My Shopping Trip- November 27, 2012

My grocery transportation method
I had a rough morning this morning; the kids went to sleep far too late last night and paid the price with their extreme crankiness. When Mike got home from work today, I let him know that I'd be going out- my friends told me earlier today that because of price wars, there was a sale going on at a supermarket in the city nearest to my town, but on the other side of the city entirely.
Skeptically, Mike wanted to know if I really thought that was a good idea, to exhaust myself even more by schlepping out to there for a sale, especially after such a hard day.
But no, I don't find shopping stressful, at least when it's just me and the babe, and after a day like today, I really enjoyed being able to go out all by my lonesome and do some shopping.
Was the trip worth it, my friends want to know.
Yes, for me it certainly was. Because I enjoyed myself, and didn't mind the trek. If I were like Mike, that the mere thought of such a trip would stress me out, then perhaps not, but in my case it was worth the time and the effort.
As for the money- since it was just me and the baby, I only had to pay bus far for one person- total travel costs were around 4 dollars- and I saved more than that on my trip.

I didn't do the hugest trip because of the distance, and because I'd be carrying everything back by my lonesome.
How do I do it?
A super huge backpack, filled up, and placed in my stroller, with a few other items tied onto the stroller handles.
And what about the baby, if the stroller is being used for groceries?
In my super wonderful baby carrier, either on my front or my back, depending on my/her mood and what I'm doing.

It was heavy, surely, but I managed to make it home all in one piece.
Ok, other than the bottle of olive oil that despite my best efforts, broke on the way home!!! Hey, at least it was cheap olive oil, and a small bottle, and not expensive stuff...

My sister also wanted to take advantage of this sale, so she too came into the city; we got to go shopping together. Unbeknownst to me, my dad and brother also came along, which ended up being very useful, both physically- my brother held Anneliese and pushed around the stroller, as well as allowing me to save even more money- as you'll soon see how.

The thing that enticed me most about this sale was the fact that chicken was on sale- whole chickens for 45 cents a pound, wings a drop more than that, and thighs and chicken breast for a dollar a pound. Usually the price for chicken is at least twice this, and since our main protein sources in our house are legumes and chicken, I'm always looking for a good source of cheap chicken.

By the time we got to the store, though, chicken wings and breasts were all sold out. We should have come earlier in the day...
And there was a limit of 6 pounds of each type of chicken per person at the sale price. For the sale price, I was only able to get one large whole chicken and two trays of chicken thighs...
But since my dad was there and had no room in his freezer for the chicken thighs, my dad bought 6 pounds of chicken thighs, which I then bought off of him.

So I got one 5 1/2 pound whole chicken at 45 cents a pound, and 12 pounds of chicken thighs at a dollar a pound.

Lots of fruits and vegetables were also on sale-
Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers on sale for 6 cents a pound! (Also cabbage, but I didn't get any.)
Onions and clementines for 12 cents a pound!
There was a limit also of 6 pounds of each of these, so I got around 6 pounds of each.

But the thing about these sales is that you can only get these sale prices if you buy at least 25 dollars worth of non sale items. Or not such loss leader sale items anyhow.

So we hunted around the store and tried to find things that were cheap to reach that 25 dollar minimum, which wasn't so easy because its a rather expensive store, and we'd only be willing to spend money on things that are actually a good deal- no point getting cheap chicken and then buy overpriced goods to be able to get the chicken cheaply...
Diapers and toilet paper were on sale, but I had no need for either of those- despite their good prices there, my methods are still cheaper.
Corn flakes were also on sale very cheaply, but they have barley malt in them and are therefore a no go in my gluten free home.
What I did find was olive oil for 2.5 dollars for a 1/2 liter bottle- a great price, because usually it costs at least 7.5 dollars for a 1 liter bottle. I got two, but as you know, one didn't make it home...

I got two small hunks of beef at $2.85 a pound- I know, expensive, but still cheaper than the usual $3.40 price tag or higher I see on it... I use beef very sparingly for this reason.

Ketchup was on sale- $1.60 a bottle for the name brand stuff that everyone seems to like; same price as the cheap stuff I usually buy, but I figured for a change, why not? And yes, I know I can make my own ketchup, and I do a lot of the time, but its hard to keep up with the demand for ketchup in this household. ;)

I bought some tahini- at $2.50 for a 500 gram (approximately 1 pound) container- same price as I usually buy it; we go through tahini quickly because I use it to make sesame milk, which we drink every day. (Good dairy free source of calcium, not to mention tastes yummy and very easy to make.)

Also bought some chestnuts. I feel a little stupid about this- it advertised them by 100 grams, and it was very cheap per 100 grams, so I took a decent amount... and this ended up being one of my most expensive things on my list...

Oh well..

I also bought 2 4 packs of tuna fish- my husband takes these with rice cakes as lunches on days when I don't have anything else prepared for him- its cheaper than takeout- but the price of tuna has been pretty high lately; these are the lowest priced tunas I've seen in a while.

All in all, a good shopping trip.
Total cost- 55 dollars.
Total amount of food-
23.5 pounds of fresh chicken and beef
36 pounds of fresh produce
8 cans of tuna, 1 container of tahini, 2 bottles of ketchup, and 2 bottles of olive oil.

I think it was a good deal.

The trip out was definitely worth it for me.

If you had a hard day, would you be more likely to want to go out, or stay at home and chill out?
Got any good deals lately?
What's the most amount of stuff you've ever carried on your back at once or in a backpack?
Would you even consider doing such a shop with no car, and just transporting everything in a backpack and with a stroller?
Do you think my shop sounds like it was worth it?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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