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Friday, March 30, 2018

March 2018 Grocery Journal

I was over last month by $25.08. I'm going to need to readjust our budgets and come up with more for food. We're cooking and eating a bit differently, and this just costs a bit more. I have increased our grocery budget to $210 per month. So, in theory, I have $184.92 for March.

March 2. Cash & Carry. I bought 10 lbs carrots ($3.75), 1 gallons canola oil ($7.29), 64 oz salsa ($4.49), a pint of toasted sesame oil ($2.28), 5 lb bag of fuji apples ($3.19), 3-pack of celery ($1.67), large bag of corn tortillas, I think 72-ct ($2.37), jar of chicken soup base ($3.18), 5-lb loaf of mild cheddar ($11.19), 3 19-oz containers of tofu ($1.59), 2 5-lb bags of petite peas ($4.48 each), 3-lb bag of dried cranberries ($7.59), 1 head of cabbage ($1.52), 6 bananas (59 cents/lb), 4-lb bag raisins ($9.37), 1 lb bag cumin ($5.69), 15 lbs red potatoes ($2.25), 50-lb sack all-purpose flour ($11.59). Total spent -- $91.97.

March 6. Fred Meyer for Senior Discount Day. (so disappointed, they no longer bribe me with free coffee, cookies, and flowers on Senior Day!)What I bought: 4 12-oz cans frozen orange juice concentrate ($1.35 each, enough for 192 ounces juice), 2 gallons milk ($2.34 ea), 2 10-pks flour tortillas (89 cents ea), 2 large jars applesauce ($1.79 ea), 2 heads of cabbage (49 cents/lb), 2 boxes of graham crackers ($1.79 ea), 1 18-ct box of chewy granola bars ($2.69), 3 1-lb boxes whole wheat saltines ($1.52 ea), 1 12-ct box of crunchy granola bars ($2.06), 2 half-gallons soy milk ($1.62 ea), 8-ct whole wheat hot dog buns ($1.06), 7 loaves of whole grain bread (79 cents ea), 2 half-gallons chocolate milk (89 cents ea), 8 bananas (49 cents/lb), 2 10-oz bags oyster crackers (71 cents ea), 2 large cucumbers (69 cents ea), 2 jars peanut butter ($1.61 ea), 3 cans tuna (59 cents ea), 4 packages ramen soup (25 cents ea), 2 packages hot dogs (80 cents ea), 2 "ropes" kielbasa sausage ($2.25 ea), 2 packages turkey bacon ($2.06 ea), 24 oz string cheese ($4.14), 16 individual yogurts (34 cents ea), 1 tube crescent roll dough (67 cents), 3 large containers soy yogurt ($5.84 ea), 1 lb asparagus ($1.49/lb), 3 18-ct cartons eggs ($1.87 ea), 8-ct box donuts (99 cents), Clif bar (freebie), Lindt truffle egg (freebie), bag of jelly beans (90 cents), .11 lb of dried blueberries for oatmeal ($1.65), 3-lb bag clementines ($4.99), 5-lb bag onions ($1.49), and something for each member of the family. I told every family member that they could choose 1 item that was theirs and they didn't have to share. 2 chose lunchmeat (salami, 90 cents/package), 1 chose a head of lettuce ($1.49), and 1 chose 3 cup noodles instant lunches (3/$1). Total spent today -- $111.48.

March 17. I had to go to Fred Meyer for gas and gift cards, so also thought I'd pick up a green pepper (79 cents) for fajitas and tortilla chips which were a freebie. I also bought a container of layered guacamole/salsa dip on markdown for 79 cents (will go well with the free tortilla chips). Total spent on food -- $1.58

Total spent so far this month -- $205.03

March 22. Fred Meyer to get our Easter ham. $1.27/lb for spiral sliced ham (spent $14.91). I also bought 6 bananas, at 49 cents/lb, and picked up my freebie of an Oreo Cookie Bar. Total spent -- $15.96

Total spent for March -- $220.99, which is $36.07 over my budgeted amount. I think I will come closer to budget next month, though, as we have a lot of leftovers going into April.

We're at the end of the month and one of our freezers is looking bare, another about halfway filled, and the third is still packed to the gills. I will take this month's list of what I bought and modify it to create next month's shopping list. A few of the things I won't need to buy again (like the Easter ham), but much of what I bought in March will also work for April. In addition, there are a couple of items that I will need to buy, coffee (and decaf), for one. I may tweak the amounts a little, such as by buying about 5 extra pounds of long-keeping fresh fruit, such as oranges or apples, and 1 extra container of tofu. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for April.

What I bought:

Produce (foods that are primarily produce, or that we use to fulfill fruit and vegetable requirements)
10 lbs carrots
64 oz salsa
5 lbs apples
3 bundles of celery
10 lbs green peas
3 lbs dried cranberries
3 heads green cabbage
20 bananas
4 lbs raisins
15 lbs potatoes
48 oz of frozen orange juice concentrate (enough to make 192 oz of juice)
2 large jars applesauce
2 large cucumbers
1 lb asparagus
.11 lb of dried blueberries
3 lbs clementines
5 lbs onions
1 head lettuce
1 green pepper
1 container of guacamole/salsa dip

Dairy Case (where in the store I find the items, not that these are all dairy foods -- I think I realize that tubes of crescent dough are not "dairy")
5 lbs cheddar cheese
24 sticks of string cheese
3.5 lbs of tofu
2 gallons milk
1 gallon chocolate milk
1 gallon soy milk
16 individual yogurts
3 large containers soy yogurt
1 tube crescent roll dough
4.5 dozen eggs

3 cans tuna
2 packages hot dogs
2 ropes kielbasa sausage
2 packages turkey bacon
2 packages salami
11.70 lbs of ham

Pantry (shelf-stable foods)
1 gallon canola oil
pint sesame oil
72 corn tortillas
20 flour tortillas
jar of chicken soup base
1 lb ground cumin
50 lbs all-purpose flour
2 boxes graham crackers
3 boxes whole wheat saltines
2 bags of oyster crackers
30 granola bars
8 ct. whole wheat hot dog buns
7 loaves whole grain bread
2 small jars peanut butter
4 packages ramen soup
8 donuts
Clif bar (freebie)
Lindt truffle egg (freebie)
bag of jelly beans
3 Cup of Noodles instant lunches
1 bag of tortilla chips (freebie)
candy bar (freebie)


  1. I like that everyone got to chose a certain item that was just theirs. There's nothing more disappointing than going to the fridge for an item that you've been thinking about all day to find that it's gone.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Exactly. This worked out very well, for us all, too. I think everyone was quite happy to have something of just their own, to eat on their own timetable, without thinking it may be gone when they want it.
      I hope you're enjoying a nice Easter weekend!

  2. Do you find, with being out and about more, that your food prices go up because you need more shortcuts? I have noticed that in my own grocery shopping.

    Your crescent rolls remind me that I had a forgotten roll of crescent dough earlier this month that I had to quickly use (it was a little beyond the "use by" date but still ok). Somehow those little tubes can get lost in the door of the fridge! I found a recipe on my favorite food blogger's page that made a chocolate bread recipe--no one complained about the results! :)

    Have a blessed Easter. I'm in the process of making cinnamon rolls (using a "quickie" recipe as my standard recipe is a time commitment!) for the Easter brunch at church tomorrow. They want cinnamon rolls instead of breakfast breads (boo! I love making my blueberry coffee cake at this time of year!).

    1. Hi Kris,
      I definitely have less time to bake, so I am buying things like bread and crackers. In addition, my daughters are needing more ready-to-eat items, or items that can be grabbed, when in a hurry, to take for lunch. One daughter is student teaching in the city and leaves the house before 6 and returns around 6PM. Once home she also has homework to complete, and 1 other class to attend. So having things like the string cheese, fresh fruit, crackers, granola bars, and yogurts have been a help for her. Although she loves peanut butter sandwiches, she thinks she may be developing an allergy to something in them. So that's out the window for her right now, too. The rest of the family is enjoying having more foods that are already prepared. Even with all of these items, I am still cooking dinner from scratch during the week. So it's not like I'm buying boxed dinners or frozen entrees.

      Have a lovely Easter, Kris. Your church brunch sounds like a nice occasion for your congregation.

    2. Buying bread instead of baking it is one of the places where I cut corners, too. Our frozen fruits and veggies from the garden are helpful for throwing a balanced meal on the table in a minimal amount of time.

      Sorry about your daughter's possible PB allergy! Peanut butter is such an easy peasy solution--that's a bummer. We just made hard-boiled eggs for Easter last week and I always think, when I make them, that I should do it regularly, as once they are peeled, it's a great on-the-go protein source, but for some reason I only think about them around Easter.


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