I Shop at Dollar Tree Followed by Whole Foods Because I’m Bougie, but on a Budget

I’ve realized, I’m at that age where real furniture is essential to my apartment. That old college dorm plastic crate way of life, has been over. Now my groceries have standards, yet I still wrestle with the reality of my budget. But I don’t get frustrated, I get creative. Here are just some tidbits that I use to help me shop bougie on a budget.  

When it comes to grocery shopping, I personally like to start from the bottom and work my way up, Dollar Tree is a great start. There, I can get all of my toiletries and kitchen knick-knacks for a fraction of the price. It’s simple, a four pack of 2-ply, 264 sq. sheet toilet paper for just a dollar, what is there to think about? Why, in the love of ass wiping, would I pay an extra $3 for some quilted ridges that make little to no difference according to my backyard crack-house?

But I digress… Then there is the Fresh Budget Gourmet approach; sounds like an oxymoron, but I like to think of it as a match made in heaven. I use this strategy in the frozen food section of Dollar Tree. This simply means buying those chicken pot pies (that are actually very good), then balancing that out with the purchase of those white fish filet single serve packs; if that’s not variety shopping I don’t know what is. Not only that, the dairy section is practically handed to you. There you can load up on brand name margarine, real eggs, sample size milks and cheese shreds that may or may not melt, but it’s the thought that counts.  

Now I could head over to the “bougie-ville” grocery store when I’m done, but wait! What store is considered the “Broke Man’s Whole Foods?” That’s right, Trader Joe’s. The moderately priced Madonna of grocery stores. It’s a place that just feels right, with its Hawaiian themed ailes and friendly staff, how could I resist? I figured since I’m there amongst all the ambiance, why not go on a mental vacation, it’s free and so are the samples. This store is where I like to get my cooking oils, chicken, vegetables, and fruits, without the feelings of financial regret every time I make a salad. That’s what I like to call self love.  

At this point I’ve bought all my essentials, I’m pretty much done shopping, but I need to keep up appearances and I love my organic energy drinks, roasted almonds and overpriced 10 oz. pesto sauces, and after all my hard work I deserve it. So now I head over to Whole Foods, which I would call the financial desert of grocery shopping. It’s nice to shop there but only in moderation.

This approach may seem like a lot of work, but trust me it’s worth it. Remember, one must play chess when bougie budget shopping, so you can enjoy an at-home dining experience that is almost priceless.

Image: Forbes

Veronica Brown
Veronica A. Brown is a comedian, writer, and actress from Inglewood, CA. Her acting credits include a recurring role in TLC's "Sex Sent Me to the ER," an appearance on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live and a feature film role in the comedy “Marlo Lasker” streaming on Amazon. Aside from performing stand-up across the country, she is steady writing for various productions and writers' rooms, as well as her own sketch comedy series called “Veronica Who?”