Monday, August 9, 2021

My Extra Frugal Grocery Shopping Trip

Lately groceries have been quite expensive locally, especially produce. In the past I set myself an upper price limit for what I'd pay per pound for produce but it is nearly impossible to follow that because nearly nothing is under that price.  This has been a discussion on a local frugal forum I run because this is relatively widespread, but a few people mentioned that they do find good sales for produce in specific stores. Its just not any stores that I regularly go to.

I go to physical therapy generally once a week in a city near my house. Last time I went to physical therapy I decided to pop in to a supermarket that is right near there, because I needed a drink and something to eat. (Silly me, I didn't eat or drink before I'd left my house and I was desperate.) When I was there I was shocked at how good the produce prices were. Most of the produce was on sale at ridiculously low prices, unlike anything I'd seen recently. And tuna? It was cheaper than I've seen tuna in years! 

I had a dilemma. I hadn't intended on coming grocery shopping so I was without a cart. Do I ignore these stupendous prices because I didn't have a cart, or do I find a way to get them home even so? While I could have paid for a taxi, even if just to take me to the closest bus stop, that cost would have negated some of the savings, so I was loathe to do that.

I decided anyhow to push myself, buy the groceries, even if it meant pushing my body and taxing it (and potentially injuring it, just on my way home from physical therapy). Fortunately, I made it home without injury and with a full fridge without spending a lot of money.

Here's what I got and why.

We love tuna at home. Especially my son, Lee. Tuna, however, isn't usually so cheap. (In fact, per pound it is much more than most other proteins we buy.) Usually the best price I can find for tuna is $5.70 for a 4 pack, or $1.42 a can. When I find it for $5.40 for a 4 pack, or $1.35 a can or less it is stock up time. They were selling 94 cents a can, so $3.76 for 4, as long as you bought them in multiples of 3. So I bought 30 of them. There was no limit as to how many you could buy, but as I didn't have a wagon I thought 30 was the upper limit of what I could buy. So that was $28.20 for all that! It would have been $40 or more for that amount without that sale! 

The tuna alone would have made my day, finding it at that price. But the extremely low produce prices? That was super awesome as well.

This sale was that most produce was only 12 cents a pound. Yes, you got that right. 12 measly cents per pound. The sale was limited to 6.6 lbs of any item on sale though.

My kids are in love with cabbage. My boys like to make their own cabbage salad with lemon juice, oil, and salt, and will eat that whenever they want a healthy snack. That is wonderful from my end, especially because cabbage is one of the few veggies lately that I can get cheaply, at 50 cents a pound. But at 12 cents a pound? Even better! I bought as much as I could at that price.

Tomatoes are something that I used to be able to find cheaply, but for whatever reason they aren't so cheap locally anymore. Most of the time I can't find them cheaper than 90 cents a pound, so at 12 cents a pound I also bought till the limit.

Cucumbers are another one of those that used to be cheap but I can't find cheap anymore, they also are 90 cents a pound or more, so I bought as many as I could at 12 cents a pound.

I used to be able to find onions for 25 cents a pound but now they are generally double that, so when I saw them for 12 cents a pound it made me happy because I use onions in nearly every single dish I make. Again, I bought the max.

Carrots are something I can sometimes buy cheaply, but not always. They are between 25 and 50 cents a pound generally, but we can never have too many carrots, so I bought 6.6 pounds of carrots at 12 cents a pound.

The eggplant wasn't officially on sale but it was 25 cents a pound when in my local store it costs 76 cents a pound so I bought a few pounds.

Butternut squash locally costs 76 cents a pound and since it was being sold for 25 cents a pound I bought a large one.

Beets are something I can get cheaply generally, but not super cheaply. When I went to the local supermarket chain to get a base price to compare for this post, I saw them being sold for 64 cents a pound, so I bought a few pounds when I saw these at 25 cents a pound. 

Locally it is grape season and my family absolutely loves grapes, but even though they're in season they aren't cheap unfortunately. At the store near me green grapes are $2.06 a pound and purple grapes are $3.24 a pound, and this store was selling both for $1.29 a pound for both, so I got one box of each.

And as for the things I went to the store for? Orange juice and cheese? Orange juice was $4.28 for a large bottle instead of the $6.82 it is locally. And my fancy cheese that doesn't bother my stomach was $4.28 for the package instead of $6.28 it is locally.

To get my groceries home I bought these "strong" bags for 50 cents each- I bought 5 of them to help me get them to the bus stop, so that was $2.50 for the price of "delivery". But the "strong" bags all ripped on the way to the bus stop so that was a waste.

Anyhow, total for this grocery shop?

The unbelievably low price of $57 for all that.

I'm going to be bringing my shopping cart with me next time I go to physical therapy, because if what I'm hearing is correct, this store regularly has such sales, and I want to be able to take full advantage of them.

Have you gotten any great deals lately when grocery shopping?


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