Well, it's a good thing that this is probably the last issue, as I don't feel like I'm learning many useful lessons that I can pass on to you. You can be promised the token "packing tips" column next time if there is one.
In the mean time, I'd like to pass on a few tips for grocery shopping.
Shop at discount grocery stores. It sounds easy, but the
reality is, you have to travel farther to find these, they keep reasonable
hours, AND they don't offer free plastic grocery bags (boxes are
provided). The 24-hour Sobey's down the road will start to look appealing,
it's true, but when you are paying anywhere from $0.25 to a few dollars
extra on each item, the gas money (or even a cab) becomes worth it.
Half-pint suggests: Food Basics (Fischer-Hallman and University) or Wholesale (big-box mall at King and Weber, behind Chapters)
Share certain staples with a roommate or two. If you can't
finish four liters of milk before it starts going Napoleon on the rest of
the fridge, try to buy with a roommate who drinks about the same amount.
You can spend less than a dollar more than you would for two liters, and
split four liters every week. This works well for bread, eggs, etc. If you
don't like splitting bills, just alternate paying the bill every trip.
Half-pint suggests: Don't try this unless you are close with said roommate, and arguments about money are unlikely.
Pack lunches. Whether you are working or studying, you can save
yourself money and eat more healthily by packing a lunch. A loaf of bread
can run you (tops) $2, deli meats $5-$10 (depending on cuts), and one
bottle of mustard $1.50 (which will last you a term). Tomatoes, lettuce,
and pickles will run you max $2 for 5 sandwiches. You're looking at $15,
rounding high, for 5 sandwiches made just the way you like them.
Pop is much cheaper when bought by the case, and even cheaper if bought in
2L bottles. Expect to pay ~$3.50 per 12 cans, or < $1.50 for a 2L
At a place like Wholesale (no membership required!), you can even buy a
case of snack-sized chip bags or chocolate bars.
Half-pint suggests: 2 sandwiches (~$2.50 each), a piece of fruit(~$0.25), juice from concentrate brought in a refillable container (~$0.20), and a yogurt (~$0.50) (don't forget to pack a spoon), make a feast of a (healthy!) lunch for less than $6.
Clean out your fridge before every shopping trip. This will
help you remember to throw out food gone bad, make sure you don't forget
to buy anything important, and maybe even remind you to eat something
before it spoils.
Half-pint suggests: Check dates in store and when you go to use anything from the fridge. If something doesn't have a date, or has been sealed for a long time before its first use, write the date of opening on it with a Sharpie. You can sniff test most things (we are repelled by rotting things by instinct), or call Mommy to check how long fresh chicken should last. Date things before freezing so that you can use up older ground beef before the newer stuff.
This feels as if it is taking up most of a page already, so I will depart with a final tip: eat oranges (or else, really, I haven't said anything about scurvy).
Thanks for reading at all this term. Since readers probably won't be interested in Baby Blues (a column about my best friend having a baby this summer), I'll probably be taking a break of undetermined length until anything in my life is relevant to other Math students again. So thanks for the two term run.
Half-pint, who is looking forward to not having to grocery shop again next term