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Thursday, November 2, 2017

October 2017 Grocery Journal

I think this month will turn out well, grocery spending-wise. Keeping fingers crossed!!!

October 3. Senior Discount Day at Fred Meyer. This is such an awesome deal for my area. I can use the discount, plus coupons and/or on sale, and on store-brand products (price already competitive). I checked the e-coupons and made my list. This is what I bought: 3 cans of Kroger crescent roll dough ($1.30 each), large bottle canola oil (48 oz maybe?) for $1.79, the last 4 48-oz jars of applesauce ($1.30 each), 2 15-oz cans of pumpkin ($1.29 each), 16-oz jar peanut butter ($1.25), 32-oz pure maple syrup ($11.24), trident gum (freebie), about a pound of freshly ground Seattle roast coffee (dark roast, the good stuff), $4.45, 1-lb whole wheat saltine crackers (90 cents), 3/4 lb of sunflower seeds ($1.07), 1.39 lb of raisins ($2.59), 10 lbs potatoes ($2.99), 1/2 gallon soymilk ($2.06). 2 dozen eggs (71 cents/dozen), 5 lbs carrots ($2.69), large head each of green and red cabbage (49 cents/lb), 3 packages flour tortillas (89 cents each), green onions (79 cents), radishes (79 cents), head each of red leaf and Romaine lettuce ($1.29), 4 bags of marked down apples, mix of Rome and Granny Smith (each weighing about 2 lbs) for $1 each, or about 50 cents/lb, about 14 bananas at 49 cents/lb, 4 loaves of whole wheat bread (81 cents each), 1 2-litre bottle of lemon-lime soda (69 cents), 7 anjou pears (99 cents/lb), 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns ($1.12). Total spent -- $71.23, plus I used a coupon for 200 extra fuel reward points.

Oct. 9 My son was coming over and I wanted to show him how easy it is to make pizza at home, using some commercial ingredients. I made a special trip to the store, and lucked out with the marked down produce. They had just put a shopping cart full of bagged produce out. Fred Meyer bags the marked down produce in small net bags and sells the bags for $1 each, except bananas, which are 39 cents/lb. I weigh several bags to get the best price per pound. This time around, I got apples and tomatoes at about 50 cents/lb, and winter squash for about 30 cents/lb. I also bought a bag of 3 Asian pears for about 66 cents/lb. For the pizza, I bought 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust for $2, a jar of pizza sauce, 99 cents, 1 large green pepper, 99 cents, 3 mushrooms (yes, just 3 mushrooms, I love that you can buy just a couple of mushrooms at a time), 1 Italian sausage from the butcher, $1.25, 1 small can sliced olives, 99 cents, 2 packs of English muffins for 69 cents each, and 1 yogurt, freebie. My homemade large pizza cost about $5 to make, as there was leftover sauce, mushrooms, green pepper to use in another dish, and the crust was very good, I thought. Total spent -- $21.48

Oct. 12. A family dinner night, and wanting some beef. I bought a small roast for $4.99/lb. I have never in my life paid that much for beef. I also bought frozen pie crusts, for $1.50, a 4-lb bag of sugar for $1.89, and a head of Romaine lettuce for $1.29. Total spent -- $13.86

Oct. 17. Dollar Tree for tortilla chips and salsa, spent $2

Oct. 25. Yes, another family dinner night, and wanting to make grilled cheese sandwiches, so need cheese. I bought a 2-lb block of cheddar for $5.99, 2 13-oz turkey Polish sausage links/loops for $2.50 each, head of cabbage for 49 cents/lb, head of red leaf lettuce for $1.29, 8-oz sliced mushrooms for $1.19, 4 bags of marked down apples at $1 each (worked out to about 50 cents/lb again for apples), 4 half-gallons of 2% milk marked down to 99 cents each, 1 half-gallon of pumpkin eggnog marked down for $1.50, 2 dozen eggs for 79 cents/dozen, 1 package potato and broccoli soup mix, freebie, and 1 package of peanut M & M's, freebie. Total spent -- $25.66.

For the month of October I spent a grand total of $134.23

Even though I made several trips to the store, just to buy a special dinner or lunch worth of ingredients, I still did not spend much. We are trying to use up what we have in the freezers and pantry, still. I had $180.91 going into October, so this means that I have $46.68 leftover. Woo hoo! Personally, I haven't had much of an appetite this past month, the effect of that being that I don't buy much. I am keeping lots of produce on hand. I enjoy salads for lunch. I am also buying a few convenience products, such a the refrigerator roll dough and commercial bread. I should add that mid-month, one daughter and I volunteered at a luncheon/tea for the day and were gifted with enough produce to last us about 5 days of salads and fruit, plus milk and lots of bread products. Those items did not go onto my list of what I bought, but did help us stretch our budget. I have no idea of what November will cost.

A bonus this month -- I thought that we were completely out of all-purpose flour. There is a large container in the pantry that I thought was all whole wheat flour. Turns out it's white flour. I have a partial bag of whole wheat flour, still, so I've got plenty of both! That was a bonus! I wonder what else I'll find as we plow through the freezer contents.

What I bought

4 large jars of applesauce
2 cans pumpkin
1.39 lb raisins
10 lbs potatoes
5 lbs carrots
head red cabbage
head green cabbage
5 lbs carrots
bunch of green onions
bunch of radishes
3 heads of lettuce
36 apples
20 bananas
7 anjou pears
1 large green pepper
8 assorted small winter squash
3 Asian pears
8 lbs of tomatoes
3 mushrooms
8 oz package mushrooms

1 Italian sausage
2 lbs beef roast

3 cans of crescent roll dough
half-gallon soymilk
2 dozen eggs
individual container yogurt (freebie)
pizza crust dough

pie crusts, 2

48-oz bottle of canola oil
1 jar peanut butter
quart real maple syrup
package of gum (freebie)
1 lb of ground coffee
16 oz saltines
.74 lb sunflower seeds
3 packages of flour tortillas
4 loaves bread
1 package hot dog buns
2-litre lemon-lime soda
small jar pizza sauce
12 English muffins
small can sliced olives
1 jar salsa
1 bag tortilla chips
4 lbs sugar
package of M&Ms (freebie)


  1. Sorry you didn't have much of an appetite this last month, but you found the silver lining--you're not as likely to do impulse buying when you're shopping.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Always a silver lining! And I'm always glad to have saved some money. Maybe I'll be in more of a mood to shop, spend and eat this month. Have a great day, live and learn.

  2. Very nice Lili, your meals and groceries purchased look amazing!

    My grocery purchases for the month of October was $441.82. A decrease from the summer but not low enough. We have tried to eliminate Meijer which has much higher prices and try to shop at Aldi or Save A Lot. Aldi and Save A Lot don't have everything so we still need to go to Meijer for a few things.

    I have to tell you about our meal last night. I wanted to do yard work before the rain and I had only two hours of sunlight left so I got one of my turkey roasts out of the freezer. These are the kind that have the dark/white meat and gravy in a tinfoil pan. It wouldn't fit in my pressure cooker while it was still in the foil pan so I took it out of the foil pan and it easily fit in the pressure cooker. I then added a cup of brown rice and about 1 1/2 cups of water and set it for 30 minutes. It was frozen and it normally would cook in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours to reach 165 degrees. I did my yard work and came back about an hour later and it was fully cooked and the rice was perfectly cooking in a brown gravy. It was a delicious meal and quick to make.

    I've had my pressure cooker for one year and I still find new things and ways to cook in it.


    1. Oh my gosh, that does sound good! I haven't had one of those roasts for a while - will need to look for one this weekend!


    2. Hi Alice,
      I've done the same thing with one of our local grocery chains, just tried to eliminate them from my shopping. I know that I do save quite a bit by not going there. I hope that some day we get an Aldi. The prices sound great on so many items.

      Your dinner does sound super yummy. I've never made one of those turkey roasts. I'll have to look for those. I do remember my mom making them occasionally, as I was growing up. I'm so glad that you have that pressure cooker. This must really simplify your evening chores, after a long day at work.

      Have a great day, Alice!

    3. Fantastic job as always, Lili. It's interesting to see how your groceries are changing with your changing life, and inspiring to see how you continue to manage your costs.

      Alice,I agree that Meijer is pricier (but I still need to go there to find everything I want)--but I think they are less expensive than Walmart. Is that true for your as well? Our Save-A-Lot is a dumpy store so I don't go there. But we are getting a new Aldi and it will be closer to me! Yes, I did a dance for joy when I heard the news!

    4. Hi Kris,
      I know -- life changes and we change with it. However, I think this next month will be a bit more like I have shopped in the past, with major stocking up on some items.

  3. You did well, Lili! I met my allotted budget, plus a few dollars extra. I wasn't very happy about that, but I did stock up on canned goods (green beans, mostly--34cents/can). It seems like the "sale" prices for the different holidays this past year have been more like a month before the actual holiday, not 2 or 3 weeks before as in years past. I'm learning to jump on what I know is a good price. I've been burned a couple of times (like around Labor Day) when I thought the price would go lower closer to the actual holiday. Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,
      It sounds like you stocked up a lot. That will save you in the coming months. That has been the trend in stores that I've noticed too. The stores keep us on our toes, don't they?
      I wonder if our WinCo will still have the canned veggies on sale in November. I'll have to check.
      Have a great weekend, Melissa.


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