About Me

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Concord, California, United States
I am a sometimes-writer, everyday mama, creative failure and experimental cook. I am interested in living a beautiful life, spending time with my family and making things that I can feel proud of. When I'm by myself I'm usually outside. Don't bother calling because chances are that I didn't bring my cell phone because I couldn't find it. If you see me walking, it's because I lost my keys and if you see me with only one child... I'm probably in big trouble.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So, the thing about me is that I love food.

I love to eat. I love to grocery shop. I love to cook. I love to bake. I love to prep. I love to feed.

I just love everything about food.

Here's something that you may not know about me, (though it's possible that I may have mentioned it before). I, Anna Holler, might just be the world's most savvy grocery shopper EVER. I mean, I don't want to toot my own horn, but I suspect that I could make a career out of the skill, THE TALENT that I have for buying food. Grocery shopping is the only kind of shopping that I enjoy. I could (and often DO) do it for hours and am sincerely a little bit sad when it's over and that I only get to do this once every two weeks.

Recently, I turned to facebook to ask people how much money they spend on groceries each week. I found that the majority of people came within about $50 of what we spend. I was also pleasantly surprised by how many comments I received. It seems that a lot of people care about this. It's not just me!

We shop at two different places and buy all organic and mostly locally grown/organic food. We buy all of our produce and meat from the Reading Terminal Market and all of our dairy and general aisle foods from Whole Foods Market (which I would marry if it were socially acceptable and legal). I spend between $300 and $350 dollars every two weeks. The number depends on how many high priced extras that I need (things like dish washer detergent, soaps and household cleaners... which reminds me that I really need to begin making these things on my own again to keep my bills down)!

I think that this is a good place to add that I cook a few meals every day. I make decent breakfasts for my daughters each day. Generally I also do one big breakfast on the weekend. I buy at least 4 dozen eggs each time I shop (between breakfast eggs and baking eggs, I go through at least 2 dozen every week!!!! I realize that this seems impossible.) And I make big dinners each night. Lunch involves more assembling than cooking, but I do send Jay to work each day with a sandwich and snack. At times I'll also send the girls with a packed lunch, though they typically prefer to buy it at school.

The break up of my grocery bill looks like this:

$130 meat
$60 produce
$100-150 dairy and aisle foods (cereal, granola bars, pasta, pasta sauce, school snacks, sorta healthy "junk food," frozen foods).

I realize that I could spend a lot less money at the grocery store and still feed my family. I see articles like this one and know that I could technically spend $100 every two weeks and we could all eat. That said, I could also spend $800 every two weeks if we bought ALL of our groceries at Trader Joes or Whole Foods. I care a lot about things like avoiding HFCS and nitrates. I don't want to eat animals that were grown on shelves or lived their lives in misery under disgusting conditions. More importantly, I don't want to feed these things to my children. As it is, I have an organic, healthy diet on a grocery-chain budget.

I realize that not everyone has an organic farmers market or organic butcher at their finger tips, but I wonder what kind of other options there are. Also, outside of meat and dairy, I don't think that everything needs to be organic all the time. I feel more comfortable with organic food and I prefer it, but I will eat out from time to time and have something that isn't organic or healthy. All within moderation, I suppose!

Where do you shop? What do you buy? What do you spend?

Here's a little article that I found about ways to save money on groceries! Enjoy!!!!


  1. I really love grocery shopping too. It becomes almost dangerous. We have tons of stores with a few miles, Whole Foods, Shaws, Stop and Shop, Hannaford, and Roche Bros. I buy a mix of food including some organic. Overall Hannaford is where I do most of my shopping. They have a good selection of organic foods and overall is much cheaper than the other stores. I try to read the circulars each week and pick up those sale items that we use. For example Cheerios are a staple in my house and they are $2.00 a box at one store so I will try to get there to get them. However, it isn't always convenient to hit three stores a week. I try hard to plan my meals. One great meal planner is Saving Dinner. It has a website and book. I just took it from the library. There are shopping lists and everything! I try not to go shopping too much because I am impulsive. I try to cook extra meals and plan for left overs. I love to read cookbooks and prepare foods and am trying hard to avoid a lot of processed foods. We spend about $120-150 weekly. If I don't spend it one week I spend it the next.

  2. Hey Christine,

    For unknown reasons this just reminded me of when you worked at that 1950's diner in Denver. That seems like decades ago. I guess it was?

    I hope that your family is doing really well. I'd love to see pics of your kids.