Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Grocery Trip

We're down to the last shopping trip in this financial valley, and my goal was, as always, to keep the grocery bill down as low as possible. I wasn't sure how easy this would be, but having a full stockpile of groceries bought on the cheap definitely helps. This shop was to supplement what we didn't have; whatever wasn't bought doesn't mean that it doesn't get bought- it just could mean it was bought at a different time. (Eggs most likely will never appear in a post, as I buy them from a vendor who comes to my door, 30 or 60 at a time, at $2.75 a dozen. I buy once every 2-4 weeks, generally.)
When I first walked into the store and saw the prices of produce, I thought that there was no way I would be able to keep my total bill low. I specifically go shopping on the day that is designated as the "vegetable sale loss leader day", but today the produce loss leader pickings were very slim. And everything else? Not just were they not at their usual prices, they were absurdly high. Every. Single. Thing. Nearly.
But be that as it may, I still was determined to not let my produce expenditure push my grocery bill over budget this trip.
And I succeeded!
All this for 66 dollars!

What I got:

4 lbs sweeties
6.5 lbs bananas
4 lb grapefruit
4.5 lb ruby grapefruit
These were the loss leaders, and I should have weighed them, because I only got the sale price up to 4.5 lbs... I plan on eating these and making marmalade with them to give as gifts for the holidays.

1.25 lbs tomatoes. Not on sale, but their prices were the lowest of the non sale veggies. I needed to round out the menu. and tomatoes are good with lots of different dishes...
1.5 lb swiss chard.  This also was not on sale, but it wasn't too expensive, and is quite healthy. I love this! I figured that if I'm not sticking to loss leaders, I'll buy my favorite veggies.
3.75 lb cauliflower. Yay, one of the few loss leaders. Will eat some and can some.
6 lb cucumber. Another loss leader. These are a good quick veggie for when I have no energy to cook.
5.75 lb eggplant. To be honest, I'm starting to get bored of eggplant, but they're the loss leaders... so I buy. I need more recipes, pronto!
5 lb onion. I have a ton already in the house, but I wanted to get these because they were loss leaders. I plan on dehydrating a bunch and making quite a few onion based dishes soon.
3.25 lb red onions. Also loss leaders...

Because I spent more than average on the produce, I actively tried to keep the rest of the groceries inexpensive. 

2 kefir/yogurt drink type things. (They don't have this in the US, so I can't translate it well.) These were a snack for my boys in the store. They were a quarter a piece, so figured them a worthwhile and healthy snack.

1 yogurt. I haven't made yogurt in a while, so I bought one live cultured yogurt to use as the starter for our homemade yogurt.
6 liters 3% milk This milk will be made into yogurt and also be used as a protein for different meals, like in white sauces, etc...
.75 lb hunk of hard cheese. I got the cheapest of the hard cheeses that isn't chock full of soy, and am planning on using this for some of the eggplant dishes.
1.25 lbs feta type cheese. I found a superbly low priced new cheese out there so I wanted to stock up. It is definitely delicious, but now I just have to figure out what to do with it.

Other Proteins:

1.5 lbs ground beef. This is a rarity for me to be buying. Usually if I buy ground meat, it is ground turkey or ground beef that is mixed with TVP, hence the lower prices. Since I'm trying to cut out soy, I decided to buy the ground beef and stretch it myself with homemade ground seitan.
5 cans tuna in water. This tuna was on sale. Not a tremendous sale, but enough of a sale to make it worthwhile for me to stock up. Again for health reasons, I want to avoid the "vegetable oil" filled tuna, and the tuna in water is usually much more expensive, hence "stocking up".

4.5 lbs white beans. These are the easiest bean to cook, most versatile and with the most bland flavor. They were also on sale.
2.25 lbs fava beans. These weren't on sale, but they were the cheapest bean in the store, so I decided to try them out.
.75 lb hulled sunflower seeds. These were relatively cheap and are a good fatty and healthy addition to meals to make them more filling and give them protein. 
.5 lb flax seeds. Because they're healthy. And relatively cheap.
2.2 lbs natural peanut butter. This is a healthy, high fat, high protein addition to your meals.

Everything Else:
3.5 lb rolled oats. These were much cheaper where I got them than anywhere else. At least 65% cheaper, so I got three so we don't run out. This is the basis of our breakfast every day.

4.5 lbs rice. On sale if you got two bags. So I did.
8.75 lb sugar. I know, it seems like I go through sugar really quickly. But most of it is going to feed my kombucha cultures and now I'm using it to make jam. We haven't been eating all that sugar!
4 liters vinegar. I have some in the house, but I found these cheaply and I am going through vinegar quickly now that I'm canning. I figured why not stock up.
1.75 lbs frozen peas. Can someone say frugal fast food? Protein and vegetable in one, I found the cheapest peas I could.

Grand total for the shopping trip? 
66 dollars! I think I did pretty well, especially as I wasn't able to rely on loss leaders as much!

So, what did you buy this week? Any good deals? Any regrets?

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