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Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 grocery shopping journal

I have $221.68 going into the month for groceries, and a pretty empty refrigerator. November will be a very busy month for me, so I will need some easy to prepare foods. That will cost me.

Nov. 3. We need produce, cheese, and some easy to prepare supper foods. Cash & Carry is the spot for cheese at a good price, and they have okay prices on many other items I need. I bought 5-lb block of sharp cheddar (11.98 ), 5-lb bag of white rice (3.29 ), 5-lb bag of gala apples (4.15 ), 10-lb bag of small red potatoes (6.60), 17 bananas (49 cents/lb), 1 head cabbage (1.42 ), 1 large head of Romaine lettuce ($1.49), 4 #10 cans of diced tomatoes (2.40 ea ), 1 #10 can refried beans (5.98 ), 12-oz dried onions (3.77 ), 16-oz garlic granules (5.29 ), 5-lb bags of green peas, green beans, mixed vegetables (4.68 each), 4-lb bag of mixed Asian vegetables (5.88 ), 5-lb bag of beef meatballs (11.89 ), 5-lb bag of potstickers (10.58 ), quart of lemon juice (2.37 ), chicken soup base (3.17 ), 10-lb bag of carrots (4.07 ), 1-lb shredded Parmesan cheese (5.73 ), 3-lb block frozen spinach (3.08)

My daughters were both home when I drove in, and when they saw what I bought they were delighted. Lunches will be easy to make, again, and full of yummy items. Both daughters like having veggies and fruits to take for lunches. I forgot to get more tofu. I'll get that another time. If I'm going to buy prepared foods, like meatballs and potstickers, Cash & Carry is a good place to buy them. What I didn't buy at Cash & Carry was a 50-lb bag of sugar and a 35-lb box of cooking oil. I don't go through that stuff fast enough anymore. So I will be picking up smaller sizes of those items at Fred Meyer.

Spent - $117.50

Nov.7 Senior shopping day at Fred Meyer (10% discount on store-brand items and housewares)
I knew going in this might be expensive, and it was. I bought whole wheat saltines crackers, 2 boxes ($1.34/16-oz), natural peanut butter, 15-oz, 3 jars ($2.06 each), store-brand canned fried onions ($2.24--I normally don't buy these but make my own for green bean casserole, but someone else will make the casserole for me if I have the canned onions for them), 5 loaves of part whole wheat bread (80 cents each), bologna (90 cents), 2 packs cheap hot dogs (80 cents each), 1 package marked down Italian hot link sausages ($1.79), 1 turkey smoked sausage ($2.99), 5 lbs of summer squash marked down to $2 total (40 cents/lb), 2 packs tofu ($1.61 each), 4 cans of Campbell's mushroom soup (coupon + sale, 29 cents each), 2 cans c of chicken soup, (49 cents each), 11 lbs of raw almonds, year supply ($3.59/lb), 4 lbs assorted pasta shapes, (49 cents/lb), 2 large cans coffee, and 2 large cans decaf ($4.49 each), 64 oz soy milk ($2.51), 3 12-oz bags Seattle Best coffee (coupon and sale, $3.90 each), 10 half-gallons milk (89 cents each), 4 large jars applesauce, unsweetened, ($1.97 each), 4 cans green beans, 4 cans corn (44 cents each), 3 48-oz bottles canola oil ($1.79 each), 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns ($1.12), Uncle Ben's Spanish rice (freebie), 5 4-lb bags of sugar ($1.61 each), box of decaf tea bags ($2.24), 4 bags of marked down apples, 16 apples total, and about 2.25 lbs each bag ($1/bag, or about 45 cents/lb), 1 bag of 3 peppers ($1),  3 bananas (39 cents/lb), 1 chocolate cookie pie crust (80 cents). I bought a lot. So much that it didn't all fit in my trunk but I also loaded the back seat. I completely fill the grocery cart, and if there had been more room, I would have bought even more, I am convinced. We just needed a lot this time around.
Spent $149.13

Spent for the month, so far -- $266.63  That's a lot, but we are super well-stocked, now. I think we could get through a couple of months, if we had to.

Nov. 26. Sale on butter for today only at Fred Meyer, with downloadable coupon limit of 5. I buy 5 lbs for $1.99/lb. I also pick up 2 Friday freebies, a bag of Mother's Circus Animal cookies (will use for coffee hour at church on Sunday) and a package of Mentos candy. Total spent $9.95

Nov. 29. Low on fresh produce, so while out I stop at WinCo and buy 3 Fuji apples (98 cents/lb), 2/3 lb of broccoli crowns ($1.28/lb), 1  3/4 lbs red grapes ($1.78/lb), 1 bundle of celery (88 cents), 5 bananas (52 cents/lb), 1 cucumber (48 cents). Total spent $7.43

For the month, then, I spent $284.01, which is $62.33 over my budget for the month. I did buy a lot this month, so maybe I still have quite a lot in stock to carry me through a good chunk of December. we shall see.

What I bought:

17 lbs apples
25 bananas
10 lbs small red potatoes
1 head cabbage
1 head Romaine lettuce
4 #10 cans of diced tomatoes
12 oz dried onions
16 oz garlic granules
5 lbs green peas, frozen
5 lbs green beans, frozen
5 lbs mixed vegetables, frozen
4 lbs mixed Asian vegetables, frozen
3 lbs spinach, frozen
quart lemon juice
10 lbs carrots
5 lbs assorted summer squash
4 large jars unsweetened applesauce
4 cans green beans
4 cans cut corn
3 sweet peppers
2/3 lb fresh broccoli
1 cucumber
1  3/4 lbs grapes
1 bundle celery

5 lbs beef meatballs
5 lbs pork and veggie potstickers
1 package bologna
2 packs cheap hot dogs
1 package Italian hot sausages
1 large Polish sausage

5 lbs white rice
1 #10 can of refried beans
chicken soup base
32 oz whole wheat saltines
3 small jars natural peanut butter
1 can fried onions
5 loaves whole wheat bread
1 package whole wheat hot dog buns
6 cans of cream soup for casseroles/meatballs and noodles
11 lbs raw almonds
4 lbs pasta
2 cans reg coffee
2 cans decaf coffee
3 bags better quality coffee
144 oz canola oil
1 package seasoned rice (freebie)
20 lbs sugar
1 box decaf tea
1 chocolate cookie pie crust
1 bag frosted animal cookies (freebie)
1 package Mentos candy (freebie)

5 lbs sharp cheddar
1 lb shredded Parmesan
2 containers tofu
5 gallons milk
1/2 gallon soy milk
5 lbs butter


  1. November and December are probably big stock-up months for you. I bet that by January, you'll be back under budget.

    Making an "impulse" pizza dinner tonight. I have all the ingredients, so it's not really a splurge. My daughter's mood brightened immediately when she realized what we were having. :)

  2. How have you done with making room in your freezer because as Kris mentioned, the holiday months are big stock up months? Even with all of the things competing for your attention these days, it would be hard to find anyone who could beat your wise shopping.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I am making some headway with the freezer. There are still a lot of tidbits in there that need using up. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. I went a little high on my budget this month, too, but that is very typical for me for November. I stocked up big time on canned green beans, canned olives, butter, confectioner's sugar, brown sugar & chocolate chips, as well as Chex cereal ($1.17/box--mostly for Christmas time Chex mix).

    Butter was funny this November. Normally, I see great deals on butter this time of year, but not this year. The cheapest it went was for $2.50/lb, with the exception of Safeway, which put it on sale for $1.99 for 3 days only, limit 1.

    Anyway, I had a coupon to get $10 off my order of $50 or more to try Walmart grocery pick-up. The Walmart near me does not have this service, but the one near my Wednesday Bible study does. So I paired these two errands a few times this month. Anyway, in-store the price of Great Value butter was $3.49, but if you ordered it online for grocery pick-up, it was $1.98/lb. The computer would only let me put 12 lbs in my cart, but I figured that was a good start on stocking my freezer until Easter. (We were running dangerously low on butter.)

    Had Walmart had the pick-up service when I had all little ones, I would have thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Wow! It's pretty snazzy! So far, there have been no mistakes in my orders (I've done it 3 times) and the produce they picked has been lovely. I think I'll try this more in the future.

    Hope you are finding time to take care of yourself & enjoy the season, Lili! Melissa

    1. Melissa, that was an awesome deal with Wal-Mart on butter. I hope you can lay in a good supply, too!


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