It probably seems like the only thing I do is go to the grocery store, lately! I do in fact have other things occupying my time, but it’s really helpful for me to record this information, so it tends to be the thing I manage to post even when I’m a bit too busy to share much else.
Anyway, I went to ALL the stores on Sunday after we returned from our vacation. I really stocked up. I will only need to do a small shop this weekend, mostly just to pick up a few things that are on a good sale at Winn-Dixie and Publix this weekend. Maybe milk and bananas the last weekend of the month. And that will be it for August! You’ll see at the end that I’m about $45 under budget so far this month — should be the perfect amount to wrap it up.
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) $300. This is a reduction of 25% from last month’s (and earlier in the year) budget, primarily because of ways our shopping has changed. I think this may be a bit of a challenge, especially factoring in toiletries. But I want to make it happen!
- Grape tomatoes, 3 pints @ $.99/pt
- Blueberries, 1 pint @ $1.49
- Mini cucumbers, 1 lb @ $.99
- Red onions, 2lbs @ $1.69
- Green onions, 1 pck @ $.99
- Tri-color peppers, 2 pcks @ $2.79/ea
- Queso fresco, 1 wheel @ $2.49
- Avocados, 2 @ $.89/ea
- Bananas, 3.76lb @ $.44/lb
- Mushrooms, 2 8oz pks @ $1.29/ea
- Cantaloupe @ $.99
- Honeydew @ $.2.49
- Lemons, 1 bag @ $2.79
- Limes, 1 bag @ $.99
- Bread, 1 loaf @ $1.29
- White vinegar, 1L @ $.79
- Quart freezer bags @ $1.99
- Sriracha ketchup @ $2.39
- Olive oil @ $3.49
- Toilet paper, 12 rolls @ $4.49 (not pictured)
- Snack size peanuts @ $.59 (not pictured)
The Aldi where I shop is in a plaza with a Target, a Michaels and a Home Goods. I usually shop there on a weekday morning or later evening. This week I remembered why I avoid shopping on the weekends if at all possible. The parking lot was NUTS. I had to park really far away, which I don’t mind except it becomes interesting with a grocery cart. But worse than finding a parking spot was navigating all the other drivers and shoppers. Ugh. Anyway, I stocked up on lots of produce at Aldi this week. We were out of onions, so grabbed a couple of bags of those. I had/have specific plans for everything, although some of them have changed given how busy I ended up being and how far I ended up deviating from the meal plan. I should have bought the queso fresco at Save A Lot; they had a greater variety and were a little cheaper, but I couldn’t remember the Aldi price when I was there so I guess I’ll know for next time. This is the first time the grape tomatoes have been on sale at Aldi and also looked really good so I grabbed a few packs. The cantaloupe was pretty dry, but the honeydew was amazing. They were out of protein bars, unfortunately. I really like those and wanted to grab a few boxes to stock up before school. Next time, I guess. Finally, I’d been out long enough that I was starting to get hungry so grabbed a snack pack of peanuts to tide me over.
- Spinach, 1lb @ $3.49
- Dukes Mayo, 2 30oz jars @ $4.49/ea (BOGO + 2 $.55/1 coupons)
- Crystal Light, 4 jars @ $3.79/ea (BOGO)
- Ground black pepper @ $1.79
- Raspberries, 4 oz @ $2.00
TOTAL: $18.14 (includes tax)
- Pringles, 1 can @ $1.50
- Italian sub, whole @ $7.79
TOTAL: $9.84 (includes tax)
Publix was my last stop. By which point I was really tired and could not fathom cooking. So I splurged on a sub and some chips; I’ve listed them here but they actually fall into the takeout budget. I love Publix subs. This trip was mostly to take advantage of some BOGO deals. I love Dukes so wanted to grab them as we are running out of the jar the fridge. Crystal Light is a guilty indulgence that helps curb my desire for soda. I needed some already ground pepper for recipes that call for a large quantity. I think the cheapest is maybe going to be the large jar from Save-A-Lot, but this was the cheapest smaller jar (all were a comparable size). Spinach is for salads and smoothies; raspberries because I love them.
- 1% milk, half gal @ $2.19
- Russet potatoes, 8lbs @ $2.99
- Italian parsley, 1 bunch @ $.50
- Yellow onions, 3lbs @ $1.99
- Fideos, 2 6.4oz bags @ $.25/ea
It’s been a while since I’ve shopped at Save-A-Lot. For a long time there wasn’t a store close to our home and I’d stop by whichever location I happened to be near on a day I worked. But I got tired of that because, unfortunately, many of those stores were not well maintained and in general the food didn’t seem to be of great quality. About six months ago a Save-A-Lot opened close to our home. I was over it by that time and just never made it a priority to get there, until this week. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The store is quite nice and tidy and I don’t have the same dubious feeling about the fresh foods that I did in the other locations. I’m also a little depressed; the other stores were in less nice neighborhoods with a larger population of low-income folks. Sometimes the Save-A-Lot was the only store in that area. It’s depressing to think that the stores were so poorly maintained on a regular basis and this was the only option. A number of factors go into this, but still, depressing…
Anyway, reflections on economic disparities aside, I spent quite a while checking out what they had available, despite only buying a few things. I knew that I could probably get potatoes in a larger bag for a slightly better price at Aldi, but 8lbs is about the limit of what we can eat before the potatoes go bad. The fideos pasta was cheaper here than at Aldi; I haven’t made fideos in a while, but we really like it. It’s kind of pasta with Spanish rice flavorings. I was happy to see that they had 1% milk in half gallons. It irks me that non-organic half gallons aren’t available at Aldi and they never have 1% in the organic versions. Great price on the parsley and I use it in lots of dishes. Again, needed onions and these were a good (but not great — I miss 3lbs for 99 cents) price. I had hoped to pick up some peaches and plums here since they were on sale for $.95/lb, but they were pretty picked through by the time I was there.
- Jiffy corn bread mix, 3 box @ 3/$1.00
- Peaches, 2.05lbs @ $1.25/lb
- Black plums, 1.42lbs @ $1.25/lb
- Red cabbage, 2.1lbs @ $1.00/lb
- Green beans, 1.06lbs @ $1.25/lb
- Zucchini, 1.38lbs @ $1.25/lb
- Sweet corn, 3 ears @ 3/$.90
- Baby carrots, 2lbs @ $2.00
Since I wasn’t able to find good peaches and plums at Save-A-Lot I picked some up at Winn-Dixie, which was also having a good sale on them. The red cabbage was for a specific dish. The other vegetables were all good prices for veggies we eat regularly. The Jiffy mix was a splurge but it will come in handy. I need to get cornmeal anyway, so I’ve put that off for a bit. Winn-Dixie is back to having some decent weekend sales, so I may start shopping on Sunday, even though it is a pain.
Weekly Total: $76.76
Monthly Total: $253.64