Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Accountability with Grocery Shopping

I like accountability. That's probably why I enjoy posting details of my shopping trips on this blog. For example, today, when I spent more than I usually do on groceries, after having just gone shopping last week, I find its good for me to post a detailed list of what I bought and why, both to make sure that I actually am making the right decision when making my purchases (because if I can't justify it, I'd be too embarrassed to buy it because I know it would be posted here), and to show you how flexibility is important when it comes to grocery shopping frugally.

Today I spent $.79.70 at the grocery store. Yikes- thats nearly twice as much as I spent last week! If I hadn't shopped sales, I would have spent $28 dollars more buying what I bought. I bought  a ton of food, and this should be more than enough to last me at least for another 2 weeks, in addition to refilling my stockpile of food that I had been depleting because of relatively high prices lately.

That $79.70 bought all this:

Breaking it down:
Loss Leader Produce (at 10 cents a pound!)-
Sweetie fruit- 4.5 lbs
Onion (regular)- 5.5 lbs
Green peppers- 4.2 lbs
Yellow grapefruit- 3.5 lbs
Cauliflower- 4 lbs
Purple onion- 2.8 lbs
Beets- 4.5 lbs
Eggplant- 3.7 lbs
Bananas- 4.8 lbs
Cucumbers- 4.5 lbs
Ruby grapefruit- 4.5 lbs

Total produce: 46.5 lbs of fresh produce for a grand total of $4.65. Woohoo for loss leaders!
I happen to have quite a large amount of fresh produce in my house, but I am trying to build a stockpile of preserved produce to weather out the more expensive produce times until I can get produce for rock bottom prices again. Of the food that I bought, I plan on canning and pickling beets (first time canning, so wish me luck!), making beet kvass, canning ratatouille, dehydrating eggplant and cauliflower, dehydrating onions, pickling and freezing onions, pickling and canning green peppers, freezing and dehydrating green peppers, making and canning grapefruit jam, freezing grapefruit juice, and eating the rest fresh.

Chicken wings- 5.5 lbs
Chicken gizzards- 3.75 lbs
Turkey necks- 5 lbs

Total poultry: 14.25 lbs of poultry for a grand total of $12.40. That's only $1.15 a lb, when the average price for poultry here ranges from $1.75 a pound for whole chickens to $3.25 per pound for chicken breast. The turkey necks will be used for soup or stews. The wings will be eaten as is and then the bones used for making chicken stock. The gizzards will be cooked and then stored in the freezer for a quick protein to add to any meal.

Other Proteins:
Green lentils- 2.2 lbs
Mung beans- 1 lb
Milk (3% fat)- 1.5 gallons
Canned beans- 6 cans

What am I going to do with these? Green lentils as a cheap protein. Mung beans will be sprouted to make bean sprouts for stir fries. Milk will be frozen and used as a protein in our meals. The canned beans were on sale and will be put away and pulled out when I need a quick easy meal.

Grape juice- .8 of a gallon
Sunflower oil- .8 of a gallon. I just bought 7 bottles last week but bought 3 more because I'm starting to use this in my homemade soap making (I'll tell you all about that as soon as it's ready if I managed not to flop it).
Olive oil- 2 pints. I don't use this frequently, but used up my last little bit for my first attempt at soap making, so needed to restock.

Dry Goods:
Salt- 2 lbs
Sugar- 17.5 lbs. This sounds crazy for someone who considers herself health conscious, but it will be lasting us a while. We can't afford more expensive sweeteners, and I feel that sugar is 1000% healthier than any fake sugars. This sugar is also going to feed our probiotic kombucha ferments(more on that tomorrow or Thursday).
White Flour- 6.5 lbs. I do try to use mostly whole wheat (which I already have at home from when I bought it in bulk cheaply), but some recipes taste better with a half/half mixture.
Tomato paste- 3 large cans.

Non Food Items:
Sandwich bags- 2 boxes for the price of one. I use these to package my self frozen foods.
Aluminum foil- 2 boxes for the price of one. I was going for a while without using aluminum foil once I ran out, but sometime I do need it to reheat foods because I don't have enough heat safe dishes.

So, there you have it in black and white- details of my shopping trip. It was more than my usual price I pay, but I think it was money well spent.

What do you say? Any constructive criticism on my shop, or do you think I did a good job? Do you ever spend more than you had been planning at the grocery store and felt fine about it afterward like I do?

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