I have been in “austerity mode” since late Sept., and so far my main approach is “shop at Aldi, and global food market”. I found Aldi has most of the grocery and basic daily stuff, while global food market has the fresh veggies and sea food. Occasionally I shopped at Sam’s club, Target, Trader Joe’s and Chinese grocery store for specific stuff: bottle water, paper towels and fruits at Sam’s, Hawaii King rolls and baby diapers at Target, pot sticker and beans at Trader Joe’s.
Aldi has changed quite a bit in recent years, when I first came to the US as a “poor” graduate student, sometimes we joked Aldi is for the “poor people” (it seemed we excluded ourselves”). Not anymore. I found a lot of people shop at Aldi nowadays, in the Aldi near our home (Olive and 270), which is previously a Borders’ book store. It was mostly busier when I go there. Sometimes I go there too much (like 3 times in one afternoon). It was almost like some people indulge on the trip at Costco. I do have the Costco membership, but found myself have not been there for months
On a separate note, my elder daughter is 4 years and 9 months old, and we are getting ready for her to go to kindergarden in public school next fall. The school will be very close to our home (school boundary map). Our younger one, is already 4 and half months, and can stand her head up. In this holiday season, there are always friends gatherings, and we always talked about kids, education etc.