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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December grocery money journal

Dec. 6  Here we are, well into the first week of December, and I haven't needed to go to the grocery store. I had a surplus of whole milk, from Black Friday shopping, so I turned it into yogurt the other day. This will prolong the life of the milk for a few weeks, meaning I don't "need" to go shopping for milk right away. Yogurt will sub for our milk needs, when the fresh milk runs out.

We've had a hard freeze here, so the garden is toast. I'll look for kale, broccoli, chard, sorrel, mustards and watercress to return in March. And so, we're starting in on the frozen vegetables. Hopefully this will clear enough space in the freezers to stock up on hams, should their price per pound be great, later this month.

Items that I'm looking to stock up on this month: ham, cheese, butter, and onions. I will likely find good prices on oranges, pineapple and avocados this month, as well.

In November, we went over our grocery budget of $170/month by 19.53. This leaves us with $150.47 for the month.

December 7. Out running errands, stop in at Fred Meyer. Pick up their flyer at the door and find powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and whole milk on sale. I buy 3 2-lb bags of powdered sugar (3/$5), 2 lbs butter ($1.79/lb), 4 8-oz bricks cream cheese (89 cents ea), 2 lb block of cheddar ($4.99), 4  half-gallons whole milk (4/$5), and 2 bags of choc chips ($1.67 ea). Spent $25.47

December 11. Happen to catch Safeway's ad on TV, before the day's mail and flyer comes. Hams are 99 cents/lb for whole and shank half (limit 1 of each). I buy 1 whole and 1 half ham, total of about 30 pounds, for $30.19, for a month to date  spending of $55.66

December 13. QFC also has half hams on sale for 99 cents/lb, but this store has both shank and butt portions at that price. I buy 1 butt portion half ham, about 10 lbs. Also find 1/2 gals milk on markdown for 89 cents/ea (I buy 9), 1 gallon of skim milk marked down (1.79) and 1/2 gals of eggnog for 1.19 (I buy 1). That's all I buy. Total spent $21.27, for a month to date spending of $76.93

December 13. Stop in at Albertson's for canned pineapple (20 oz cans for $1, I buy 9), cream cheese (8-oz bricks for 88 cents, I buy 4), butter (1-lb for 1.99, I buy 2). Spent $16.50, for a month to date spending of $93.43.

December 17. Trader Joe's. Hoping to pick up bananas today. But their shipment didn't come in. Just get one 9 oz canister of cocoa powder for $2.49.

December 17. Also stop at the Cash and Carry restaurant supply. Needing onions. Buy a 50-lb sack of onions for $10.51. Month to date spending -- $106.43

December 17. The 30 oz cans of mixed nuts and cashews finally came in at Bartell's. This was a Black Friday advertised item that sold out within minutes of opening the doors. I got a rain check for 10 cans of mixed nuts and 1 can of cashews, at $4.99 ea. This worked out to $2.66 per pound for the nuts. I spent $54.89 here. Month to date spending of $161.32

December 21. AT Dollar Tree and decide to splurge and buy some oregano. $1. Month to date spending of $162.32, which is $11.85 over our budget for the month.

We really didn't need a whole lot this month. I stocked up on ham (40 lbs), canned nuts (20 lbs), powdered sugar (6 lbs), cream cheese (2 lbs), cheddar (2 lbs), milk (7  1/2 gallons), and picked up some cocoa powder, eggnog, choc chips, and oregano.

Going into January, we are very low on eggs, and will need more milk, all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, and that's it. If I find exceptional sales on other items, I have the budget to cover them.

We did go over budget by $11.85 for the month. But we'll make this up next month. We are very well stocked, which should give us a budget surplus at the end of January. I can roll this surplus forward into the mid to late spring months, typically more expensive months for us.


  1. I'm kinda shocked that you don't grow your own oregano! ;) Good job as always on your budget. We will spend less in January because ... I think we're getting chubby from all this eating!

    BTW, how did your daughters like their headwarmers?

    1. Hi Kris,
      I do grow oregano. Only last spring, it became apparent that my plant was suffering from something. Practically all of it died off over the previous winter. I bought a new plant, but it only produced enough oregano to get us through November. I'm hoping my new plant, and the remains of the old one will be big enough this year to produce enough dried oregano to get through next winter.

      They loved the headwarmers! They wore them all day, in the house, even. I'm still working on the last one that I started. I should be done sometime next week. My daughter that crochets will help me crochet a flower for that headband. How are your slippers coming?

      I feel like I've gained a sandbag around my middle. I'm looking forward to fewer treats, and more regular foods. Plus I need to get back to workouts. Those slide off the calendar most weeks this month.

      have a happy New Year!

    2. I had never noticed those headbands until you posted about making them. Now I see them everywhere. Funny how that works.

      I see you need to restock your flour. Did you find a good source that does not include barley?

    3. Hi live and learn,
      I had seen a couple of those headbands on young women and teen girls before. But it wasn't until I was on campus where my daughters take classes, that I really saw a lot of them. A target-rich pool, I guess you'd call it. On campus, half the people you see are young women.

      If I eat almost all whole wheat flour, I'm fine (no added barley or malt or enzymes in whole wheat flour). I do buy all-purpose flour that has barley malt in it. I try to always add some whole wheat flour to anything I bake, and limit my consumption of that stuff. I have a large container of plain barley that I've not wanted to cook (and eat myself). I'm not sure what I'll do with it.

    4. My slippers are done but when I washed them, they bagged out (I'm learning a lot about yarn!) so I need to sew them up higher and they'll be fine.


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