First, let me just get the defensiveness out of the way: Yes, I realize that convenience food is not good for my budget, my waistline, or the environment. I realize that individually packaged mass produced crap is not not a good bargain, even on sale. I realize that I am single-handedly ruining the world by purchasing this crap. I got it.
Now then. Today I went to Big Lots. I went for two reasons. The first was that I bought a package of socks on my last trip that I loved and I wanted to see if they had anymore available, and the second is that I need some food for work. For the first week, I bought my lunch each day. That's not a reasonable long-term plan. The right thing to do, of course, would be to get my butt out of bed earlier and make myself a healthy lunch of whole foods. But I'm not going to get there overnight. I know myself, and I know that, ridiculous as it is for a 31 year old woman, I'm more likely to pack lunch if I can grab it on my way out the door (or better yet, store it at work) and I'm more likely to eat it if it's...not something I'd normally buy. So where do those in the know go for individually packaged junk food? Big Lots.
Though I'd come for food and socks, my first stop in Big Lots was in the crafts/office supplies section. It always is. I'm a sucker for that type of thing on my best day, and I've been really bad lately, as I've been almost obsessively collecting materials for art journaling. It will surprise almost nobody, I'm guessing, when I tell you I'm doing a lot more collecting of stuff than I am actual journaling. Today was no exception. I got:
-A package of Martha Stewart chipboard animals for $1(regular price $3)
-A package of Martha Stewart icon labels for $1 (regular price $2)
-A Martha Stewart black dual-tip marker, $1(regular price $3)
-A package of Best Occasions vellum quotes, $1.50 (regular price $4)
After I'd exhausted that section, I hopped over to see if they still had my socks, and they did! They are a package of six pairs of Champion Elite Low Cut Cool & Dry socks. They retail at about $16 for the package and at Big Lots, it's $4. The really exciting thing for me, though, was that Big Lots had several packages of them in extended size--meaning I could buy socks that would actually fit my size 12 feet, and were clearly women's due to their colored writing (and thus won't get mixed up with Mark's socks). Score.
Next, I finally made my way to the grocery aisles, where I am slightly ashamed to admit I bought:
-Four microwavable Health Valley Organic soups, 2 each in minestrone and lentil, for $1.30 each (regular price $4.39 each)
-An 18-count variety pack of Quaker's Chewy granola bars, $3 (regular price $4)
-A six-count box of Ritz Four Cheese Crackerfuls, $1.80 (regular price $4.39)
-A six-count box of 100 Calorie Right Bites Grasshoppers, $1.50 (regular price $3.37)
-A four-count box of Kashi GoLean Roll! Protein Bars in Caramel Peanut, $3 (regular price $5.23)
-Two six-count boxes of Kashi TLC Trail Mix Chewy Granola Bars, $2 each (regular price $4.49 each)
-Two six-count packages of cherry passion Tic Tacs, $2.80 each (regular price $4.31 each)
Finally, before I left the store, I scoped out the health and beauty section, where I picked up a Bathery (Target brand) spa headband (to hold my hair back when I wash my face or put on my makeup), for $.80. I can't find it online, but similar stuff at Target is usually $3-$5, to my recollection.
I didn't actually find as much fun convenience food as I'd hoped, but this lot will certainly get me started, and as usual, Big Lots was worth the trip. For those who are concerned about my nutrition, I promise I do eat actual meals, too. Not all of my calories come in bar form!