Buying and meal planning for two weeks at a time worked really well for us last month. I’m hoping to maintain this routine as it cuts one errand down by half and grants me a little more time each week, something I really appreciate! This weekend I went a little crazy with the meal prepping (more in a later post), but going forward I think my weekly prep sessions will be pretty minimal. I just had a few things I needed to manage to avoid waste. Anyway. That is not the point of this post — my groceries are! This trip included a stop at BJs so the total is a little high, but I think that actually we’ll pretty consistently come out under $300, too, so perhaps I’ll be able to lower my grocery budget again. We’ll see.
Anyway, this week I stopped at BJs ($84.58), Publix ($30.37), and Aldi ($43.19). My total spent at all three stores was $158.14, and quite a few of these items will last beyond two weeks so I’m hopeful that I can stay under $100 when I shop next. I did all my shopping on the same day (yesterday), but I had to combine my Publix trip with a different errand, so I couldn’t combine everything in one photo by type. But I liked doing that last time, so I just took lots of photos this week!
I had zero eggs left by the time I went shopping again, but that was largely due to a baking spree on Saturday. I think two dozen is probably a good amount for us over two weeks. I was also pleased to get my favorite Pecorino-Romano cheese at BJs; the shredded Parmesan from Aldi was ok, but honestly I’d rather pay more for something I really like. And I’ve got a lasagna on the menu where I’d really like to taste the cheese; I thought Aldi’s version was pretty insipid, all things considered. I do still have quite a bit of half and half, but want to avoid the stores so just grabbed another quart anyway. The dips will be for lunches and snacking; even though I still have hummus, these don’t expire for a little while and I like to have some variety.
- Eggs, 2 dozen @ $.89/doz
- Pecorino Romano cheese, 16 oz @ $10.99 – $2 coupon
- Sharp Cheddar slices, $1.79
- Ricotta, $1.69
- Half & Half, $1.99
- 2% Milk, $2.95
- Marzetti Dips, $3.69 (BOGO)
- Feta cheese, $3.19 (BOGO)
- Liberte yogurt, FREE
We really liked the Tyson chicken tenders I bought last trip, so I decided to pick up the larger bag at BJs; there was also a store coupon, which brought down the price a little. These are really quite convenient for lunch salads. I don’t really need much other meat right now (there is quite a lot of chicken still in my freezer), but I do like to use Italian sausage in my lasagna and we were out. This 3lb package will last us through the end of the year. The tuna is for those times when both time and energy are against us.
More hummus — I had a coupon for a free pack of singles when you bought two of the 10oz size; of course my cashier had a problem both reading the coupon and then taking off the appropriate amount. I pointed out the correct amount to be removed, and it was eventually corrected but not without a little stress. (First she tried to take off $2.99, claiming that she could only take off the lowest amount, but neither product cost $2.99. And the coupon clearly stated that the singles were supposed to be the free item. Ugh. I hate correcting over coupons, especially when others are waiting in line. But I also feel that I shouldn’t be intimidated by the process when I’m not doing anything wrong! The actual amount to be taken off was $4.99. I had only two coupons, too. This is why coupons stress me out.)
We ran out of crunchy peanut butter and I just grabbed a small container at Aldi, since I forgot to stock up when the larger containers were available.
- Tyson Chicken Strips, frozen; 3.5lbs @ $13.99 – $2.50 coupon
- Sweet Italian Sausage, 3lbs @ $7.99
- Cocktail Peanuts, $1.99
- Tuna, 4 cans @ $.99/ea
- Tofu, $2.99 (BOGO)
- Hummus, 2 10oz @ $3.99 (BOGO)
- Hummus, singles @ FREE
- Bush’s Cocina Latina beans, $1.69 (BOGO w/coupon)
- Crunchy Peanut Butter, $1.39
Since I bought just the bagels this time, I decided to combine produce and bread. Everything is spread out on the table instead of on the stove, so it looks like a bit less fresh stuff. I do still have cabbage and carrots from the last trip, and actually just used up the last of the fresh broccoli and peppers last night. So I’m pretty confident that this should last us the next two weeks without a problem. This is all pretty typical stuff for us; my biggest ‘excitement’ was realizing that onions, romaine and the baby spinach were all cheaper at BJs than at Aldi. And the grape tomatoes from BJs are by far the best I’ve bought anywhere. Since these are a favorite snack of mine, I am happy to pay a little more for them.
- Mushrooms, $1.29
- Grape Tomatoes, $5.49
- Celery, $1.39
- Mini Cucumbers, $1.79
- Seedless Watermelon, $2.99
- Romaine Hearts, $1.99
- Broccoli Crowns, $1.69
- Pink Lady Apples, 3lbs @ $4.49
- Strawberries, 2lbs @ $1.29/ea
- Pineapple Chunks, $.99
- Seedless Grapes, $1.98
- Yellow Onions, 3lbs @ $1.49
- Raisins, 4lbs @ $7.99
- Baby Spinach, $3.69 -$1 store coupon
- Bagels, $1.59
We could also call this the convenience and junk food category, I guess. Right now I am feeling unapologetic about the Diet Dr. Pepper as it really is a nice pick me up during the day and the cans are easy to take with me to school and/or my internship site. The peanut butter crackers and Nature Valley biscuits are similarly convenient for lunches/snacks on the go. Those almond butter biscuits are pretty amazing actually. After my baking spree this weekend I ran out of all-purpose flour and almost depleted my white sugar and canola oil supplies. Those and the coffee beans are pretty much essentials! I also bought a bag of white cheddar puffs at Aldi that somehow escaped getting in the photo.
- French Roast Coffee Beans, 40oz @ $19.99 – $5 store coupon
- KA All-Purpose Flour, 10lbs @ $6.49
- Canola Oil, $1.89
- Lance PB Crackers, 40 ct. @ $6.99 – $2 store coupon
- NV Breakfast Biscuits, 30 ct. @ $12.99 – $3 store coupon
- White Sugar, 4lbs @ $1.49
- Org. White Cheddar Puffs @ $1.49
- Diet Dr. Pepper, 4 12pks $5.29/ea (B2G2)
- Sourdough Pretzels, $3.49 (BOGO)
- Tax (on soda) @ $.75
This time the snacks were the highest expense category BUT these will mostly last through the whole month. I’ll probably need to buy more pretzels or something crunchy the next time I shop, but otherwise we’re set. I’m pretty consistently spending between $40 and $50 on produce every two weeks, which seems to be the right amount for us. I may grab a few bananas at some point mid-way through these two weeks but maybe not. Michael hasn’t been eating them as regularly as usual and I eat them only rarely. They are easy to freeze, but I have plenty in the freezer to use up, too. So maybe we just need a break from bananas!