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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Some Awesome Grocery Scores!

I was running low on food in my house, especially essentials such as produce and animal products, so I went shopping at the open air market and at a discount supermarket near me and I am so thrilled with what I bought that I wanted to share my scores! I didn't get around to posting this so quickly, so I've already used some of it, and I'm happy to share now what I did with them all.


Before I went to the open air market, I decided to quickly run into the nearby scratch and dent store, to see if there was anything worth buying there, hoping that they'd still have more gluten free grain free (and hence Paleo legal!) beer, not actually expecting that they'd have anything, because the way shopping at a scratch and dent store works is that their stock is constantly changing, because it's based on what they can get their hands on. (When I tried going back to buy more gluten free chocolate cereal after buying it the first time, there was nothing left on my second trip- once it passed its expiry date they took it off the shelves.)
Luckily they still had gluten free beer, and this time I decided to buy two entire cases of 24 bottles each, so a total of 48 bottles of gluten free beer for 57 cents a bottle or 28 dollars for the cases.

Then I tried going to all my usual haunts at the market, except it was Sunday, and most of the stalls were closed, and because it was later on in the day some that were open earlier had closed by then. One stall puts out its excess at the end of the day with a "free" sign, so I got a few sweeties and an orange.
Basically, I had to choose what I wanted to do. Buy at a more expensive shop, or take a chance with the cantankerous gentleman who runs a store with a variety of cheap produce, but no prices listed, who gets offended if you say any of the food he gives you looks gross, or ask prices. It is always a gamble shopping there because you never know the quality of the food you're getting or how many pounds you are getting for the price you paid. However, as I wasn't finding good prices in other stalls, I took the chance and paid $14.28 to the shopkeeper and got the following, which I weighed after leaving the stall to see if I really got good prices.
12 lbs artichoke
12.2 lbs persimmons
17.1 lbs pears
9.5 lbs bananas
All in all, it was a total of 44 lbs of produce for $14.28, making it be 32 cents a pound on average, which is amazing, as these other types of produce were being sold anywhere from 60-90 cents a pound in all the other stalls.

At another store I saw them selling perfect cucumbers and tomatoes for 33 cents a pound, a decent price, so I bought a total of 9.7 pounds for $3.14.

Now is the season when fresh garlic is being sold in my country, and most people just want the bulbs, even though they come with their greens attached, so I simply was able to help myself to a huge amount of garlic greens, also known as scapes, entirely for free.

All in all, that shop was $17.42 for my produce and $28 for the beer, for a grand total of $45.42.

Once I got home, I sorted through the produce, took out any gross bits, and separated the totally firm fruit from the fruit that was banged up. The firm fruit, I soaked in a bath of water with vinegar and soap and a drop of peppermint essential oil, to kill any mold spores or other spoilage inducing items that might have been on them from things they may have touched, to ensure they last longer. Once that was done, I rinsed them and dried them and put them in the fridge.
Meanwhilel, the soft fruit had any icky parts cut out of them, and then was chopped up and put in the freezer for use in desserts, smoothies, etc...
So far I've used the garlic scapes in stir fries, in my favorite cheese and greens sandwich, and in a tomato dip (simply blended up the scapes with tomatoes and a drop of my homemade mayonnaise) that guests raved about.
For the artichoke, some I boiled like regular, and ate them with dipping sauces. Others I removed the leaves from them and stuffed the hearts with a mix of ground beef and bread crumbs (leftover from making shnitzel) and grated zucchini (and seasoned with onion, lemon, and mint). They came out amazingly. The leaves that were removed from the chokes that I stuffed were then baked drizzled with honey and lemon and sprinkled with thyme and salt and they also were heavenly!

But that is not all, oh no- that is not all! I also had an absolutely amazing grocery shop at my local discount store.


First of all- they had tomatoes for 13 cents a pound!!!!!!!! I always wonder whether it is cheaper to make your own tomato sauce from scratch or buy it ready made, but at 13 cents a pound for tomatoes, there's no way it isn't cheaper to make your own. So I bought 34.5 lbs of tomatoes for $4.49, intending on turning them into tomato paste/sauce and either canning or freezing. So far I haven't done that yet, but I did make tomato salsa and canned that (6 jars for now). Since I knew I still had to find time to make the tomato paste, I did buy two cans, at $1.57 each to tide me over until I have a chance to make my own. I also bought a few packages of containers in which to freeze my ready tomato paste, for a total of $5.71.
This store sells chicken breast cheaply at $2.33 a lb, so I bought 6.39 lbs for a total of $14.89. This might not seem so cheap to you, as I can buy other parts of chicken cheaper per pound, but since chicken breast is pure meat and no bones, according to my calculations, as long as its under $3.25 a lb its a worthwhile buy, and this is significantly less than that.
My staple, chicken wings, are sold at this store for 64 cents a lb, so I bought 10.4 lbs for $6.63.
They were selling chicken thighs for $1.93 a lb, which is a pretty great price for chicken thighs, only from my calculations you pretty much get the same ratio of chicken to bones for thighs and wings, and since the wings were significantly cheaper per pound, I decided to skip the chicken thighs.
I did, however, buy two whole chickens, at 89 cents a pound, because whole chickens are fancier than chicken wings, or I can chop them up and have some thigh portions for when I want them, for significantly cheaper than the price of the chicken thighs. These chickens weighed in at 7.96 lbs and cost $7.14.
They were selling beef roasts at $2.33 a lb! That was so exciting for me! I love beef roast, as does most of my family, and since it's pure meat it's a great bargan! I bought two roasts, totalling 5.1 lbs for a total of $11.76.
And lastly, I also bought 8.8 lbs of 100% pure ground beef at $3.77 a lb, for a total of $34.20.
This shop totalled $87.96, and for the amount of meat I now have stocked in my freezer I'm thrilled with the cost.

The month is 2/3 of the way over, and my house is stocked to the brim, and my total grocery total so far this month has been $480, and my goal is to keep it under $571 and with shops like this, it is totally doable.

Have you gotten any great deals lately while shopping? What are your stock up prices for meat? What prices do you attempt to pay for produce?

7 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm jealous of your produce prices! Good job! Last week I got a 40 pound case of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $0.99 a pound from Zaycon Fresh. I wrote about it on my blog, but I did a bunch of prep work before picking it up, like making a bunch of different marinades and cleaning my kitchen, so I could process it as soon as I got it home.

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    1. Thanks! I'm happy with the produce prices I manage to get- they by far are not standard produce prices here, I have to hunt really hard to get them. That's amazing that you got all that chicken breast in advance and made all these marinades so you can prep them. Did you prep the meals raw and then freeze them as is? I assume you have a second freezer if that's the case?

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    2. Yes, I froze most of it raw, just put a couple chicken breasts in a freezer bag and poured the marinade on top of it. Most (if not all) of the marinades are meant for grilled chicken, so freezing it raw worked best. That way, I can pull out a bag of chicken to thaw and then grill it with some veggies and serve it with some rice for a quick and easy meal. The weather will be getting warm here soon, so it will be nice to have some meals to make that won't heat up the house. I did pre-cook a few of the chicken breasts before freezing, I shredded them and will use them to make enchiladas.

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    3. And yes, we have a second, small chest freezer. It's one that is around 3 cubic feet and cost less than $200 new.

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    4. That is really awesome! Good for you! I want a spare stand alone freezer, but bigger than 3 cubic feet. Right now I have two full fridges with a freezer on top, but even that doesn't feel like enough for me.

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    5. I would like to have a bigger one too, but there's not many spot I could put it. I agree, for the size of your family, two small freezer spaces isn't enough!

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  2. I have found that a freezer is a good investment. I keep mine full of loss leader bargains and home frozen fresh vegetables. Couldn't stay in budget without it.
    Great bargains. I'm sure you find it worth the work.

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