Monday, August 27, 2018

My Latest Super Frugal Shopping Trips

I've had a pretty intense and crazy past few weeks, lots going on, a million errands to do, and not enough time on my hands. Part of that is my kids are starting school this week (today was Anneliese's first grade orientation, Rose and Anneliese start tomorrow, and Ike starts next week) and I've had to run around like a chicken with my head cut off getting everything they need for school, among my other errands. (And for the first few days of Rose's school she won't be getting a lift home, so I'll need to go into the city to pick her up.)
Time is short and money is too (all those school supplies and uniforms, after the expenses of the summer!) and I'm currently looking for ways to make my life easier, save time, and save money, something that isn't always an easy combination. This was done by two trips to the scratch and dent stores (two different ones) while I was en route to other errands. (Yes, I may just have brought some of these groceries with me to first grade orientation today.)

I'm so excited to share these with you, because they were pretty awesome finds!  Fortunately, I managed to find some super cheap groceries that make my life easier (not needing to make things from scratch) and I'm so excited to share them with you. Anyone who wants to comment about the health of these or lackthereof, you're invited to keep your mouth shut. Thank you!

Apologies about the state of this pic, I didn't go home first to take a picture; this was taken at the bus stop on the way to orientation, and I left half there, so wanted to take a picture first.

I stopped for a few minutes in a scratch and dent store in the center of town; I was there last week and also got some great deals, and wanted to go see if they had any left. Oh boy did they. I bought packages of Reese's Pieces, gluten free lemon pie flavored wafers, nutty milk chocolate bars, and these corn/lentil chips... all for 28 cents a piece! I got these 4 bags filled with things and paid a total of $26 dollars for it.
Since my daughter is gluten free and they often have parties in school or other occasions where the kids get given junk (sorry state in my country about that), I left a large amount of gluten free junk for the teacher to give my daughter as an alternative when the other kids are getting gluten based ones.

And the rest? Treats at home. For 26 cents a piece, that's a steal.

Last time I went to the store I also got some great deals, though not as great.

These chips, corn and lentil chips, as well as some quinoa based chips, again for 26 cents. I'll admit, I bought them thinking that they'd be great in a pinch, if I didn't have time to make the kids a sandwich for lunch and they were running out the door, I could send them with the kids, they have a complete protein in them, they're filling, and they're shelf stable.

I also bought gluten free chocolate covered wafers, for 70 cents each, intending to send them to school for treats... only they never lasted long enough; they were used as treats (or bribes) at home before then. Oh well.
Reese's cups were also 70 cents a package, which is a great deal for American chocolates.
And chocolate chips, these were a good brand without bad ingredients (I call them nearly paleo chips) and they were $2.14 a package, a great deal for chocolate chips locally.

$34 for that shop.

The last grocery trip I wanted to share today first involved a stop at a store that sells gluten free bread cheaply. I stocked up and bought the five packages of gluten free bread they let you purchase in one go, $1.40 a package. I bought some chicken parts to feed the dog, but very cheaply, since they were scrap parts. I also bought a bunch of wide rice noodles to be able to make my delicious onion and mushroom pasta, for only $1.11 a package (they usually are twice that price). I found brandy and banana liqueur cheaply, but I don't remember how much they cost (unfortunately).

$64 for that shop.

Next stop was to the other scratch and dent store, where I was excited to see so many goodies there (it's hit or miss, like with every scratch and dent store). They had cans of mushrooms for 78 cents a can, and cans of hearts of palm for 94 cents a can, both terrific prices locally. But the thing I was most excited about was the gluten free flour mix. It more or less had the same ingredients as my homemade all purpose gluten free flour mix, and cost $1.42 per package (roughly a pound) and I did the math and it works out about as cheap as making it from scratch, but saving me the time and effort of grinding my own flour and making my own mix.
They also had rice for 78 cents per 1 kg package, so I bought a few.
I bought some large white chocolate bars for a little over a dollar a bar. Packages of gluten free cookies were 78 cents each! Packages of gum were 28 cents each, and so were packages of sour jellybeans.

$52 for all that.

After that, I went to the open air market. I had hoped to find meat and fish scraps for my dog, but unfortunately struck out in that regard. I did manage to win the jackpot when it came to produce though.
I got apples, not in season, for 64 cents a pound, cucumbers for 26 cents a pound, and zucchini and fennel for 38 cents a pound. At that stall I paid $10. At another stall I bought 5 packages of mushrooms for $5.70. And another stall sold me two containers of green grapes for $1.42 each.
Total at the open air market? $18.57.

I'm really happy with all my purchases. Were all my purchases absolutely necessary? No, I could definitely do without some of the junk food. But it makes my life easier, makes me smile, and everything was bought at the absolute lowest price I could find it for. If I had bought what I did at the regular supermarket, my total would have been 4-5 times the price I paid for it.

I really love going to the scratch and dent store. It's totally luck of the draw when I go, but I've had so many successes that I check it out every time I'm in the area and nearly never leave disappointed.

Have you made any amazingly frugal purchases lately? What was it, and where did you find those deals?


  1. Don't feel guilty for buying some junk's a necessary evil for a busy mom!! We can't do everything and make everything from scratch!

  2. I agree, no need to feel bad. When it comes to food restrictions, it's so nice to have a readily available treat that makes a person (especially a kid) feel normal for a bit, and if you can do that at a bargain, so much the better! If I were in your shoes, I would have snapped those things up as well, so well done! :)

  3. HI. Can you do a post on feeding the dog healthy home made food cheaply? Am also trying to do that.

  4. That is so CHEAP! I'm jealous! Up here with the us-eu trade wars, reeses have shot up to almost 2 euros a package for the little itty bitty ones. It won't be long until the American section disappears at our stores for sure. Congrats on the savings!

  5. My daughter is also gluten-free and I plan for snacks for school so she doesn't feel left out if other kids get treats. It's a great idea to leave some for the classroom!


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