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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Four Fortuitous Things Boosting My Buying Power for June

Don't you just love it when the things that you had wanted to buy anyway go on sale? Or when you think that you're all out of a particular needed ingredient, but then you find a stash of it tucked away? In one week, my grocery buying power got a big enough boost to allow me to buy more than double of one item for June. Here's what happened to make this possible:

  • I had put marshmallows on my list for June, and then this weekend I found a whole bag tucked away in the garage freezer. When we thought we might have a mouse in the house, everything that was in a bag or other soft packaging in the pantry went into the fridge or the freezer. Apparently, a bag of marshmallows was amongst those items. We can use these for s'mores in June. Savings -- 96 cents
  • My daughter made sugar cookies for the Sunday school class that she teaches a couple of weeks ago. After baking a bunch of them, she decided to freeze the rest of the dough. This weekend, she suggested that we use homemade sugar cookies (using this frozen dough) in place of graham crackers for June's s'mores. That'll work! Savings -- $1.68
  • I had budgeted 49 cents per pound for a watermelon for June, with a maximum of $4.90. Over the weekend, Albertson's had watermelons on sale for 29 cents per pound. Even though it isn't June yet, I went ahead and bought 1 large watermelon. I spent $4.14 for that one. We won't cut into the melon until June begins. According to, whole, uncut watermelons will keep for 7 to 10 days on the counter or 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. At 29 cents per pound, our watermelon will be one of our primary fruits for the first half of June. Bonus -- I'll save the rind to make more pickles, following the recipe in this post. Savings on the melon -- 76 cents.
  • When I first made my June shopping list, the 10-lb bag of yellow onions was selling for $4.84 at Cash & Carry and the 25-lb bag was about $7.50. I checked their website again this week, and the 10-lb bag is now $4.19 and the 25-lb bag is now $7.00. The previous 3 money-saving events/choices saved me $3.40. That savings will allow me to buy the 25-lb bag of yellow onions, spending $2.16 more than the budgeted $4.84 for onions. Plus, I will still have $1.24 leftover! I'll try not to spend it all in one place.
The 10-lb bag of onions would have lasted about 2 months in our house. Buying the 25-lb bag means that I can delay buying more onions until sometime in the fall, freeing up a couple of dollars of grocery money for other foods this summer. And my price for onions dropped from 40 cents per pound to 28 cents per pound. Now that's a bargain!


Alice said...

Do you freeze onions? I diced them all up and flash freeze on a cookie sheets. When frozen, I package them up in zipper bags for use for many months. We love getting lots of onions and freezing them diced. A handful here and a handful there and I don't have to dice them.

We're still working through our freezer. Lots of goodies in there! When I think we're making good progress I find a deal and fill in the empty gaps. Not really what I had in mind but a good bargain always trumps an empty freezer.


Live and Learn said...

A good demonstration of a penny saved is a penny earned. Although I think the saying originally had a slightly different meaning, but it works. :)

Anonymous said...

Freezing onions - that's a great time saving idea - thank you! Quite a few times at work, when I pondering what to make for dinner (or have my hubby make - haha), I think "darn it, I should have peeled an onion". Problem solved freezing them - gonna try it this weekend.


Belinda said...

That's great that you're able to put off buying the marshmallows and graham crackers, Lili. The onions are a great price. We buy and use so many onions with scratch cooking that they are a mainstay here.

I was cleaning my bedroom this week and found a couple of things under my bed that I could use and I definitely will not need to buy any wrapping paper this Christmas. LOL

TG said...

I like the way you are maximizing and exchanging ingredients when you already have a sunk cost.
The sugar cookies are a good example of thinking what could I make in place of this item to buy.

I’ve mentioned before I chop and sauté over a weekend at the end of summer a 50 pound bag of onions when they get to the rock bottom, buy in bulk price. I use an ancient roll of aluminum foil and put the onions in packets. Future me when cooking way in the winter thanks present me for having done the onions:)

Alice, I was mentioning to my friend on our walk this morning my theory about how my freezers empty and fill. Sounds like your method. Right now I have so many turkey carcasses filling my freezers when I was cooking meat for our diabetic dog. I also lucked into a good sale on fish a few weeks back:)

Making Cents Of It All said...

I love when things like this happen. All of the little amounts really do add up. For you it added up to an extra 15 pounds of onions. Maybe some onion soup in your near future.

Anne in the kitchen said...

I buy bulk onions and freeze some but I dice and dehydrate most of them. They are great in dishes that have liquids like soups or stews, but I also rehydrate them and use them when browning ground beef for tacos, or spaghetti sauce (or anything similar)

Lili said...

Hi Alice,
I freeze them when the onions are beginning to get a tiny bit soft. I have enough refrigerator room that I can keep them chilled for a couple of months. I agree, having chopped onions all ready to go makes the thought of preparing dinner that much less daunting on a busy day.

Lili said...

Good one, live and learn!

Lili said...

Oh, that gift wrap will come in handy, Belinda. I've got a bunch of gift wrap lurking in closets, here, too!
I was glad that our s'mores-making ingredients wouldn't cost anything extra this month. The onions are really a much better use of our money right now, and we didn't have to give anything up.

Lili said...

Hi Teresa,
Chopping and cooking the onions sounds like a real time-saver. I'll give that a try. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Love this Lil! Good for you making all those pennies stretch!

FYI ~ your daughter is a genesis I see molasses s'mores in my future. I am also thinking of making different varieties of treats and thanks to you guys I have ideas following!!!


Lili said...

Hi Marybeth,
I know, talk about pennies adding up. 15 pounds of onions is a lot for us right now. Yep! Onion soup and glazed onions will likely feature heavily in our near future meals.

Lili said...

Hi Anne,
I like dehydrated onions, too. Adding a bit to soups, sauces, dips, and dressings imparts so much flavor. Good idea to rehydrate some before adding to meat dishes!

Lili said...

Thank you, Cathie. Yum, molasses s'mores sound very tasty! Let me know how they turn out.

Anonymous said...

Onion prices locally have tripled suddenly. That and mayonnaise. I was thinking of asking the great minds of your blog, Lili, if there are apparent reasons. I see from your post today, that that is not the case. We use the food processor to mince the onions and freeze in cooking batches whenever there is a good sale, but lately onion prices are over $1/lb.


Lili said...

Hmmm, that's interesting about your onion prices suddenly rising. $1 a pound sounds really high. Can you get dried onions or onion powder for a good price still? I sometimes find that when the price of something fresh jumps, I can still get the dehydrated version for a reasonable price for a little while. I wonder what caused the sudden price increase for your area? Mayo went up about a year ago, here. I only get a decent-enough price on it by buying it in a 1 gallon container, and by buying the store brand of a wholesaler. The name brands were almost double in cost, when I compared.
Good idea to use the food processor for mincing the onions. I'll remember that. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestion about dried onions. We've substituted with green onion. Not exactly the same, but psychologically it passed our sensory test, just knowing there is pungent flavor added.


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