Groceries: Sept. 3 – 16

Vintage-Grocery-Store-Basket-GraphicsFairy

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!

dairy 09_03_17

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

Total: $26.07

proteins 09_03_17

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

Total: $35.49

produce and bread 09_03_17

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

Total: $40.43

snacks & pantry 09_03_17

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

Total: $56.15

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!

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Groceries: August 21 – September 3

Vintage-Grocery-Store-Basket-GraphicsFairy

Hey y’all! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks; we were on vacation all of last week and then my internship & classes started this week. I have one more day of training tomorrow and then a day of rest on Sunday, which I am very much anticipating. I have a feeling that I am going to be posting much less often this semester, though, although perhaps once things even out I will be able to work blogging into my schedule. At any rate, I think that Monday may become my normal grocery day — it’s my most likely day off in this new schedule.

Before we left on our trip, I did a massive fridge clean out and we were super intentional about eating pretty much any and every weird combo in effort to use up food without wasting much. It was bare. I think that really there was only some condiments on the door. This is an unheard state of affairs around here! Anyway, this meant that my grocery shop on Monday after we returned was somewhat larger than normal. However. It will cover us for two weeks. Because of my time crunch this fall, I’m planning to shop only every two weeks, at least to start; it’s really nice to have that errand off my schedule and while I love getting “deals,” spending nothing is also pretty cool! 😉 As long as I have enough fresh and frozen produce (and half & half), I really think that I should be able to easily fill in any places that feel bare in our menu with food we have on hand. And if it doesn’t work—well, I can adjust it again!

Anyway, I decided to use Nathalie’s method this time and post food by category. I spent a total of $92.01 and went to Aldi ($49.23), Winn-Dixie ($2), and Publix ($40.78).

dairy 8_21_17

Dairy

All my dairy was purchased at Aldi.

  • Milk, $2.95
  • Half & Half, $1.79
  • Shredded Parmesan, $1.99
  • Sharp Cheddar, $1.79
  • Sour Cream, $1.19
  • Cottage Cheese, $1.79

Total: $11.50

proteins 8_21_17

Proteins

I didn’t intend to buy chicken tenders, but Winn-Dixie was totally out of the chicken breasts I was planning to buy and everything else was higher than I wanted to pay. And I was appalled to find out that the ready-grilled stuff is $8.99 for a small bag. It’s the same price at Publix but at least these were BOGO. Unfortunately (for my diet), these are really, really good. We’ve been eating them in salads; I bake half a bag at a time so that I can prep lunches ahead of time. The individual hummus packs are also for lunches.

  • Chicken Tenders, 2 bags @ $8.99 (BOGO)
  • Eggs, 2 doz @ $1.09/doz
  • Individual Hummus Packs, 2 @ $4.99 (BOGO)

Total: $16.16

fruit 8_21_17

Fruit

In addition to cleaning out the fridge, I made sure we didn’t have any fresh produce hanging out on counters or in fruit bowls to get gnarly while we were gone. So we needed to stock up! The limes and the honeydew are from Publix, but everything else came from Aldi.

  • Red seedless grapes, $2.99
  • Gala apples, $4.29
  • Limes, $.40/ea
  • Honeydew chunks, $3.87 (BOGO)
  • Bananas, 3.2 lbs @ $.25/lb
  • Navel oranges, $1.69

Total: $14.47

veggies 8_21_17

Veggies

Everything here is from Aldi except the green peppers, red cabbage, spinach, arugula (I could have purchased both of those at Aldi but forgot), and grape tomatoes.

  • Golden potatoes, 5 lbs @ $2.99
  • Carrots, 2lbs @ $1.29
  • Yellow onions, $1.89
  • Green peppers, 4 @ $.50/ea
  • Red cabbage, $3.38
  • Green cabbage, $1.49
  • Frozen green beans, $.89
  • Tri-color peppers, $2.89
  • Mini-cucumbers, $1.79
  • Cauliflower, $1.99
  • Broccoli, $1.79
  • Romaine hearts, $2.29
  • Spinach, 16 oz @ $3.49
  • Grape tomatoes, $2.50
  • Arugula, $2.50
  • Mushrooms, 2 pks @ $1.29/ea

Total: $35.75

pantry 8_21_17

Pantry

The crescent rolls, which I rarely buy, are for veggie pizza (the cold kind) as I realized how much cream cheese I had on hand when I cleaned out the fridge — actually, I guess I should amend my earlier statement. I had condiments and a cheese drawer filled with cream cheese left in the fridge when we left. 😛 Marshmallows are to use up some of the rice crispies I have on hand and the nutella was a good deal with a BOGO and coupon combination. Same thing for the pasta. Aldi was out of bagels so I grabbed a four-pack at Publix.

  • Marshmallows, $.89
  • Everything bagels, $1.89
  • Buitoni fresh pasta, $3.79/ea + BOGO + $1/1 coupon = $2.79/2
  • Nutella, 2 jars @ $3.59/ea + BOGO +$1.50/1 coupon = $2.09/2
  • Crescent rolls, 2 pks, @ $1.49/ea
  • Ken’s Balsamic w/Honey, $3.49 (BOGO)

Total: $14.13

Produce is clearly my largest expense area, as it usually is. Overall I’m pretty pleased with this trip and am happy to be back to more or less our regular cooking and eating routine — I love being on vacation and my mother is nice enough to want to cook for all of us when we visit. But that’s a whole lot of food we don’t normally eat! I’ll share tomorrow what we actually made with all this food (and some things we brought home from PA, and what we have on hand, of course).

Groceries: 7/30 – 8/4

This week is the start of a new monthly budget for me; since I log things on Friday, I pick up the tail end of the previous month sometimes. It all evens out. Last month I was right on target with my $300 budget; this month I hope to be under as I want to focus on using up what we have and we’ll be gone for a bit, too. However, I do also want to prep some meals/meal components next week so that I have some really simple options ready to go once the semester starts. So it might not be quite as low a budget as I’m thinking now.

This week I went to Winn-Dixie and Publix. My semester ended on Tuesday (hooray!! hooray!! hooray!!) and I crashed for a couple of days — I was tired and then a migraine descended. Ugh. Anyway, I was in no shape to do a more extensive day of shopping or even make the trip to Aldi — it’s close, but not nearly so close as Publix and Winn-Dixie.

Winn-Dixie 7_31_17

I went to Winn-Dixie last weekend primarily to pick up ribeye steaks when they were a part of their weekend sale. I picked up a few other ingredients for a recipe I planned to try out, but that was it. The steaks were supposed to be in a value pack, but since I couldn’t find any, they gave me the sale price on the smaller packs.

  • Boneless ribeye steaks, 4.4 lbs @ $5.99/lb
  • Limes, 2 @ $.25/ea
  • Jalapeno peppers, $.60
  • Cilantro, $1.00
  • Grape tomatoes, $1.99
  • Bananas, 2.07 lbs @ $.68/lb
  • Freezer paper, $4.19

My total was $35.99. We made one pack of steaks over the weekend and I froze the other two packs.

Publix & Walgreens 7_31_17

I remembered that the coffee filters I prefer were on BOGO sale at Publix and ran in while I was shopping at Kohl’s one evening. I also picked up some candy at Walgreens in anticipation of our trip. Between both places I spent $5.91.

Publix 8_4_17

Finally, this evening I ran into Publix. Mainly to pick up a few things to make steak sandwiches using the leftover steak. Of course, I forgot to get the green pepper, but happily I have lots of frozen pepper slices on hand. I think that green peppers taste more authentic in this recipe, but others are obviously just fine. 😉 I also picked up a kale salad mix and, shamefully, I have been craving strawberry pop tarts for a while now and finally succumbed. These don’t really qualify as a food item in my mind, but I will enjoy them!

  • Kale salad, $3.99 (I think this is kind of a rip-off, but I was hungry and tired, so…)
  • Shredded Italian-style cheese blends, $4.39 BOGO
  • Hoagie rolls, 4pk @ $1.99
  • Stonefire mini naan, $2.99 – $1/1 coupon, so $1.99
  • Organic naan, $2.99 BOGO
  • Talenti gelato, $3.34 – $2/1 digital coupon, so $1.34
  • Publix strawberry pop tarts, $2.59
  • Peaches, 2.94 lbs @ $1.99/lb
  • Lance sandwich crackers, $3.25 BOGO – $1/2 coupon, so $2.25 for both

My total was $27.62. I also was able to submit a couple of items to Ibotta and Checkout51 for a grand total of $1.50 in rebates, although I don’t count those here (since I don’t get the money until I redeem it).

My weekly total is $69.52, which leaves me $230.48 for the month. Any exciting finds on your groceries this week?

Groceries: July 23-29

My last grocery post for July! After last week I had just under $11 for this week; I am pleased to say that I came in under budget. By $.06. Hah. But still under! Funnily enough, I didn’t even buy any bananas.

Publix july 27 2017

Honestly I didn’t need anything this week, particularly. I did want to take advantage of the BOGO sale on mayo because I am running very low, but we could have gone another week. Although I had printed coupons for the mayo, I was pretty pleased to find a higher value “peelie” on each container — my total for both jars was $2. Similarly for the almonds — they were on BOGO at $3.89 regular price, plus there was a digital coupon for $2 off of two, bringing my total for both canisters to under $2. The other food I bought because my school work was consuming quite a bit of my time and I just DID NOT feel like cooking. We talked about doing all kinds of things for dinner, but then I would check the calorie count and just feel sad. In the end it seemed like homemade club sandwiches would be quick and easy and much less expensive than going out, as well as healthier. And making a sandwich doesn’t feel like cooking to me, so that was a win as well! The chips rounded out that meal. And actually this ended up being enough for two meals. This was our first time trying the Marbleu cheese and it was really good! Anyway, here are the particulars:

  • Almonds, $3.89 BOGO + $2/2 digital coupon, so $1.98/both
  • Hellman’s Organic Mayo, $4.99 BOGO + 2 $1.50/1 coupons, so $2/both
  • Lays Oven Baked Chips, $2.50
  • Publix Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, 1/4lb @ $1.62
  • Publix Serrano Ham, 1/4lb @ $1.62
  • Boars’ Head Marbleu Cheese, 4 slices @ $1.12

My total spent was $10.74. My total amount spent on groceries for the month of July is $299.94, just under my $300/month budget. We also spent a small amount on take out, although I haven’t calculated the total yet. That comes from a separate budget, but I like to see what we spend in total on food.

I may do a little shopping over the weekend, but that will go on August’s budget. There are five weeks in August, the way I account for things, so I’ll need to keep that in mind as far as my weekly total is concerned.