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Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Last Few Grocery Shopping Trips- And Some Great Deals I Got

I have done some really terrific shopping trips lately, scoring some absolutely amazing deals each time, and each time I want to write up about my grocery shop, and then don't get around to it until I've done yet another shop... and so, my last three grocery shops, what I got and why.

First shop was a week ago Wednesday, second shop Sunday, and third shop this past Monday...

This shop was done at a local weekly sale, and I was really excited to see how low the prices were.

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I stocked up on a type of salmon, called chum salmon, that I'd never seen before, since it was being sold for $2.80 per 1 lb package- I bought approximately 4 lbs, for a total of $11.20, and bought a bunch of ground turkey and chicken- 13.2 lbs total, since it was on sale for $1.95 per lb, for a total of $25.71. I also bought a few packages of wings for $1.15 each- a great price- so I bought 8.15 lbs for a total of $9.42. Milk at that sale is $1.14 per liter instead of the usual $1.51, so I bought 4 liters for $4.56. That was it for the proteins.
I needed produce but the only produce they had with amazing prices were white potatoes for 13 cents a pound, so I bought 7.7 lbs (since I actually already had potatoes at home) for $1. I also bought carrots for 39 cents a pound- not horrible but not amazing either- 5.9 lbs for $2.29 total, and sweet potatoes for 65 cents a pound- 7.7 lbs for $5. I bought some frozen veggies- peas and green beans, for $2.85 per package, as my convenience food- not amazing prices but not terrible either, for a total of $5.71. I was out of aluminum foil, so I was really excited to see 2 rolls being sold together in a pack for $2.
Also bought a bottle of grape juice for $3.43.
Total for this shop?
$70.32.
Not bad, if I may say so myself.

However, as much as I got a ton of animal proteins cheaply, I didn't buy so much produce, and we eat a very produce heavy diet. I didn't want to need to go to another store that week, so instead I just foraged a ton of wild edibles.

The next week, though, I was running low on fruit- something I can't forage right now, as well as a few other things, so I went to stock up at a cheap grocery store in town, hoping that I'd find better prices for produce, specifically fruit.

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Unfortunately, though they usually have cheaper fruit sold prepackaged in nets, they were all out of all their cheaper fruit, other than oranges and sweeties, and the rest of the fruit they were selling was way too expensive.

So what I ended up buying there was:

9 packages of gluten free buns and/or bread. No, they aren't so healthy, but at $1.40 per package they probably are cheaper for me to make than homemade bread, so they work as a not so unhealthy not so expensive convenience food. Altogether- $12.60.
2 giant packages of rice cakes for a total of $8.51. (Oops, thought they were cheaper; I won't be buying them from there anymore, I guess.)
1 package of rice noodles for $1.10.
4 packages of roasted and peeled chestnuts for $1.40 each for a total of $5.60.
12.5 lbs of chicken necks at 50 cents a pound for a total of $6.25! Even though they have a lot of bones, at this price, it is still very worthwhile since the actual meat still works out much cheaper than other meats... I would have bought more, but my freezer was too full with the fish and ground chicken and breads to buy more necks than I did...
2.2 lbs of sliced gouda cheese, at $4.53 per pound- cheaper than the standard cheap sliced cheese even- for a total of $9.97.
10 packages of matches for 50 cents.
5.9 lbs of oroblancos/sweeties. They were pretty cheap at only 50 cents a pound, but they are a pain to eat and so much of them gets tossed that it didn't feel so worthwhile to stock up on so many of them, so I didn't get too much of them. Total spent- $2.98.
3.6 lbs tomatoes for 76 cents a pound, for a total of $2.75.
2 1 lb packages of radishes for $1.69, or 85 cents a pound.
1 butternut squash weighing 2.8 lbs at 76 cents a pound for a total of $2.14.
3.26 lbs of onions at 50 cents a pound for a total of $1.63.
6 lbs of fennel at 50 cents a pound- since we love fennel in our family, its a great lower carb veggie that we can eat either raw or cooked, and a terrific price for them- for a total of $3.
2.02 lbs cucumbers at 63 cents a pound for a total of $1.29.
2.38 lbs zucchini, at $1.02 per pound, not a good price at all, but a staple in my kitchen lately, so I bought some, but not too much... for $2.44.
I found avocado in a net bag for 89 cents a pound- not amazing, but decent- so I bought a 4.3 lb bag for $3.83.
I got 4 lbs of bananas for 89 cents a pound for a total of $3.60.
I bought 2 packages of bean sprouts- individually they were $1.69 per package, but it was 2 for $2.82, so only $1.41 per package in the end. Not so cheap but they're an easy to prepare vegetable, some of my healthier "fast food".
Since oranges were, by far, the cheapest fruit there was there at 50 cents a pound, I bought 3 net bags of oranges for a total of 20.1 lbs at $10.05.
I also bought 3 boxes of herbal fruity teas (cranberry, wild berry and blueberry) for $2.25 per box, for a total of $6.75, since they were at the cheapest price I've seen herbal teas around and I wanted something warm to drink on chilly days like today.
I needed olive oil and when I saw bottles for $5.69 per bottle- a terrific price- I bought 2 for $11.37.
I was out of dijon mustard, so bought a jar for $2.55.
I know, not so frugal or so green, but I need my sanity too and dishes are my bane- so I bought 1 giant package of disposable plates and one giant package of disposable bowls for a total of $11.42.
I also got some junk for my kids, not gonna deny that, but I tried to keep the junk minimal, and cheap. I got 5 packages of a corn and peanut snack for 45 cents each for a total of $2.29, and a giant package of a puffed potato based snack for $2.82.
I also bought 2 six packs of dark chocolate bars, for $8.57, working out to be 71 cents a bar- not bad at all!
Total cost of the shop- $128.52. To be honest, this shop was more expensive than I wanted it to be, and what was even more annoying was that I barely got any fruit- just oranges and a few oroblancos- not nearly enough variety for my family.... But I also stocked up on stuff at this store so that I won't need to go back there at least for a few weeks, so I know my next few weeks shopping trips can be smaller...

However... that wasn't all my shopping, since I still needed fruit, and didn't have as much produce as I would have liked either (and we were out of cereal, but...)

So the next day I went to the farmer's market and the scratch and dent store. But since I just spent $128.52 the day before, I didn't want to spend so much at the farmer's market, so I set myself a goal- to only spend $15 at the farmer's market and get as much produce as I could there, and depending on what was at the scratch and dent store, up to $30 there.
Well, I'll tell you what- I went over that. But I'm not upset about that.

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You see, I was trying to find gizzards on sale for a while already- all the stores I've been to recently have been out, and I love my gizzards... and so, when I saw them at the farmer's market at the standard good price of $1.30 per pound, I bought 14 lbs of turkey gizzards for $18.18.
But other than that, I pretty much stuck to my goal:

I went to one stall that has a reduced rack. I bought there fennel, bananas, apples, zucchini- a total of 25 lbs at 32 cents a lb, for $8.17.
I then went to another stall with a reduced rack where they had apples and pears for 39 cents a pound, so I bought 10.8 lbs of fruit, for a total of $4.23.
I was close to my limit of $15 already, but I saw cauliflower, something my family really enjoys and we hadn't had for a while. All the stalls were selling them for $2 per head or more, but one stall was selling it for that price, but if you got two, it would cost only $2.85, so they would only be $1.43 per head. I thought it would be silly to buy only one cauliflower at a higher price to stay within my price goal, when I could get them cheaper if I buy two and go just a bit over. So I got them both.
My entire shop at the farmer's market- $15.25 for 38.3 lbs of produce, averaging out at 40 cents a pound! Not bad, considering that not even the cheapest fruit cost that cheaply at the store I'd been to the day before, and that the apples at that store had been $1.30 per pound and by coming to the farmer's market, I got them for 39 cents a pound instead.

Then I went to the scratch and dent store, having no idea what I'd find there. I was kind of hoping that they'd have cereal, since we were out of cereal and I didn't want to go to yet another store to pay a fortune for overpriced cereal, but I wasn't counting on it. But I was in luck! The burnt store had a ton of really cheap cereal, including gluten free cereal that is usually a fortune- $7 per box or more- for $1.71 per box! I bought 7 boxes for a total of $11.97.
They also had gluten free crackers- again usually super expensive- for only $1.42 per box, so I bought 4 boxes for $5.71.
And then, for my husband, I bought 2 boxes of gluten cereal, also for $1.71 per box, for $3.42.
And errr... health food nut Penny is admitting twice in one post that she bought junk for her kids... Anyhow, they had packages of candies- 6 packages for for $2.85, so I bought 12 for $5.70.
Total at the scratch and dent store- $26.80! I came in under my goal.

That trip- altogether, I spent $60.23, and I'd say it was money well spent.

All in all, all the grocery shops I shared here cost $259.07 spent over the course of two weeks, averaging out to $129.50 for each weeks shopping. It isn't the best I could possibly do, but it certainly isn't bad either.

However, that said, I am trying to keep down my grocery costs, and so, my goal for the next week is to do minimal shopping:
Buy 60 eggs at a weekly super cheap sale, buy produce from the farmer's market reduced racks ONLY, and not buy anything else other than maybe milk. My goal is to only spend $60 on groceries over the next week, and only on what I already mentioned. If I DO stick to that goal, I'd bring down my weekly average to $106 for our family of 6. I think that is doable.
I WILL do it.
Hopefully.
Maybe by sharing it publicly here I'll be more likely to actually stick to it?

Anyhow, that was a long post!

How much would you say you spend on average each week for groceries? How big is the family that you're shopping for? How much would you like to be spending on groceries each week? Is it actually doable to get it to your goal? How do you try to do that?
Have you gotten any special deals on groceries lately?

6 comments:

  1. You don't have to be embarrassed to admit you bought junk for your kids. I'm sure you're not feeding them junk all day and a treat once in a while is fine IMO.

    I think it's amazing you get so much food for so cheap!

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  2. Are you able to tell which stores you use? Like scratch and dent?

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  3. We just discovered a salvage food store near our house... Terrible for produce but pretty awesome for bulk dry goods and dairy products. I got 25lbs of gluten free flour mix for $2. Score!

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  4. We live in Canada. Our budget at the moment is 500$/month for 2 adults+2 young kids and we have a full chest freezer and a stock pantry to help out. I check the prices carefully, buy what is cheaper but healthy and from the reduced rack and sales when I can. We keep the recipes simple and we eat in season, which makes it cheaper. We eat out from time to time.

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  5. I always envy your farmer's market posts. In my area, the produce sold in farmer's markets are usually twice the supermarket price!

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  6. I wish I lived near a farmers market that sold cheap stuff. The one I have access to acts like it's Harry's with the prices. So I try to grow my own as much as possible. I'm getting better with it, hoping 2016 with be a bumper crop of stuff since I'm switching from in ground to 5 gallon buckets (squatting is getting harder as my knees start to fail me.)

    Always enjoy your posts Penny. Keep up the good work.

    As far as your questions go.... just 2 adults, about $150 a week on food which is more take out than anything. I need to budget and hope to start doing that once I finish my freezer challenge. It's not easy as my spouse changes what he likes to eat every day. But I love him..sigh.

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