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Monday, September 1, 2014

August Grocery Money Journal -- spent $23.01 per week

Aug. 2 Last day of Walgreen's egg sale. I stop in and pick up 4 dozen eggs (99cents/dozen), and 2 packages turkey bacon (99 cents/6 oz. package). Spent $5.94.

Aug.14 Oats and mustard are on sale at Cash and Carry. I also need white flour. So, I buy 2 bags of oats (total of 50 lbs, should get us through most of a year --  $13.75/25 lb bag), 1 gallon of yellow mustard ($3.19) and 50 lbs of white flour ($13.19). Total spent $43.88

August 15 Need bath tissue at Albertson's, also check for markdowns. Saturday mornings appear to be a good time of week for bacon and sausage markdowns. I find 9 packages of breakfast sausage (maple and plain) for $1.99 each, and 10 cans of pop-in-fresh biscuit dough for 25 cents each. The biscuit dough is great for quick donuts or mini-pizzas in a hurray. The cans say sell-by date of Aug 20, but IME these have been "good" for a couple of months past sell-by date, so we have enough for Saturday morning donuts for a couple of months. Total spent $20.41

August 15 Also run by Dollar Tree for soy milk. spent $3 (3 quarts).

August 22. We are out of milk, so while at the bank I also pop in right next door to QFC to check for marked down milk. (Do I ever buy anything not marked down? I must sound like the crazy lady cruising the markdowns at the grocery store.). In luck, I find a bunch of gallons of whole milk for $2.29/gallon. I only buy 9 of the gallons, as I think that's all I can store in the freezer these days and use within a couple of weeks. The sell-by date is August 30. Also, find "ropes" of dinner sausage -- chipotle beef flavor for $2.69 each. After Kris's comments a little while back about quick dinner ideas, I thought these would be good in the freezer for "those" days. I buy 3 "ropes" and freeze right away, although tempted to cook u one for dinner tonight. Gotta find some discipline!! Total spent $28.68

My grand total spent for August is $101.91, or $23.01 per week. It sounds really low, but keep in mind I'm banking extra grocery money for fall stock-up sales. My grocery budget this month has been reduced to $165, so I was under by $63.09. Add that to my running surplus of $91.55, for a new carry forward surplus of $154.64. It's good to see that surplus number tick up.

Something else to note. It can seem like shopping several stores is time consuming, with multiple stores per week, and lots of driving around. But, as you can see, it's just not always like that for me. This month I only went to the grocery store (or comparable store) 5 times. Not bad at all. And each time, I ran in, grabbed what I needed, checked the markdowns and that was it. In and out in under 30 minutes each time (some stores even less).

I'm running low on yeast, and will be looking for canned tomato products (paste, whole and diced tomatoes), and white vinegar. For yeast, for the time being, I'm using my sourdough starter for about half of the bread these days. (how to make your own sourdough starter here, if you're interested) Hoping to find yeast on sale at the cash and carry wholesaler soon. We're doing okay on just about everything else, though, for this next month. I'll see what deals I find and what else we run low on.

So, what do my food stores look like in late August? I've still got 1 more turkey, 1 more ham, about 6 whole chickens, about 4 pounds ground beef, some hot dogs, some "rope" sausage, about 8 packages of breakfast sausage. I also have over 50 lbs of oats, about 40 lbs of white flour, 25 lbs of whole wheat flour, about 2 lbs of brown rice, 20 lbs of assorted dried beans, 25 lbs of sugar, 1 gallon of molasses, 12 lbs of popcorn, a case of canned diced tomatoes, about 3 gallons of vegetable oil, lots of frozen fruit from the garden, some apples from the trees, about 10 lbs of onions, 10 lbs of butter, 5 dozen eggs, 4 gallons of milk (frozen), about 4 lbs of pasta and lots of odds and ends. I'm better stocked than this same time last year, by just a smidge. I can feel it with the freezers, never having room to stuff a single item more in them.

I've been looking back over last falls stock-up items and seeing where I'd like to buy even more this fall. For example, last year, I bought 16 cans of pumpkin (16 oz cans), for $1 each. If I find a similar price, this year I'll buy about 25 cans. I can do a lot with canned pumpkin, everything from breads, muffins and oatmeal, to soups and side dishes. And it's very convenient and high in beta carotene. I'll be buying 2 cases of tomato paste this year, instead of 1, as we went through the 1 case very easily, and I would have liked to have had more on hand. It's nice to have these records to look back on and see what I paid for individual items and how much I bought.

I'm still doing a lot of my shopping at a restaurant supply. However, now, I try to only buy from there when I find items I want on sale. Yes, the restaurant supply has sales, too. So, for savings, here's an example of the difference between buying on sale at the cash and carry and regular cash and carry price. On the oats I bought this month, I saved $2.74 per sack over paying their regular price of $16.49 in February. Such a great savings that I bought 2 sacks this month.

That's it for August. Onward and upward!


  1. You are doing great, Lili! I shop in more than one store too because that is how you get the lowest grocery bill. You can price match at Walmart, but I like supporting locally owned businesses.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Thank you! Agree, shopping several stores is how I am able to get our grocery budget as low as it is. And it really isn't that much more time-consuming, sometimes even less time-consuming, as in this past month.

  2. Great job. You are so inspiring. You have a nice little surplus too.


    1. Thanks, Angie. The surplus, especially the meat, gives me hope for the coming months, with regards to our budget. I haven't had this much meat in the freezer before, for late summer/early fall.

  3. Once again you prove that you've got this down to a science.

    1. Hi live learn,
      You know, sometimes I see this as a game, using calculations to maximize what I buy for dollar spent. Thinking this way makes a small budget bearable in my mind, instead of feeling sorry for myself that I don't have as much to spend as I used to.

    2. I love that...I also like to make things a game. It does add a bit more "fun" to the process at times.

    3. :) Glad to know someone else thinks like this, Cat!

  4. You're doing so well! A full freezer brings such a good feeling. :)

    1. Hi Cat,
      Thank you! Totally agree -- that full freezer and pantry is a blessing, and brings reassurance that no matter what happens financially, we'll be just fine this winter.

    2. I'm always in awe of how well you do!

      I find I do better shopping once a month for some reason than I do hitting different stores. I'm sure it is in part because for so many years that was pretty much my only option. Plus if I am honest with myself I can admit I like to just have it done and not be obligated to go back out. I've improved though -- this month I'll hit Sam's Club, Aldi, Dollar Tree and Foodlion (just because they sent me coupons for a few free

    3. Hi Shara,
      you have to do what works best for you. And if shopping once per month works best, that's a good thing!

      Ooh, freebies! I love those. For several years, we had a grocery store that sent out coupons for free items once per month. That was fun! Sadly they went out of business!


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