Groceries July 15 – 21

Ai-yi-yi!* I rather went over budget this week. Well, not for the whole month, but I don’t have a ton left for the last ten days of July. But I shouldn’t need it! Here’s how it went down.

I spent $9.77 at Publix for snacks that I was bringing to craft get together. It was a last minute thing and there were a lot of allergies to consider, so picking up a few things was the easiest and quickest option. I brought seltzer water, kettle corn and grapes. The kettle corn and grapes were totally consumed, but I brought extra seltzer water home. I don’t have a photo since I picked this up on my way to the event.

publix_july 18 2017

Then I went back to Publix on Tuesday because we were out of Parmesan cheese and bananas, plus I wanted to grab the pretzels that were on BOGO. I had coupons for the Jolly Time popcorn, which was on clearance, so they ended up being $.60/ea. I spent $10.05.

aldi_7 20 2017

On Thursday I went to Aldi where I bought a lot of produce as well as several items for the book club dinner I hosted Friday night. I bought the graham crackers to make a lemon dream pie, but ended up making salted caramel brownies instead. Otherwise I stuck to my menu and used what I purchased (although of course there are a ton of leftovers). I spent a total of $35.87 and bought:

  • blue corn tortilla chips, $1.69
  • pink lady apples, 3lbs @ $4.29
  • ranch dressing packet, $.49
  • cheddar cheese 2 8oz pkgs @ $1.79/ea
  • English muffins, $.99
  • heavy cream, $1.69
  • half and half, $1.79
  • graham crackers, $1.29
  • organic refried beans, 2 cans @ $.99/ea
  • organic black beans, 2 cans @ $.99/ea
  • mini cucumbers, 2 1lb bags @ $1.79/ea
  • clementines, 2lbs @ $2.49
  • organic grape tomatoes, 8oz carton @ $1.99 (these were in much better shape than the non-organic)
  • green bell peppers, 2 pack @ $1.39
  • romaine hearts, $2.29
  • strawberries, 2lbs @ $1.29/ea
  • plums, 2lbs @ $1.98

publix_7 20 2017

On Thursday I also stopped at Save a Lot and picked up a bag of red seedless grapes, which were on sale for $.88/lb. I spent $2.16 there (no picture). And I went to Publix, where I bought some splurgey items in addition to more “regular” purchases. I’ve been picking up my bananas from Publix because Aldi’s have either been WAY overripe, unavailable, or super sweaty in their plastic bag, which in my experience has resulted in bananas that spoil really quickly. The M&Ms are for traveling next month and I also put some out at book club. The Ben and Jerry’s were a delicious splurge but I probably won’t buy them again as they are kind of expensive. And the ravioli is fantastic; since it was on sale I picked up some bags to store in the freezer. My total was $44.58 Details:

  • Rana ravioli, 4 bags — on sale for 2/$7, but I had 4 $1/1 coupons, so I paid $2.50 ea
  • Arnold Oatnut bread, 2 loaves, BOGO @ $4.29
  • Limes, 3 for $1.20
  • Bananas, 2.52lbs @ $1.70
  • Santitas tortilla chips, $2.00
  • M&Ms, 4 bags — on BOGO for $3.79/2 + I had 2 $1.50/2 coupons, so I paid $1.15 ea
  • Flour tortillas, 2 20ct bags, BOGO @ $3.09/2
  • Sour cream, 2 16oz containers, BOGO (with coupon) @ $2.29
  • Fresh mozarella cheese, $2.50 + $1/1 coupon, so I paid $1.50
  • Ben & Jerry’s pint slices, BOGO @ 4.99/2 + $.50/1 coupon, so I paid $4.49/2
  • Polar selter water, 3 12pks @ 3/$8.00
  • tax (on the ice cream, M&Ms, & seltzer), $1.44

penzeys and starbucks_7 21 2017

Finally, yesterday after my exam I went to Starbucks and Penzeys (also Total Wine, but that is not in my grocery budget… ;)). I wanted to try Starbucks whole bean decaf, as I would like every so often to have coffee in the evening but I have really disliked all the ground decaf (which is all I can find at most stores) I have tried. I particularly wanted to get this yesterday so I’d have coffee to serve with the brownies at book club. This was pretty spendy at $13.95/lb, but as a small consolation I did also get a free cup of drip coffee. And it’s quite good, so for now worth it to me. At Penzey’s I needed some sea salt, I purchased both a coarse white salt which doesn’t break down too easily and some French grey sea salt for using as a finisher with meat and veggies. That cost $8.30 and I had coupons from Penzey’s for a free jar of their Salsa and Pico seasoning, as well as a free jar of the granulated garlic — you had to spend $2 for the garlic and $5 for the seasoning mix. They send out coupons for free-with-purchase items all the time, and while I don’t run in looking for things to buy (since we all know I already have plenty of spices on hand!), I do try to take advantage of them if there is something I need.

My total spent on groceries for the week was $122.92 ❗ ❗ o_O o_O This leaves me $10.80 for the rest of the month, however we now have SO MUCH FOOD on hand; I think the only thing I might run out to buy is bananas

*My grandfather was PA Dutch and used this expression a lot. Although my father never spoke PA Dutch, we all (my sisters and I) have a few phrases that we use often, this being one of them.

Five Frugal Things

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  1. I’ve been using a shampoo and conditioner for the past couple of months that I really don’t like but have had for years now, just sitting in the cabinet. I’m trying to go through and use up toiletries, and because of this goal I managed to not buy shampoo or conditioner or body lotion for two years. I did just pick up more shampoo since I finally getting to the end of these bottles, but I think I’ll be good on the body lotion for a while (I prefer unscented or very lightly scented body lotions, but somehow had scads and scads of stuff from the Body Shop and Bath and Body Works).
  2. I used up the last of a less-than-wonderful loaf of banana bread to make French toast, rather than letting it sit uneaten until we had to throw it away.
  3. We picked up a pizza last weekend, but used the left-over balance on a gift card and a discount code to get a free order of breadsticks and cut the overall cost somewhat. Also it used up the balance on the gift card, which always feels very satisfactory to me!
  4. I went through a recent issue of Cooking Light and bookmarked recipes I would like to try. Most of them use items I already have in the pantry/fridge/freezer.
  5. We bought a new cat tower during Petco’s recent sale and went through ebates for cash back.

Five Frugal Things

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  1. I saved the seeds from the cilantro I planted in the spring; I think I’ll plant them in the fall and see if I have success growing them for a longer period of time.
  2. The balsamic glaze I bought from Aldi last year is REALLY thick. Too thick to act as a glaze and too thick for me to enjoy. It’s been sitting in the cupboard unused but recently I realized that if I thinned it out with some regular balsamic vinegar it would be the perfect consistency. I’ve been using it on salads and am happy to have saved that particular product.
  3. Since I have a little extra time this summer, I’ve been doing more coupon matching than I normally do. This is helping me stock up on convenience-type foods for the fall at a reasonable price.
  4. My husband’s procedure yesterday was pretty early in the morning so I didn’t eat OR have any coffee before we left. I was very hungry and sleepy! Once he was called back to get prepped, I was planning to run out to Starbucks for a caffeine boost, but the receptionist let me know that they offered coffee and donuts for those waiting. That was really nice as I was worried about getting back in time! It wasn’t the best coffee ever, but the price was right. 😉 And I was glad to not have to leave.
  5. The rubber thumb guard (mostly a comfort pad, I think) on my husband’s computer mouse fell off; we were able to use some epoxy I had on hand to glue it back on instead of buying a new mouse — especially since this one was pretty new itself!

What We Spent, What We Ate: July 1

Hopefully next week I can post this on Friday, but this week I wasn’t able to get to the grocery store until today! I ended up running around to three different stores — although I don’t tend to shop at Publix as much as I once did, lately I’ve been able to combine coupons for relatively good deals. And some things I find I just prefer from them. Anyway, I went to BJs, Aldi, & Publix.

BJsJuly1_2017

At BJs I really just ran in to get the ground beef. But I saw that they had 4lb containers of peaches for $2/lb — comparable to the price at Winn-Dixie where I had been planning to stop for just that item. I was happy to cut out a trip. I also grabbed the romaine because it was cheaper than the price I last paid at Aldi for the same item — $1.99 compared to $2.29. The ground turkey was sort of an impulse; usually they only have the three packs & the last batch the quality seemed a little so-so. I’ve been wanting ground turkey anyway, so thought I’d give this a try. Total spent at BJs was $32.96. My goal is to spend about $100/month at BJs and the rest of our budget at non-warehouse stores.

AldiJuly1_2017

Lots of produce at Aldi on my list today — I was excited to see cherries at $1.99/lb. I love them but prefer not to buy them any higher than this. I grabbed two boxes. Also two of strawberries. There is a jar of salsa behind the hamburger buns — I’ve heard good things about this particular kind and I hope it lives up to it’s hype. The spinach and green cabbage are for the base salad blend I make up each weekend (or so), and lately I’ve really been enjoying their version of wheat thin crackers. I also bought a vinyl tablecloth, but am not including that in my total. Total spent on food at Aldi was $29.05.

PublixJuly1_2017

My last stop was Publix. They had a number of BOGO deals I wanted to take advantage of and some coupon offers, too. I mentioned in my convenience food post that we really like the Morningstar Farms burgers and corn dogs — they are BOGO this week and there is a $2/2 coupon in one of their flyers. I may go back this coming week to pick up a few more as that is a good price on something that really helps me out. I’ve also been on a potato kick and especially love tiny potatoes — so even though I have quite a few little potatoes at home, I went ahead and picked up two bags since they were on BOGO. I roast them using a no-oil recipe and they are delicious and healthy. Also filling, which is good for me eating at a calorie deficit right now. Another coupon in the Publix flyer offered a BOGO deal on the Hidden Valley ranch dressing and I had two manufacturers coupons to pair with that as well. I also had coupons for the coffee, hummus and olives, but not the ice cream. 😀 Oh, I did pick up body wash as well, but that isn’t food. My total at Publix was $28.98, BUT the coffee is actually for my parents — they really like this particular brand and I am putting together a thank you basket for when we stay with them later this summer. I will probably move that expense to the gift category and my grocery total at Publix is $19.49.

For all three stores I spent a total of $82.50 and a lot of these items will last well beyond just this week. I have $217.50 left to spend in order to maintain my $300/month budget.

File Jul 01, 8 09 55 PM

I posted a meal plan early this week, and for the most part we actually stuck to it. I did end up making blueberry pancakes and turkey sausage one night instead of the tilapia, because the thought of anything more involved made me want to drive to Taco Bell. However I made all the other meals I had listed. The only real change was that I made grilled chicken breasts instead of skewers, as I accidentally pulled chicken cutlets out of the freezer instead of whole breasts. I spent all that time cutting my chicken into sizes I wanted for specific things, so I sure wasn’t about to cut my nice cutlets into kebabs! 😉 It was a really good dinner, nonetheless. Summery, tasty and healthy, too!