My Latest Super Frugal Scratch and Dent Grocery Haul

Sometimes I write posts and almost know what reaction I'm going to get. So I'm going to preempt that and say that I don't care what people's opinions are, I'm ok with that, and I am happy with my choices as to how I feed my family.

I will admit that as a blogger, sometimes I do things knowing that they will make a great blog post, and it encourages me to do more of those things. Today was one of those days.

I haven't been to the city recently, so haven't managed to run errands that needed running. Corona and all and being low energy means that I'm very much a homebody. But I had therapy in the city (much better than over Zoom!) and figured that while I was there, I'd take a bus to the pharmacy to pick up my meds (I'm running quite low). While on the bus, I was passing one of my favorite scratch and dent stores, and decided to hop off there one stop early and take a look at what was being offered. I had no backpack, no wagon, nothing, but hey, lets see anyhow what I can get.

Recently I tasted these absolutely delicious cheese puffs. They were called mac and cheese puffs and they looked like they should be gluten, but they weren't. They were so delicious that I was wondering where to buy them, and I knew that being American and imported, they probably were ridiculously expensive.

Surprise surprise the first thing I see at the scratch and dent store is these same exact delicious snacks for 47 cents a package. For comparison, an equivalent sized bag of local potato chips would be $2.85 at least, and imported snacks like this generally would be $5.70 a bag. So yes, 47 cents a package thrilled me. But, I first had meds to get. So I decided to go to the pharmacy. But after the pharmacy, I decided to first to check out the other local scratch and dent store, to see if they had any great goodies (no need to lug stuff from the first scratch and dent store to the second one, just to see if there was anything good there) and was pleasantly surprised.

Lately, the grocery store where I generally shop has stopped carrying the relatively "cheap" gluten free pasta they used to have, and only has more expensive name brand gluten free pasta, which is my only choice for noodles if I want something other than rice vermicelli (and no, I don't really enjoy rice vermicelli with anything other than Asian food). So it was exciting to see gluten free spaghetti being sold for only $1.14 a package, half what the cheaper gluten free pasta used to be sold for at my grocery store. I bought 16 packages. 

They had gluten free lasagna noodles, which, to be honest, weren't so amazingly cheap at $1.85 a package (ok, I know its cheap for lasagna noodles locally, let alone gluten free lasagna noodles, but I always made my own so it just feels like a lot for me) but I figure it would be great for a nice and easier meal so I bought 3 packages.

They had my favorite type of gluten free cereal for $1.85 a box, so I bought 3. I looked at their gluten free cereal but it was only marginally cheaper than the equivalent at my grocery store, so not worth carrying it back.

And hearts of palm. My favorite canned veggie. Which is usually quite expensive. So when I find it at the scratch and dent store I make sure to buy. At 95 cents each I bought 12.

Lastly, I love artichoke spread. I should learn how to make it myself. But its something I put on my sandwiches when I'm looking for something quick to eat, and want a treat, so making it from scratch kinda misses that point. I buy it once in a while, but it isn't cheap. So when I saw it at half the usual price, at $1.70, I bought a jar.

Oh, and how did I carry it?

So that.

I bought a wagon to take the stuff home. The wagon costs $14. It is money I could have saved had I brought my wagon with me. But since I didn't, I decided that the savings from today were enough that it was worth spending $14 on the wagon. And that goes into my transportation/delivery section of my budget, because this is the equivalent of delivery for me.

The shop at that store, minus the wagon, cost $34.85.

Then I went back to the original store I was at, this time ready to pick up my purchases. I basically wanted to get as many as I could of the mac and cheese puffs. They also had these "grilled cheese" puffs from the same company (both organic, no food colorings, not too objectionable ingredients) and I decided to get those too. It was 47 cents a package if you purchased them in multiples of 6, so I got 7 sets, so 42 packages. 

They also had these little protein puffs that I purchased before for 28 cents each before. Some of my kids liked it, my others didnt, but I thought they were nice enough. They are totally cheese based and very low carb and I think they're a nice healthy snack that is easy, and this time they were selling them for 14 cents each if purchased in sets of 20. So I bought 60.

And then they had packages of gluten free chocolate covered wafers for 28 cents each. I bought 25.

Total for that store? $35.71.

Total for my entire shop? $70.57.

I have enough snacks to last my family for a long while, and enough pasta for a while. I know that I paid between 1/10 and 1/2 price for everything I got, making the investiture of a $15 wagon totally worth it for me.

Problem is... I'm too predictable, so when I showed my bestie my pic of Mt Cheesemore up above, she was able to guess how cheap the stuff was, because she knows how I shop.

And for those concerned about how my family eats based on my bulk buying of treats, treats like this last our family for a long, long time, since we don't care about expiration dates, and having stuff available at home like this means no last minute runs to the grocery store for expensive snacks or treats. I don't like paying full price for anything, and that means if there's something I know my family will eat, I stock up on it.

And I'm not ashamed to say we eat snacks and treats that aren't just veggies. Yes, we eat lots of produce too, but I don't villainize foods and we eat foods that don't cause bad reactions for us, everything in moderation. So even though I buy like this, we eat in moderation. Slowly. Balanced with other stuff.

Got any great deals lately? Found some great stuff at the scratch and dent store or reduced rack at the grocery store? What was it?

Penniless Parenting

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


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  1. I'm curious about those mac n cheese puffs, haven't seen them here in Ohio. These are some of my favorite posts of yours. It's always good to know you've gotten such great bargains even with the purchase of a wagon although, smart woman that you obviously are, taking a wagon when you venture out in future could come in handy, even those foldable bags kept in a purse maybe. Not trying to fault you or anything and I guess you already know that. :D Thanks for sharing.

  2. I bet when your children saw you coming home they were super excited and that makes me smile.

  3. That was amazing. We don't have those stores here. The supermarkets used to sell dented cans cheaper but they don't anymore. I do sometimes go to the supermarket at 6.30pm and get yellow sticker goods which are near there use by dates. There's not much of that now, at least not what I buy. I do try to get bargains when I can. Also have been foraging from two apple trees on waste ground near me. Filled my rucksack up about 3 times.

  4. Sounds like great shopping. Glad you were able to find snacks for your family.
    Have an amazing Thanksgiving.

  5. You did really well.
    You absolutely do not owe anyone an explanation about your purchases or family's eating habits. I once came home with 30 boxes of tea.

  6. What a great shop, thanks for sharing. The only real deal I got lately was from the cashback app Ibotta, they were offering a free Thanksgiving dinner from Walmart. So I got a Butterball Cajun boneless turkey and sides for free ($22). Hubby was happy because we never had Cajun turkey before and he actually liked it.

    I stock up on snacks too, like this week Kroger has their 5 for 5 sale, so I got Bold Chex Mix. Might not be the healthiest snack, but I know I'll eat it because it's yummy and it will last 3 months in my house.

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