Groceries: Aldi, BJs, Publix, Target

I hadn’t originally planned on visiting BJs this week, but they oh-so-nicely sent a $10/$100 coupon for use over the holiday weekend and as I had planned on stopping in sometime this month…I thought I wouldn’t mind saving 10% on my groceries! I actually did fairly well there, and at other stores, using coupons and taking advantage of some rebates available on savings apps. Uh, you’ll notice that coffee was the theme this week. We should have enough coffee on hand to last us through September, I think. Anyway, on to what we spent on groceries this week.

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!:)

This month I am carrying over a $70 deficit from overspending in June, so my budget is actually $329.29.

Aldi 70216_1

Aldi, 7/2/16

  • Crispy rice cereal, 1 box @ $1.39
  • Strawberries, 2lbs @ $1.19/lb
  • Dried oregano, 1 jar @ $.99
  • Blueberries, 1 pt @ $.99
  • Cherries, 1lbs @ $1.79/lb
  • Half and half, 1 qt @ $1.89
  • Cucumbers, 1lb @ $1.99
  • Frozen corn, 1lb @ $.99
  • Frozen peas, 1lb @ $.99

Aldi 70216_2

Aldi, 7/2/16 (cont.)

  • Sprouted wheat bread, 1 loaf @ $2.99
  • Cheese curls, 1 bag @ $.99
  • Corn chips, 1 bag @ $.79
  • Tortilla chips, 1 bag @ $1.19
  • Wavy potato chips, 1 bag @ $1.49
  • Hamburger buns, 8 @ $.69
  • Hotdog buns, 8 @ $.69

Total: $23.94

Lots of snacks in anticipation of the holiday weekend and for some related work events. The Crispy Rice cereal is a very good substitute for Rice Crispies; we have been similarly pleased with the Aldi brand of Shredded Wheat and Corn Chex. I was not as excited about their brand of Cheerios. Three out of four ain’t bad! 😉 I continue to stock up on the frozen corn and peas as I’ll use them a lot in soups, stews and other dishes in the fall. I wanted to try the sprouted bread as I really like Ezekial bread but it is crazy expensive. I wondered if this would be a reasonable sub — it’s good, but not exactly what I’m looking for. The cherries looked pretty good so I picked up a couple of pounds, as well as some strawberries and blueberries for topping my breakfast granola.

BJs 070416_1

BJs, 7/4/16

  • Sliced almonds, 2lbs @ $12.49
  • Cherub grape tomatoes, 24oz @ $4.49
  • Living basil plant, 1 @ $2.99
  • Bananas, 3lbs @ $1.39
  • Shaving gel, 3pk @ $6.49 minus $3.00 in coupons, so $3.49
  • Spinach, 20oz @ $3.99

BJs 070416_2

BJs, 7/4/16 (cont.)

  • Crumbled gorgonzola, 14 oz @ $5.79 minus $1.25 coupon, so $4.54
  • Ground lean turkey, 4lbs @ $9.99
  • Ground lean beef, 4lbs @ $14.99
  • Discos, 2 20ct pks @ $4.99
  • Starbucks coffee 2 40oz bags @ $19.99/ea minus $5 coupon/ea so $14.99
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, 2lbs @ $5.79

Total: $89.64 (before coupon total was $113.47)

I was super please with myself on combining coupons and savings offers here. I know that there are folks out there for whom this kind of thing is normal. It’s not for me and for a variety of reasons I don’t use a ton of coupons (mostly related to mental health, actually) but every so often I manage it. I really wanted to stock up on the coffee since I had two of the $5 off coupons to use; I was hoping to use a $2/2 manufacturers coupon, too, but Target didn’t accept the one I had for $4/3 because that deal included a “free” coffee, so I used the coupon there instead, planning to print another before my BJs trip. Except it had been pulled from the site. Oh well. It’s still a really good price for good coffee. I also grabbed some ground meat and mentally have applied that $10 off store coupon to those items, although it really just came of the end total. I was also pleased to get the shaving gel for a little more than a dollar. We’ll use the almonds to make granola and the cheese all over the place. The basil and tomatoes have already been put to use in a 4th of July salad and the discos were on a special price. Since I had such good luck making the chicken empanadas last week, I went ahead and picked up another pack. They live in the freezer and definitely see more empanadas in my future.

Publix 070416

Publix, 7/4/16

  • Sweet corn, 10 ears @ 5/$1.00
  • Cherries, 4.28lbs @ $1.99/lb
  • Sargento sliced cheese, 2 @ 2/$5.00 minus $1.30 coupons, so $3.70
  • Ritz crackers, 2 @ $3.49
  • Rice vinegar (not pictured, 12oz @ $1.99 minus $.50 coupon, so $1.49

Total: $19.64

I wanted the cheese for our burgers and thought I had a matching rebate offer which would have brought the price down even further, but it was for shredded cheese. I did have a Checkout 51 rebate on the Ritz crackers for $2.50, so that is nice. I don’t really take that out of the grocery budget because I have to get to a certain point before that money is even available AND I will probably use it for online hobby purchases, not groceries. But it is still something worth noting here, I guess. As you will see, between here and Target, I’m set for crackers for quite a while, too. The cherries were/are delicious.

Target 70216

Target, 7/2/16

  • Starbucks coffee, 3 12oz bags @ $7.99/ea BUT B2G1 offer + $2 off two coupon, so $4.66/ea
  • Nathan’s beef franks, 14oz @ $4.89 minus 50% off Cartwheel deal, so $2.44
  • Herdez salsa, 1 jar @ $2.09 minus 30% off Cartwheel deal, so $1.46
  • Triscuits, 2 boxes @ $5.00 minus 40% off Cartwheel deal, so $3.00
  • Outshine yogurt bars, 1 box @ $3.00
  • Pirates booty (not pictured), 10oz bag @ $5.99 minus 25% off Cartwheel deal + $.75 off coupon, so $3.74

Total: $27.83

I don’t live close to a Super Target and mine did not have the Chobani Meze dips available; I was hoping to pick one up to try it. Combined with a coupon, Cartwheel and an Ibotta rebate it would have been free. But. I don’t REALLY need any dips and we have plenty of snack food on hand…so we survived without it. I am please with my coffee buy — we’re heading to a family vacation later this summer and it’s easier to take these smaller bags for use during that time. And the price per ounce is almost equal to that at BJs with the $5 off coupon. We go through coffee like it’s water, so this will be put to good use and won’t linger in the pantry. The Triscuits ALSO qualified for the Checkout 51 rebate of $2.50 and I can actually claim that rebate 5 times, although I think I have enough crackers on hand for now. I also have a rebate from Saving Star that the Outshine bars went toward — all told I am pretty pleased with my use of the Cartwheel app, coupons and rebate apps. I can’t do this all the time as I would go crazy and also I’d end up with a pantry full of crackers and nothing else…but it is nice to put coupons to work when I can.

Walgreens 070416

Walgreens, 7/4/16

  • Eggs, 2 dozen @ $.99/ea

Total: $1.98

Not much to say here, except this is the best price on eggs right now and we needed them.

Weekly Total: $163.03

Remaining Budget: $166.26

Rebates this week (combination of Ibotta, Checkout 51 and Savings Star): $10.75

Kind of a large outlay at the beginning of the month, but I don’t expect to do another large trip to BJs this month and mostly plan to stick to fresh fruit, veggies and dairy for the rest of the month. Our BJs membership expires this month and I am debating renewing it. I do get a discount on the membership as part of being a city employee and while not everything there is a good deal, the deals that I take advantage of are ones I use regularly. What I will probably do is let it run out and hold off on renewing for a month or so. We shall see. Whatever happens we will certainly not starve. 🙂



6 thoughts on “Groceries: Aldi, BJs, Publix, Target

  1. Nice! And you got to use coupons and rebate apps, woohoo!

    What are “Discos”? I meant to try that Chobani dip too, I even printed the coupon before going and uploaded the Cartwheel and I completely forgot to get it when I went to SuperTarget that day.

    I heard that Starbucks is raising their prices in a couple of weeks, although I don’t know if it means that their packaged coffee will go up too.

    I don’t have a warehouse club membership. I did have a 6-month BJ membership when it just opened in Clermont because it was free, but it made me spend way too much money, even when I was feeding 8 of us. I did better at Publix with coupons on most items. I guess you should calculate if what you spend on the membership is at least recouped by the deals you get. If you still want to keep it because you can get the large bags of Starbucks coffee, for instance, then you probably should deduct the price of the membership from your overall grocery budget, that way it’s factored in the cost of your food. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Discos are pre-made dough circles of empanada dough. You can use them for other types of pastry, too, I guess. I read about them on a food blog and then happened to see them at BJs a little while ago so picked them up. They make the process of putting together empanadas a lot more streamlined.

      Ugh, I hope Starbucks doesn’t raise prices. Although I don’t go to their stores all that often, so…

      The warehouse thing is always a tricky decision for me. The prices, quality and quantity on items like nuts, dried fruit, coffee, pantry items and a few other things are really worthwhile to me. But the first time we had a warehouse membership, I just bought crazy things and too much of them. But I have really done a good job over the last couple of years to really pare down what i buy there to those things that are the best deal, the most convenient (at a reasonable price) and/or I can’t find anywhere else. I do subtract the membership fee from our grocery budget as I feel like I would be lying to myself otherwise. I know that Sam’s is cheaper and usually around this time of year there is a deal on Living Social or some other site that really brings down the cost of membership. Sam’s isn’t as close to me as BJs, though. We’ll see.

      1. Hmmm…just doing some quick calculations, we save a ton on coffee alone. We can go through a small, grocery store size bag each week, although we do manage to stretch the bigger BJs bag out to last us most of a month. A sale like the Target sale isn’t super frequent, although I can usually guarantee that I’ll be able to find a coupon at least half the time. And I won’t always have a $5 off coupon for BJs. Still, savings on coffee is well over $100 a year. And, let’s be honest — I would probably not always get the Starbucks coffee if I was relying on the grocery store. We have a few local roasters and I would probably convince myself that it is better to buy a local product at least some of the time.

        We also save a good amount on cheese, even accounting for my recent affection for higher quality parmesan.

        Thanks for the nudge — I was going to do these calculations anyway, but your comment made me think about it concretely this morning!

      2. Does BJ accept printable manufacturer coupons? Because (go through Swagbucks if you participate in SB) very often has coupons for Starbucks coffee. Recently there were $1 off 1 or $2 off 2 bags of Starbucks coffee. They might even still be available now, although I do realize that you said you’re stocked through September now 🙂

      3. They do! I actually hoped to print one out for this trip, but I used the one I had at Target and then the coupons had disappeared from the website. I’m sure there will be more soon.

      4. Do you have an American Express card? If so, check the “deals” section that you can upload to your card. I’ve read that some people have an offer for $45 off a $45 Sam’s Club membership. I checked our cards (why, I’m not sure as Sam’s Club is a good 45 minutes from here via toll roads so I would never EVER go!) but we didn’t have the offer on our cards.

        Sounds to me that if there are advantages for you to shop at BJs and you’ve already factored in the cost AND you’ve proven that you are able to not overspend, then you’ve already answered your question! Now I’m starting to wonder if I should get a BJ membership, lol. No, no it’s better that I stay away.

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