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.

Daybook: July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17


Outside my window…….it’s sunny and the weedy backyard is taunting me.

I am thinking…….about my schedule for this week and how I’m going to accomplish everything on my to-do list.

I am thankful for……a very flexible work schedule, the ability to attend graduate school and only have to work part-time, reasonably good health.

From the kitchen…..not much right now, although I’m planning on trying a new recipe for dinner tonight. And I may also bake the rest of the batch of ginger cookies — the dough is hanging out in the freezer while I decide if I’m baking it or freezing it.

I am wearing…..shorts and a tank top.

I am creating…..chaos wherever I go. 😉

I am going…….to the vets later today, to school tomorrow, to get my oil changed tomorrow morning, to take an important exam (must pass to graduate) on Friday.

I am reading……..the same things I mentioned in my last post, as well as Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Well, I need to start that book, actually. It’s for bookclub this Friday, which I am hosting.

I am hoping……to do well on the exam!

I am hearing…..a classical playlist I enjoy on Amazon Prime. Classical music and good headphones allow me to concentrate on my work even when my husband is on the phone all day.

Around the house…….the cats are lounging about, some clutter has accumulated that I really should take care of so that my tidying on Friday isn’t such an ordeal.

One of my favorite things……is watching cats enjoy a new box.

A few plans for the rest of the week… addition to the errands/tasks I mentioned earlier, I’ll be studying for that exam, working on some around the house projects and, if I have time, working on some quilting, too.

Here is a picture I am sharing…….of some of my meal prep yesterday. I think the salad base ingredients are so pretty as I chop them up!

salad base prep

Five Frugal Things


  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.

Groceries: July 8 – 14

I visited Publix and Aldi for groceries this week. I thought I might stop at Save-A-Lot this weekend for the pork roast that is $.99/lb, but we have too much food in our freezer, so I need to focus on eating that down, as opposed to building it up. My total spent on groceries for both stores was $59.68.


I went to Publix last weekend. I wanted to take advantage of some coupon match-ups, both for food and household items. I bought:

  • Sun-dried tomatoes, $2.99
  • Perdue “Encrusted” frozen, pre-cooked chicken breasts, $6.99/BOGO -$1.50/2 coupon = $5.49
  • Liberte yogurt, $1.79/ea – Publix BOGO coupon – $1.99 digital coupon -$.30 digital coupon = FREE + I actually made $.50.
  • Kentucky Legend Ham Steaks, $3.29/BOGO – $1.50/1 Publix coupon = $1.79/2
  • Yellow onions, $.99/lb for 1.81lbs = $1.79
  • Sweet potatoes, $.99/lb for 2.39lbs = $2.37
  • Bananas, $.65/lb for 2lbs = $1.30
  • Ken’s Salad Dressing, $3.49/BOGO
  • Lance Crackers, $2.33/ea – $1/2 coupon = $3.66
  • Pasta, $1.59/BOGO – $1/2 coupon = $.59/2

I wasn’t expecting the both digital coupons for the liberte yogurt to come off the total — this may be the first time in my life I have achieved a “moneymaker” since I am a pretty lackadaisical couponer. The frozen chicken is in my stash of quick foods for busy times that is growing in my freezer. So are the ham steaks — they are a nice size for just the two of us, without a ton of leftovers. Aldi was out of onions and I have not loved the quality the last couple of times I’ve bought them there or at Save-A-Lot, so picked these up instead. I had planned on just grabbing a 3lb bag, but the loose onions were actually cheaper. I don’t need any pasta at all, but have been filling up a bag of items for the food pantry and these will be perfect for that. My total for food at Publix was $23.08. I also picked up six bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner for $8.14 which made me very happy, although that doesn’t come out of the grocery budget. That will last me over a year!


And I stopped by Aldi on my way home from class last night. I was primarily interested in stocking up on produce, as you can see. I bought:

  • Nathan’s hot dogs, $2.89
  • Hot dog bugs, $.83
  • Organic black beans, 4 cans @ $.89/ea
  • Enchilada sauce, $1.89
  • Restaurant style tortilla chips, $1.59
  • Round tortilla chips, $1.49
  • English muffins, $.99
  • Zucchini, $1.49/24oz
  • Tri-color peppers, 2 packs @ $1.49/ea
  • Garlic, $.99
  • Avocados, 3 @ $.89/ea
  • Red cherries, 2lbs @ $1.29/ea
  • Pink Lady apples, 4lbs @ $4.29
  • Milk, $2.95
  • Sharp cheddar cheese, $1.79
  • Frozen broccoli florets, $1.19/ea
  • Mushrooms, 4 boxes @ $.79/ea

My total was $36.53 but I just realized that I was charged for an extra box of cherries, so I’ll have to see about getting that taken care of when I’m in next. Ugh. I was excited about the peppers — I had a pack in the fridge already and just went ahead and sliced up three packs for the freezer since we use them so often. If I don’t use the mushrooms in the next couple of days, I will saute them and then freeze them as well. But I have plans that should keep them from lingering. I bought the two different kinds of tortilla chips because the restaurant style are good for snacking but the round ones are the kinds I like to use for nachos.

So far I have spent a total of $166.28 on groceries this month. This leaves me $133.72 for the rest of the month.