Groceries: All the Stores

This is for roughly two and a half weeks worth of groceries. I think I ended up shopping at almost every store. June is turning out to be a bit spendy. I’m focusing on adding more fresh fruits and veggies to our diet for health related reasons but I’ve also been susceptible to lots of snacky type things, too, as you will see.

As a reminder, we are a household of two adults, no children. My grocery budget does include toiletries and similar household items, but not pet supplies, which have their own budget. My goal is to stay at or under (preferably under) $400, and I like to shoot for an average of $60/week at “regular” grocery stores so I have  a decent amount to spend at a monthly or so stock up when I visit BJs (warehouse store). This number feels pretty generous to me and I am more motivated to cook at home when there is a little more wiggle room in my budget. When I tried to keep a much tighter grocery budget, we ended up eating out a lot and that was just frustrating to me. I’m posting all this because I love to read and/or watch grocery hauls from others and I am sometimes guilty of the comparison game, where I never end out on top. But everyone has different needs and resources and, in the end, this is what works for us!:)

Aldi 062216

Aldi, 6/22/16

  • Brown sugar, 2 2lb bags @ $1.29/ea
  • Marshmallows, 1 bag @ $.89
  • White cheddar corn puffs, 1 bag @ $1.99
  • Woven wheat crackers, 1 box @ $1.89
  • Shredded wheat cereal, 1 box @ $1.89
  • Tortilla chips, 1 bag @ $1.19
  • Facial tissue, 1 boxes @ $1.09/ea

Aldi062216.2

Aldi, 6/22/16

  • Frozen corn, 1 lb @ $.95
  • Frozen peas, 1lb @ $.95
  • Avocados, 2 @ $.49/ea
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, 8oz block @ $1.69
  • Heavy cream, 1 pint @ $1.69
  • Bananas, 3.06lb @ $1.35
  • Watermelon, 1 @ $3.49
  • Creamsicles, 12 ct box @ $1.99
  • Pineapple, 1 @ $1.29

Total: $26.89

Lots of snacks!! The chips, puffs, marshmallows and creamsicles are not necessary at all, but we’ve both been feeling kind of snacky. And the creamsicles only have 80 calories each, a great low cal dessert on nights when I want one. I thought we really needed tissues, but actually I had several boxes already so now I shouldn’t have to buy any for quite some time. I actually ran out of brown sugar last week, which was slightly distressing. I really do not like to run out of what I consider staples. I was excited to find the shredded wheat — there is really nothing added to it, so it’s a decently healthy cereal and this brand happens to be organic which is nice. In the bottom photo–I generally prefer to buy cheese at BJs as it’s a bit cheaper. Aldi’s cheese is still a really great deal, though, and we had run out of our two pound block of cheddar…so this was it. Heavy cream for a dessert coming up, and fruits and veggies for snacking and general eating. I want to go back and pick up more frozen peas and corn. I had to throw out all those frozen veggies from BJs because of a recall and less than a dollar a pound is a really great price — I never see that. Plus I like keeping frozen peas and corn on hand.

BJs 061516

BJs, 6/15/16

  • Coffee, 40 oz @ $14.99 (reg $19.99 but had a $5 off coupon)
  • Empanada discos, $5.99
  • Spinach, 2 20oz bags @ $3.99/ea
  • Bananas, 3lbs @ $1.39
  • Welches juice pops, 2 40ct bags @ $15.98
  • PB Fit, 1 canister @ $9.99
  • Feta cheese, 20 oz @ $4.74
  • Grated pecorino romano, 1lb @ $10.99

Total: $73.17

Oh, BJs. I always feel like I spend so much, but what I do buy lasts well beyond the month I purchase it, generally. Fresh produce being the exception. And the coffee (blush…we have a coffee addiction). 🙂 Michael loves those juice pops and they tend to not replenish them in our store once their shipment is out, so when I saw they still had a few bags on hand I snapped them up. I had run out of pretty much all cheeses at about the same time (this is why we’ve eaten so much of the cheddar, actually), so needed to stock up. I prefer to buy the grated parmesan that doesn’t have cellulose, although I also don’t really think that stuff is all that harmful. Anyway. There was cheaper parmesan but it had the cellulose, is my point. I had a coupon for the feta which brought the price down to under $5 for over a pound — such a better deal than grocery store feta, even when it goes on BOGO. The PB fit will last a while — I use it in protein shakes and smoothies. And the spinach is also for my smoothies. I have been consuming a LOT of spinach lately!

Freshfield Farms 061516 (2)

Freshfields Farm, 6/15/16

  • Blackberries, 6oz @ $1.67 (organic0
  • Blueberries, 1 pint @ $2.00
  • Raspberries, 18oz @ $4.00 (3/$4) (organic)
  • Strawberries, 2lbs @ $2.00/ea (organic)
  • Dried kidney beans, 3.85lb @ $4.20
  • Local peaches, 1.3lbs @ $1.37
  • Sweet cherries, 2.19lbs @ $3.99/lb (!!!)

Freshfield Farms 061516

Freshfields Farm, 6/15/16

  • Kale, 2 bunches @ $2.47
  • Mushrooms, 1lb @ $2.50
  • Snap peas, .561lb @ $3.69lb
  • Cucumbers, 1.62lb @ $.89/lb
  • Eggplant, 2 @ $.89/lb
  • Asparagus, 1lb @ $.99/lb
  • Red and green lettuce, 2 heads @ $4.00
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch @ $.40

Total: $43.85

Another big haul at Freshfields Farm. I love, love, love this store. The produce is almost always great quality and the prices just can’t be beat. Well, by Aldi sometimes, but Aldi doesn’t have the same selection. Anyway, berries looked good and were really inexpensive. I totally splurged on the cherries, though. I finally found dry kidney beans at a good price, although they didn’t have any dry chickpeas, which I had bought there before. I hope they get more soon. Again with lots of veggies for side dishes and general health.

Freshfield Farms 061916

Freshfields Farms, 6/20/16

  • Mission figs, 1lb @ $2.00
  • Heirloom tomatoes (yellow), 1.790lb @ $1.99/lb
  • Fennel, two bulbs @ $3.33
  • Apples, 2.29lb @ $2.28lb
  • Grape tomatoes, 8 oz @ $1.50

Total: $15.61

On my next visit to Freshfields, I went with a friend on a not-regular (for me) shopping day and still had quite a bit on hand from my last trip so didn’t get quite as many things. Hard to resist good looking heirloom tomatoes, though. The figs were an exciting find; I used them to make a salmon recipe that we both really enjoy but that I rarely make because fresh figs are kind of pricey. I was excited to pick up the fennel, too! Another vegetable that I really enjoy that I don’t often buy because it doesn’t look good and/or it costs a lot more than I want to pay.

Target 062216

Target, 6/22/16

  • Emerald nuts, 2 boxes @ $3.79 ea

Total: $7.58

OTHER STORES, NOT PICTURED:

  • Pink lady apples (WF) 2.19lb $ 1.99/lb
  • Sugar cookie (WF) $.99
  • Cashews (WD) 8oz @ $3.50
  • 1% Milk (Pub) half-gal @ $2.50

Total: $11.36

I bought the nut packets in an attempt to avoid late afternoon hanger and to always have something on me that I can snack on if I feel my blood sugar dropping (I have peppermints, too, if I need a fast rush of sugar…but a protein and fat based snack usually works better for me). I think my brain was a little foggy, though, because if I had been thinking I would have remembered that I had almonds at home and could have made my own snack packs. Although it is helpful to have this visual reminder of what (volume wise) 100 calories of nuts looks like. The rest of the food purchases were either impulse buys — I needed something after giving blood and saw the apples at Whole Foods as I was making my way to the bakery or “oh snap, we’re out of that buys” — the milk.

(TWO) WEEK TOTAL: $178.46

MONTH TO DATE: $358.23

Another week and $42 in the budget. Normally this would be fairly easy, but a few things are on sale at BJs and other places that I’d like to stock up on…so I think I’ll end up going over. Not quite as badly as I originally thought. We’ve been eating out a bit more, though, this month, on top of all that. Going forward into July I’m setting two goals: eat most meals at home (barring two dates w/Michael and two lunches w/friend each) and devote time each week to making more meals and meal components ahead of time. My life is so much easier when I do this, but sometimes I get caught up in perceived busyness and don’t take the time to do so. I also want to continue to focus on fresh foods and generally improved healthfulness re:cooking and baking, but that shouldn’t really be a problem. Over the next six months or so I want to pretty significantly alter how we eat. I’ve tried doing things all or nothing in one fell swoop and while that’s successful for a while, I find that once I fall off the wagon I tend to lose more than I keep (except weight…). I’m hoping by implementing small changes gradually we’ll overall see improved health and weight loss. Although I’m not sure if it will be visible here, except maybe in what I buy each week.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Groceries: All the Stores

  1. Sigh, I love looking at what other people are buying too and how much they’re paying 🙂 I’ve been lazy and not posted my shopping trips so far in June. Oh well, I’ll start again in July. Now you got me craving marshmallows 🙂 The $2 price for the figs is very good! Sometimes Publix will have the figs on BOGO but I know they used to price them at $5.99 at couple of years ago. I’ve never cooked with fennel.

    Does Freshfield Farms accept coupons? Regardless, you should join the Driscoll’s Consumer Advisory panel and take the short surveys on each box of Driscoll’s berries you buy so you can earn coupons. I’ll email you the link. If you look at the bottom of your Driscoll’s containers, there is a sticker with a group of numbers,which you will need for the survey. Whenever I buy Driscoll’s berries, I stick a bit of masking tape at the bottom of each box before I put them in the fridge and on it I write the date when I bought them, the initials of the store where I bought them, and the price I paid (before coupons). Then when I’m done with the berries, I keep the boxes until I’ve taken the surveys. When you first start, you’ll earn $0.50 coupons. For each survey you complete, they will email you a link to a printable coupon that you can print twice. After 5 surveys (if I remember), you’ll earn $0.75 coupons. If you make it to 16 surveys, you’ll earn $1.00 coupons. That’s what I get. The trick is to wait to take the survey until you know that you’ll be using the coupons because they have a 30 days expiration date. My SuperTarget sells Driscoll’s berries (including the organic ones) and a lot of time they’re on sale. Last year they had Cartwheel discounts on top of that but this year they haven’t had any. But sometimes they have $2 off $10 in produce printable store coupons (or digital store coupons) too. Publix sometimes sells Driscoll’s too, although I don’t think they sell their organic varieties.

    Were you able to get your money back from BJs for the frozen that were recalled?

    1. Thanks Nathalie–I don’t think I signed up for teh Driscoll’s thing because…there was some reason that it was maybe not going to work. I don’t know if Freshfields accepts coupons, somehow I doubt it. But I like the idea of saving the UPC codes and collecting the survey points for use elsewhere. 🙂

      Yes, BJs did refund me the money–in fact, it made my last trip there almost free (well, last before this most recent one). So that is something. I HATE wasting food, though, so throwing that stuff out was HARD.

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