A Whole Lot of Food- A Little Bit of Money

Today I went to the city to do my shopping for groceries. I could have possibly waited a day or two longer to go shopping, but my produce was running low, and since I am trying to cut back on the amount of grains I am eating, I wanted to be able to have a decent selection of produce to pick from for my meals, so decided to go already. It was 8 days since my last produce shopping trip at the farmer's market, and I was trying to see how long I could stretch the produce I got then which cost me $25. I think making that last 8 days is not bad, especially with how much produce we eat.

This is the result of my shop. Any idea how much it cost me?

I had a dilemma before I went into the city, if I should make one giant shopping trip, hitting up two separate parts of the city to get more of my errands done in one go, or if I should make two separate smaller trips. My husband recommended that I do two in one go, so even if I come home more exhausted today, at least it's not two days coming home exhausted... It also ends up saving the transportation fare, but that was just an added bonus.

I had wanted to go clothes shopping for my boys, to get them nice pants since they don't have many decent looking pairs, but the store I checked out didn't have prices that I liked, so that didn't end up happening. Instead, I just got groceries. And lots of it. Without paying a lot of money...

First, I stopped and got 3 3.3 lb jars of raw honey and 2 2.2 lb jars of date syrup from a certain store that has the lowest prices for those by far (at least 20% cheaper than the next cheapest place), plus some red raspberry leaf tea, and then went to the farmer's market.

When I was almost there, I saw a giant pigweed/goosefoot plant growing, so I foraged that to use later in salads, etc...

I first stopped off at one stall where I often buy grade b produce, stuff that is either overripe, oddly shaped, etc... the types of things you can get in a reduced rack. The man who ran the stall had a bunch of boxes of fruit that he wanted to get rid of, and practically threw them at me, offering to give them to me for 39 cents a pound- quite a steal (when I got home I weighed it- turns out he gave me it at 33 cents a pound instead!) if I'd take the lot. I ended up with 51.5 lbs of fruit- peaches, pears, apples, bananas, and oranges- for 17 dollars.

I saw them emptying a box full of peaches and apricots into a wagon headed to the dumpster and decided to rescue those- they were in as good condition as I'd be buying from the next shop- just a few slightly mushy areas that need to be cut off is all- so I ended up getting 10 lbs of stone fruit absolutely free!

After that, I went to the health food store, where they have bulk bins, and sell both dry goods and more specialty items by weight. I got gelatin and xanthan gum for cheaper prices than I can get anywhere else- much cheaper by far- as well as some flax seeds and fenugreek seeds for a good price.

I then headed to the nearby scratch and dent store, and stocked up on gluten free cereal at $1.40 a box (1/4 of its usual price)- 8 boxes- as well as a few bottles of grape juice and wine for a very good price. While I was debating spending more money and stocking up on more cereal and more grape juice and wine, my space was limited, since I was carrying everything in my stroller, and grapes will soon be in season when I will make my own wine and grape juice once again and won't need to buy to have. I bought 2 bottles of white wine, because I like to cook with it and can only make red wine at home (based on the grapes I have available).

I then headed back to the farmer's market and visited my other grade b produce store. I got 2.9 lbs cucumbers, 5.3 lbs zucchini, 9.9 lbs tomatoes, 8.6 lbs onions, 2 cantaloupe (7 lbs), 8.8 lbs potatoes, 9.3 lbs carrots, and just as I was about to leave, he threw in a bag of 4.8 lbs orange peppers for free. He charged me $11.42 for the lot, averaging out to 20 cents a pound.

From one last store, I picked up 2 celery roots (with stalks and leaves attached) for $2.29, which worked out to be 65 cents a pound.

So, altogether, I got 122 lbs of produce for ~$31, which averages out to 25 cents a pound for my shop.

However, after my shop, I ended up visiting a family member who had a nectarine tree overflowing with fruit- I came home with a bag filled with 17.6 lbs of nectarines...

So, if you add that to my total of how many pounds of produce I got in a day... it averaged out to 22 cents a pound for all my ~140 lbs of produce...

And the total amount I spent for all the groceries shown above- $128 dollars. I think that is definitely a good deal. Especially since only the produce- costing me $31- will be finished up quickly- the rest will last more than a month, at the very least. I am guessing this produce should last me another 8-9 days, possibly more, but we'll see what happens.

In case you are curious- all together, my shopping weighed 165 lbs. Add in a 25 lb stroller and a 10 lb baby, and I definitely had quite the workout. (I used my stroller, a train, and a bus to transport my stuff home...)
I am definitely exhausted. But satisfied with my shop.

As for what am I going to do with all that food, how will I make sure it doesn't spoil before I can use it up, etc...
That'll have to wait for tomorrow's post.

Did you do any big shopping trips lately? Were you pleased with how much you spent, or dissatisfied? Would you be willing to make an effort like I did, physically exhaust yourself, to save a lot of money? Or no- money saving is only worth it if it doesn't make you exhausted?

Penniless Parenting

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


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  1. Great deal! I would love to get produce that cheap.

  2. I cannot believe you can do that with a newborn! Holy moly, that's impressive!

    There's no way I'd have done anything like that when my daughter was tiny! Go you!

    A tremendous deal on the produce - the nectarines especially.

    1. Thanks! Fortunately, I do have a lot of energy... :-D I figure this gives me a good workout- I don't need to go running if that's the case... lol.

  3. That's an amazing deal. Great work! (And with a baby and stroller and all those transport changes...can I have some of your energy please? I'll give it back, I promise...)

  4. you got great buys, but I also don't know how you shclepped ( carried ) all that with baby/ stroller/ train/ bus. keep up your stregnth!

  5. Before I got to the very end, I was thinking "140 lbs of produce is one BIG baby to be pushing in the stroller!!" And then I saw your last comment. And I echo an above commenter - I would LOVE to be able to get produce that cheap!

  6. I really can't believe you're carrying/ pushing so much weight so soon after birth. I hope you really have so much strength- I sometimes find that I feel fine and then afterwards it hits me. I'll feel dizzy and faint and may start bleeding even if I stopped before for a week.
    Either way, enjoy the food- and stay strong!

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