For a while I was posting my weekly or bi-weekly grocery shop to give people an idea of what I was buying, but I fell out of the habit.
Today, though, I was in the grocery store and the cashier saw how much the total bill was, and then how much it got lowered after all the sales and discounts were tallied up. The cashier's jaw hit the floor and asked incredulously how I managed to do that, because that was the first time she'd seen anything like that.
What amazed her so?
I had a large shopping cart filled with an abundance of groceries, and it rang up for a grand total of 70 dollars, when usually that amount of groceries usually is 150 dollars (if you're not me, that is).
Then, all the discounts got deducted, and what was left was a bill of 45 dollars. That is a 50% discount off of my entire shop! I know, I know, for people who live in the US and have coupons available to them, they often get 75% or 99% off, or even get paid to take their groceries, but this is done without any coupons- only relying on loss leaders.
Without further ado, here's what I bought today.
If you look carefully, you'll see I made sure to get some of every food group- starches, proteins, vegetables, fruit, and fats. All healthy.
But this isn't the only thing we'll be eating for the next week or two, and I don't plan on eating this all between this grocery shop and the next. These foods will be combined with the foods I already have in my stockpile, that were bought at good prices, and prepared into many different, delicious and frugal dishes. Whatever I don't use will be preserved, if necessary, and put away to be used a different week.
So what did I buy and why did I buy it?
Noodles- four packages, because if you bought 4, you get a discount off the already cheap product. We were running low and these are good, cheap meal stretchers.
Egg barley- 3 packages, because if you bought 3, you got a discount. I don't usually buy this as they're more expensive than noodles, but these were on such a good sale that I decided to get them. These are a quick and easy base for a meal when I'm really short on time.
Cheese- half a pound. This is somewhat expensive, so I only buy as much as I need, and chose the cheapest brand from the deli counter, because they have the lowest prices.
Sunflower oil- 7 bottles. I'm trying to eliminate soy and canola oil from our diet completely, and while I can use coconut oil for some things, I do need a liquid oil for some recipes and olive oil is too expensive. I found out that sunflower oil is one of the healthier oils out there, but they're usually twice the price of the soy and canola oil. When I saw them today being sold at the same price as the other oils, I grabbed 7. Why not more? Who knows.
Milk- 1 liter of milk. Why so little? Because I still have milk at home but wasn't sure if we'd run out, and don't want to be making any extra trips to the store mid-week as that is a bad financial idea. Better to overbuy than under buy if it is something that you know you'll use eventually. I just pop this milk in the freezer so it doesn't spoil and defrost it when I need it.
Tomato paste. 1 can. I have tomato paste at home already, but since this is a staple, I said I'd rather have one extra than need to run to the store midweek.
Whole sesame tahini paste. 2 containers. Why 2? This is usually expensive, but it was on sale, but only if I got two. Why get this at all? Because it is chock full of calcium, protein, and healthy fats, not to mention being absolutely delicious if prepared correctly. The second container is going straight to my stockpile.
Apples. These weren't a loss leader, but they're in season and cheap enough, so I decided to get them anyhow. I just got a few to supplement the apples that I got from a neighbor with a tree and an abundance of fruit.
Bananas. 4 lbs. My kids love them, they were a loss leader at only 10 cents a pound, and they are delicious in shakes for breakfast. We can never have enough bananas in our house.
Clementines. 4 lbs. Also a 10 cents a pound loss leader. Eaten as snacks and for vitamin c in our house, as are the rest of the citrus fruit.
Oranges. 4 lbs. Loss leader as well. Because I already have a lot in my house, some of these will be dehydrated.
Ruby and yellow grape fruits. 4 lbs each. Also loss leaders.
Sweeties. 4 lbs. Loss leader as well.
Onions. 4 lbs. Loss leader. I have a ton in my house already, so these will be getting chopped up and frozen, dehydrated, and pickled.
Cauliflower. 2 heads. Also loss leaders. These will be frozen and dehydrated as I already have a head to use up sitting in my fridge.
Eggplant. 4 lbs. Would you believe- also a loss leader! These are going straight into my freezer. I do not need any more eggplants now as I already have 8 sitting in my fridge. These were bought solely to preserve and add to my stockpile for when eggplants are not in season or on sale. I guess some can also be made into chicken ratatouille and roasted eggplant salad.
Carrots. 5 lbs. Loss leaders! These will be getting dehydrated and frozen, because, you guessed it- I already have a bunch in my fridge waiting to be used.
Beets. 4 lbs. Last loss leader- I promise! Going to use this and make fermented beets, pickled beets, frozen beets, dehydrated beets, beet salads, etc. I have beets coming out of my ears as I write this.
So, as you can see, I got a lot of loss leaders. Lots and lots and lots.
I chose to do my grocery shopping on a day when I know that some vegetables would be on sale as loss leaders, and I only buy those. That is why I bought no cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, kohlrabi, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, lettuce, etc... Because they're not loss leaders this week, and I base my budget entirely on loss leaders.
My motto is- if its not dirt cheap, we'll go without. Ok, not really, but I do try to have the bulk of my purchases be the loss leaders, as you can see.
So, now that you got a taste of what I bought and what I plan on doing with it, lets hear about your grocery shops. What did you stock up on recently? What did you manage to get at a very good price? Have you ever managed to amaze a cashier with your shopping sales or couponing?