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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April 2018 Grocery Journal

Last month I was over by $36.07. So, for my $210 budget that means that I have $173.93. I'm an optimist, so I think we can do this. We'll see.

March 30. I already calculated last month's spending, so this will go into April's budget. 6 lbs of butter on sale at Fred Meyer, for $1.99/lb, and 5 bananas for 49 cents/lb. I also picked up a freebie of a nutrition bar. Total spent -- $12.85.

April 3. Senior Discount day at Fred Meyer.I stacked coupons, both paper and e-coupons, on top of the discount. I bought 4 18-ct cartons of eggs (1.88 each), 2 cans of biscuit dough, for making mini donuts (45 cents each), 1 package of hot dogs for a cookout ($1), 4 half-gallons of milk (89 cents each), 2 large jars unsweetened applesauce ($1.39 each), 3 12-oz cans of frozen orange juice concentrate ($1.34 each), 15 store-brand individual yogurts (36 cents each), and 1 Oui yogurt (free with coupon), half-gallon of soy milk ($1.47), 3 large containers soy yogurt ($5.17 each), 4 individual soy yogurts ($1 each), 24-oz string cheese (4.49), 12 large Satsumas ($4 total, about 4.25 lbs), 2 boxes graham crackers (2.51 each), 1 box of 12 granola bars ($2.06), 2 boxes whole wheat saltines ($1.34 each), 1 18-ct box of granola bars ($2.69), 5 loaves of whole wheat bread ($1.35 each), 1 package whole wheat hot dog buns ($1.07), 1 rope of kielbasa sausage ($2.25), 3 packages of turkey bacon ($2.06 each), 2 packages ramen noodles (25 cents each), 2 10-ct packages flour tortillas (89 cents each), 3 bags of oyster crackers (71 cents each), 3-lb bag of yellow onions ($1.29), 1 head of Romaine lettuce (1.49), 10 bananas (49 cents/lb), 2 cans tuna fish (71 cents each), 1 large cucumber (79 cents). Also, I allowed every one to choose 1 thing just for themselves, again. One chose 3 Cliff bars (90 cents each), another chose Capri Sun drink pouches (2.59), the third chose a box of cereal, Rice Crispies (1.61), and the last chose 3 meat pot pies (89 cents each). Total spent today -- $104.35
I also bought next years Easter candy at half off, but that comes out of a different budget.

Total spent so far this month -- $117.20

April 22. Out of milk, mayonnaise, fresh produce, and a bunch of other items. I had put off that drive to Cash & Carry long enough. At C & C I bought 2 5-lb bags of pink lady apples ($2.68 each, or 53 cents/lb), 3 heads of green leaf lettuce ($1.29 each), 1 gallon mayonnaise ($6.98, equivalent to $1.64 for a 30-ounce jar), 2 3-lb bags of boiling onions (86 cents/bag), 3-lb box of frozen spinach ($3.08), 5-lb bag frozen green beans ($4.58), 5-lb bag of white rice ($3.29), 5-lb block of medium cheddar cheese ($10.98), 32 oz bottle of imitation vanilla extract ($2.99), institutional-size packet of Ranch Dressing mix, enough to make 2-gallons (but not all at once! That would be a lot of Ranch dressing/dip -- spent $2.67), fresh cauliflower florets, 3-lbs ($5.98), fresh broccoli florets, 3-lbs ($4.98), large head of green cabbage ($1.43), 3-lb box of grape tomatoes ($4.08), 4 19-oz blocks of tofu ($1.59 each), 4-lb bag raisins ($9.37), 2-lb box of strawberries ($3.98), 17 bananas, at 59 cents/lb, 2 gallon box of 2% milk ($4.73), 10-lb bag of potatoes ($1.86), 10-lb bag of carrots ($3.58). Total spent -- $93.50

Total spent for the month -- $210.70

What I bought:

1 rope kielbasa
1 package hot dogs
3 packages turkey bacon
2 cans tuna fish
3 meat pies

Dairy Case
6 lbs butter
6 dozen eggs
2 cans biscuit dough
4 gallons milk
1/2 gallon soy milk
16 individual yogurts
3 large containers and 4 individual containers soy yogurt
24-oz string cheese
5 lbs cheddar cheese
4 blocks tofu

32 bananas
2 large jars applesauce
36 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
12 Satsumas
9 lbs onions
4 head lettuce
1 cucumber
10 lbs apples
3 lbs spinach
5 lbs green beans
3 lbs broccoli
3 lbs cauliflower
1 head of cabbage
10 lbs carrots
3 lbs grape tomatoes
4 lbs raisins
2 lbs strawberries
10 lbs potatoes

nutrition bar (freebie)
3 Clif bars
1 package hot dog buns
5 loaves of bread
30 granola bars
2 packages ramen soup
20 flour tortillas
3 bags oyster crackers
2 boxes saltines
2 boxes graham crackers
1 box cereal
1 box juice pouches
1 gallon mayonnaise
5 lbs white rice
32 oz imitation vanilla extract
very large package of Ranch dressing mix


  1. Good deal on the eggs, they are really expensive here right now. I am avoiding buying them until the price comes down.

    1. Hi Belinda,
      well, our lower egg prices have now cone way up. I paid $1.79/dozen yesterday, and that was the discounted price for Senior day. Ugh! I bought 1 less dozen than I did last month, as a result. I hope your prices don't follow ours!

  2. I was thinking the same thing Belinda was--good deal on eggs. We're still buying them because they're still a cheaper kind of protein than most meat but the price has gone up recently.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I was thinking along the same lines as you, eggs are still a good price for protein, even at $1.79/dozen. The way I feel is if someone in the family wants a good shot of protein, at least eggs aren't as expensive as meat items, and they can be quickly made.

  3. Great prices, Lili, as always. I have been craving rhubarb. What is a reasonable/frugal price per pound? I live in King county. Thanks so much, Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley,
      I grow rhubarb so I don't watch the price all that closely. A produce stand, non-touristy farmer's market, or budget-friendly grocery like WinCo or Fred Meyer would be the best place for fresh rhubarb. My guess is it would sell for $2 or more per pound. Even though rhubarb grows in gardens so easily, it's considered a seasonal specialty, so not many commercial growers for it, which leads to higher prices per pound.

      All that said, as rhubarb is a seasonal specialty, it is on a lot of restaurants menus right now, at grossly inflated prices. So, even if you do buy some rhubarb for a pie, cobbler, or stewed at $2 or more per pound, making a dessert at home from scratch will still be far less expensive than going to a restaurant, or buying a pie.

      If you lived nearby, I would gladly give you some of ours! Any chance you have a neighbor near you with a patch of rhubarb in their yard?

    2. Thanks, Lili. I am keeping my eyes open for prices. Absolutely, I can save $ by making goodies myself which I do. I do have one friend that grows it and she generously shares it with several people. After reading your question I decided I will ask around at the senior center next week. I want to freeze some this year. Fred Meyer is one of my go to shopping spots so will check there. Thanks, again. If we lived closer to each other I would definitely take you up on it! Shirley

  4. I had to Google satsuma. :) Now I know ... but I've never eaten one.

    I was disappointed to see that eggs went from 59 cents/dozen to 99 cents/dozen this past week. I don't think 99 cents is an awful price but am concerned that the price may spike. I was hoping to make an egg casserole as part of a Mother's Day brunch.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Isn't that interesting? Satsumas are fairly common around here, in winter. Be thankful your eggs didn't go up to $1.79/dozen like mine did! I still bought them, but the price was enough for me to scale back a dozen for the month.
      Your egg casserole for Mother's Day brunch sounds nice. Is this something that you do with your church, or will this be a family brunch?

    2. I like hearing about foods that are common in different areas of the country/world.

      I'm hoping our egg prices don't jump even more! We will host a family brunch after church. I have an easy peasy egg casserole recipe which feeds a lot of people--I'm not completely sure how many will show up so that's a good thing to serve. I'll bake up some sort of coffee cake or muffins the day before, add in heat and serve sausage, fruit and beverages and we should be good to go.

    3. Your brunch plans sound lovely. I hope everything goes as planned for you!

  5. I was under budget for April by a couple of hundred dollars. That was good because we had 2 cars that needed repairs. Older vehicles mean more trips to the mechanic, unfortunately. Egg prices just spiked in our area. I was getting them $4.20 for 5 doz. In fact, I just bought them at Walmart last week for that price. Today the price was $9.60! We go through a lot of eggs, so I'm not very happy with those prices. As always, well done, Lili. I can't believe you can feed that many people for that much. Melissa

  6. I was over budget a bit in April. We took a day trip and visited several bakeries and bought stuff there. I decided not to add them into my grocery totals but instead put them into the "other" category. One reason the totals were so high was that hubby decided to "help" and get groceries and bought them at Meijer instead of Aldi. I've told him over and over not to buy the groceries at Meijer and he paid way more than it would have been at Aldi.

    Egg prices have spiked here also. The best price is at Walmart and though that is not my go-to store I will go there to get my eggs. The budget wins on the price of groceries so I have to go where the prices are the best.



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