s a toddler on the edge to accompany you! Your time begins NOW. GO! GO! GO!!!!

They could put random obstacles – like slow shoppers, chatty cashiers, and wonky-wheeled carts – in the contestants’ paths and draw fate cards at the start to make it more true-to-life.

Contestants, keep in mind while meal planning and shopping for your family of seven that *draws card* one of them has a dairy allergy, *draws another card* one is diabetic and *draws final card* the four year-old won’t eat anything orange!

I am certain there are world class athletes that couldn’t do it. Or maybe they could and I’m just feeling exceptional because, you guys, I totally kicked ass at the grocery shopping today.

I realize this may not be a big deal to everyone.

Given that I plan, shop and cook, not just for Dave and me, but also my parents and my children, it’s one of my most time-consuming (and potentially stress-inducing) responsibilities. And now that I am so hugely pregnant that I can’t touch my feet and the urge to pee can become a true emergency in less than 45 seconds, the actual getting of the groceries is the most difficult part.

Even when I’m physically unencumbered, the grocery shopping is a challenge. But it’s also the key to success at home. It is one area where I have some financial control. I have a strict budget, but if I can come in under it? That makes things NICE. This is why I do all the shopping at once, if possible. I’ve learned that the more I go to the store, the more I spend. So, I have to be sure my meals are well-planned and my list is comprehensive in order to avoid return trips. Also, if I have all the ingredients on hand for dinner, I’m not tempted to pick up something quick and easy (i.e. expensive). And my family knows, the food we have on hand is what we have until next pay. You want to eat all the cheese in two days? Fine. You’ll be cheeseless for the next twelve. Enjoy those hamburgers next Thursday without it. Anyway, what I’m saying is, when I can get palatable meals for less than my budget amount between dropping Lucy off and picking her up from preschool? I feel like The Champion of the World.

The fact that I found a salon giving $2.99 hair cuts for their grand opening today may have bumped it up to Champion of THE UNIVERSE!!!

(Just out of curiosity, how much do you spend on groceries?) (Also, If you have any tips for cutting costs, I’d love to hear about that, too.)

*Those are lyrics from We Are the Champions by Queen. (Now is when you click that link and listen and imagine me running in slow motion down the aisles of Aldi holding high my recyclable shopping bags packed full of deals!)