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Monday, July 4, 2016

June 2016 Grocery Spending Journal

June 1. Out late with one daughter while she had some printing done at FedEx (they're open 24/7). While she was printing out stuff, I ran over to Fred Meyer just down the block. I have 2 FM in the area. This one is always dirtier, busier, and has a strange clientele, especially at midnight. But it's close, and milk is on sale for 99 cents/half-gallon, limit 6. I pop in for my 6 (all whole milk) and spent $5.94.

June 2. This time going to my regular Fred Meyer. In addition to more milk (4), I'll pick up 2 orange juices (also 99 cents), my free w/ coupon bakery donut (I chose a Bismarck, tomorrow's breakfast), 1 box of Quaker Breakfast Thins (Friday freebie), 1 2-ltr soda pop, lemon lime (Friday freebie), and 1 small jar of blackstrap molasses ($3.79). I had a $5.69 reward to use towards this purchase, so all I spent was $4.04. The cashier did a double-take when he saw the price, because he'd about filled the top of my little cart.

June 2. As I was driving, I remembered I had a rx to pick up for my husband at Bartell's. I stop in there, but also check their dairy case and found 2% milk in gallons marked down to $1 each. I buy 3, and spend $3. The sell-by date is today, so I'll freeze most of it, make some pudding, and make a bottle of chocolate syrup (for chocolate milk).

Total spent for the month, so far -- $12.98

June 3. Cash & Carry for a case of 15-dozen large eggs (about 57 cents/dozen), $8.59, 2 4-lb jars of chunky peanut butter ($5.27 each), 9.60 lb pork loin, boneless, at $1.68/lb, 5-lbs shredded sharp cheddar ($9.48), 5-lbs shredded mozzarella ($9.73), 8 bananas at 45 cents lb. Spent $56.10

Total spent so far -- $69.08

June 7. Fred Meyer for the Senior Shopping discount. I spent 1 hour and 20 minutes from the time I pulled into the parking lot, until I drove out. That's about my limit for focus when shopping. I'm trying to be mindful of that, as I make more errors/bad choices, when I exceed that amount of time shopping. Here's what I bought:

1 box of Nabisco Good Thins rice crackers (free with download coupon), 1 small jar of blackstrap molasses ($3.41),  25 ounce canister of decaf coffee ($4.49 -- I don't need it yet, but it was on sale and I had my discount, so this will get me through August, I hope),  30 ounce canister regular coffee ($4.49 -- I didn't go with French Roast this time, as those cans are significantly smaller now. I'll blend what's left of the French Roast can with this one, to stretch the dark roast flavor), 1/2-gallon 2 % milk, marked down to 99 cents (I was hoping for the Senior Discount on it, but was told dairy markdowns no longer get that discount), 3 lb canister vegetable shortening ($3.73 -- it was on sale, plus discount, better price than WinCo, with the sale & discount, otherwise, WinCo has the better priced shortening), 3/4 lb of whole almonds, for $5.84/lb, 4  10-oz packages of sliced baby portobello mushrooms, marked down to 99 cents each. They had several packages, I took them over to the scales and weighed them all and chose the 4 heaviest ones. The price works out to $1.58/lb.

On groceries, I spent $25.62.

While at Fred Meyer, I also bought ibuprofen, duct tape, bathroom tissue (a package with a small tear in it, marked down, plus it got my senior discount), plastic wrap (also a markdown, due to box had a tear in one end, now taped shut, works fine), and an inexpensive box fan, on sale (no AC, here). All of these items qualified for the Senior Discount. I used my calculator to price out best price per unit on the OTC, the tape, the bath tissue and the plastic wrap. The bathroom tissue is about the same price as what I bought at Cash & Carry several months ago, but better quality. The plastic wrap was $1.07 for 200 feet. The last time I bought plastic wrap was at Dollar Tree. I spent $1 for 100 feet. So, today I got twice as much for almost the same price as Dollar Tree.

So far, month to date spending on groceries -- $94.70

June 9. Dollar Tree for once per month or every other month. I bought 5 24 oz bags of pasta (rotini, spaghetti and elbow macaroni). The price works out to 67 cents/lb, which is the best I can do around here for pasta. Spent $5

June 10. WinCo for bulk stuff. I bought steel cuts oats (62 cents/lb) ground chipotle pepper ($9.87/lb), chopped dates ($2.14/lb), yellow split peas (73 cents/lb) milk chocolate chips ($3.11/lb -- plan on making English toffee candy this week), cocoa powder ($3.08/lb), raisins ($1.79/lb), soy beans (85 cents/lb), raw sunflower seeds ($1.36/lb), unsweetened coconut ($3.15/lb), 9 bananas (48 cents/lb), sliced almonds ($6.55/lb), dry roasted peanuts ($1.55/lb) and a 72-ct package of corn tortillas. I spent $19.61

June 10. Also went to the produce stand and bought a bag of small red potatoes, 2 zucchini, 1 large green pepper, 2 onions, Roma tomatoes, a bundle of celery and a lime. Spent $7.03

Spent so far this month, $126.34

June 14. Fred Meyer -- milk on sale again. I'm over that way so I stop in and pick up 4 half gallons of whole milk and 2 half gallons orange juice (99 cents each, limit 6 total of beverages). Spent $5.94

June 17. Cash & Carry for another 15 dozen eggs, at $6.98 (about 47 cents/dozen), 3 5-lb bags of mozzarella cheese, at $8.75 each ($1.75/lb), 8 bananas at 45 cents/lb. Total spent -- $34.54.

June 24. My daughters and I had a girls night out at Five Guys. I decided to take the cost of that night out from the grocery budget, as I'm doing okay with it this month. Cost -- $19.72. Was it worth it? From a stand-point of was a meal of 2 burgers, 1 cheese hot dog and an order of fries worth almost $20. No. But was a dinner out with my daughters worth $20? I think so. It's not something I would do every week. But it is something I would do every once in a while. We also ate the free peanuts, and drank free tap water. Anyways, for the month of June, I'm now up to $186.54. Time to rein in the spending for the month! Our freezers and pantry are well-stocked, and the garden is producing, so we're good with what we have on hand, until July's budget kicks in on Friday.

June 30. I was going to make my run down to the produce stand tomorrow, but I was visiting a friend today, and this friend lives near the produce stand. So, even though this will put us over budget for this month, in the end it saves us money in gas, on my not driving back down to that part of town.

Country Farms produce stand -- I buy 2 watermelons (39 cents/lb), 2 lbs of cauliflower (50 cent/lb), 3 red peppers, (33 cents each), 2 small cantaloupe (25 cents each), a small bundle of celery (49 cents), 8 bananas (50 cents/lb). Total spent -- $16.27

My monthly budget for groceries is $190. As the month ends, I have spent $202.81 for all food purchased, over budget by $12.81. Subtract that surplus from the $252.70 surplus from the past several months, combined, and I now have $239.89 in surplus, to use for stocking up in the fall.

Free meals -- large bowl of tossed salad, plate of brownies, 3 tomatoes, 3 slices of pie

What I bought this month:


almost 10 lbs of pork loin


14 half-gallons whole milk
1 half-gallon 2% milk
3 gallons 2% milk
30 dozen large eggs
5 lbs shredded sharp cheddar
20 lbs mozzarella cheese


4 half-gallons orange juice
33 bananas
4  10-oz packages sliced mushrooms
chopped dates
small red potatoes
large bundle of celery
2 zucchini
1 green pepper
2 Roma tomatoes
1 lime
2 onions
2 large watermelons
2 small cantaloupe melons
small bundle celery
2 lbs cauliflower florets
3 red peppers


2 ltr lemon lime soda (Friday freebie)
1 box granola-type bars (Friday freebie)
1 Bismarck donut (freebie with coupon)
two 16 oz jars blackstrap molasses
8 lbs of peanut butter
1 box crackers (Friday freebie)
25-oz can decaf coffee
30-oz can regular coffee
3-lb can shortening
3/4 lb whole almonds
7  1/2 lbs pasta
steel cut oats
ground chipotle powder
yellow split peas
milk chocolate chips
cocoa powder
soy beans
sunflower seeds
unsweetened coconut
almond slices
dry roasted peanuts

Meal out

2 burgers, 1 cheese hot dog, 1 medium order of fries, free peanuts in the shell


  1. Hi Lili,
    Sounds like it was a fairly good month for you. My month came it at $583.89 which is all inclusive of food, pharmacy, cat needs, H & B. It doesn't include utilities or tuition. It was not an extra expensive month for us so for that I'm thankful. July will be car insurance, home insurance and summer property taxes as well as trying to save some for tuition payments that start in August.

    Son brought home a LOT of pizza from work that are now frozen. They're not the best but will be used when we want a pizza sometime so we won't waste those either. I love it that my kids have learned not to waste anything either especially food.


  2. It seems like you bought a lot of milk, but when I think back to when everyone was living at home, we went through a lot of milk. All of the carnivores were also big milk drinkers. We wouldn't have had to put much of your milk purchase in the freezer. Our grocery bill went down a lot when the boys went to college. Of course, the food plan at school was not cheap, but sometimes I wondered if they were losing money on my big eaters.

  3. Costco sells plastic wrap in 3000 ft boxes with a convenient tab cutter for $13.89 or .0046/ft. I think this beats Dollar Tree and discounted store prices. I recently read that you don't have to be a Costco member to shop there if someone else who is a member can buy a gift card for you. I haven't checked with the store if this is true.

    Thank you for sharing your local prices. All beat our best prices here.

    We spent $228 this month (last month was $227.70), after taking out Dad's food purchases, which I will be reimbursed. We also don't include OTC medicines in food, whereas in past years I included both of these items. We continue to include eating out, toiletries, and Hawaii's 4.5% sales tax in our food total. Also, I subtract any points back and rebates from this total, $57.50.

    We stocked up on 40 lbs fertilizer ($23.50), eight 30oz cans coffee grinds ($33.14, 4 were short dated), almost the equivalent of 4.5 gal short dated Hershey milk in individual serve cartons ($8.34), and past dated by a few weeks German beer ($35.70 for 1216.8 oz, including Hawaii's bottle deposit, so about 30 cents for a 12oz can of beer before deposit). Of these listed, except the fertilizer which is our expense entirely, Dad share is 1/3, since he drinks too and use the milk to make his mashed potatoes. The splurge this month was whipped cream ($18.82), take out Chinese food ($18.50) and deli fried chicken ($8.47/8 pcs my husband loves this market's fried chicken).

    Have a great July 4th holiday!!


  4. Lili,
    Your groceries always amaze me,you really work magic in the kitchen.


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