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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 2018 Grocery Journal

Okay, so last month I scrapped the idea of a journal, as I was buying for 3 major celebration events. Plan -- get back on track for the month of July. we'll see how I did.

July 3. Senior shopping day at Fred Meyer. I bought 3 cans of tuna (80 cents each), 1 can pineapple chunks (1.16), 3 jars peanut butter (2.06), 1 box graham crackers (1.79), 1 can Amp energy drink (freebie), 1 19-ct granola bars (2.69), 2 cans frozen orange juice concentrate (1.35), 2 large jars applesauce (1.59), 16-ct frozen corn dogs (3.68), 1 gallon ice cream (4.49), 12 lbs various shapes pasta (33 cents/lb), 1 large zucchini(98 cents), 5 lbs baby potatoes (3.14), 1 cucumber (79cents), 1 green pepper (89 cents), 8 oz sliced mushrooms (1.29), 1 container salad tomatoes (2.69), 1 lb. baby portobello mushrooms (3.05), 2 quarts yogurt (1.79), 4 individual soy yogurt (1.39), 2 quarts soy yogurt (5.99), 3 gallons milk (2.33), half-gallon soy milk (1.70), 3 packages kielbasa (1.79),3 packages hot dogs (75 cents), almost 13 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (25.43 total), 4 dozen eggs (1.79), 6 bananas (67 cents total), 2 loaves Italian bread (1.19), 4 loaves whole wheat bread (1.61), 1 loaf whole grain bread (freebie), container of blueberries (2.00). Also bought, as special items for family members -- 2 lbs turkey breakfast sausage ($3 total), 4 pot pies (89 cents each), 2 packages all-beef hot dogs (6.00 total). Total spent --  $139.17

July 8. snacky stuff from Dollar Tree -- marshmallows, pop tarts, a large dark chocolate bar -- spent $5

July 12. Cash and Carry wholesaler. 10 lbs baby red potatoes (4.83), large container grape tomatoes (4.08), 1 lb garlic granules (5.69), 3 lbs bing cherries (4.98), 3 lb bag boiler onions (1.46), dozen kiwi fruit (5.75), 3 18-oz containers tofu (1.69), 3 lbs broccoli florets (4.98), 2.5 lbs sliced mushrooms (6.37), 5 lbs shredded mozzarella (11.28), 5 lbs bulk Italian pork sausage (9.69), 5 lbs loaf sharp cheddar (12.77), #10 can tomato paste (5.09), #10 can diced tomatoes (2.97), 10 lbs carrots (3.75), 3-pack celery (1.78). total spent $90.54

July 18. Fred Meyer, get freebie of Ghirardelli chocolate squares, 2-pack, and 2 gallons milk (1.29). Spent $2.58

July 20. Stopped in Fred Meyer, while in the same shopping/banking complex, just to pick up 2 Friday freebies -- 2 bags of candy, 1 Swedish fish, the other a sour gummy candy. We'll save these for a movie night. spent $0

July 31. Was going to buy the chicken breasts on sale, but they were out (got a raincheck). But I also picked up last week's Friday freebie, a Kind bar. spent $0

So, total for the month spent -- $237.29

Not too terrible. I had a regular budget of $225, plus an additional amount of $10 to go towards 4th of July special foods, bringing me up to $235. I had $26.37 extra going into the month, leftover from May, giving me a total allowable amount of $261.37.
Bottom line -- I have $24.08 surplus now going into August.

We are back to a family of four eating almost every meal from home. I've increased the grocery budget so I can buy more produce and meat. I've also allowed for $5 at Dollar Tree for snacky stuff. This next month I've had requests for chips and pop tarts. $5 is pretty much a bargain, considering it keeps us satisfied with eating at home. I also feel that several of us at home need a pick-me-up these days. We're doing that with food. I'm buying things I never would have bought, or would not have bought as much, to satisfy our wants. I am trying to do that economically, however.

This next month -- I'll pick up the boneless skinless chicken breasts for which I have a raincheck. I'll also be looking for fresh peaches (August is the month I find great deals on peaches, here), and watermelon (good, inexpensive fruit, IMO), honey, olive oil, and all of our regular items. I'll be shopping at Fred Meyer (for senior discount day on Tuesday), WinCo (I can buy honey and olive oil in the bulk section, they supply the container), Cash and Carry (for potatoes, celery, broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, tofu, butter, olives, and Parmesan cheese), and Dollar Tree (for snacky stuff).

Our garden is doing well, and provides a fair amount of produce. This month we're picking red apples, pears, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, figs, and blackberries.

How did your grocery spending go this past month? Any special foods you're looking forward to buying in August?


  1. I agree on getting treats for home. Anything that keeps you at home to eat, will certainly be cheaper than eating out. That's why I buy convenience foods from time to time. They aren't cheap, but still cheaper than eating out.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      you're absolutely right. I've been using many more convenience items than I used to, and we feel even less of an urge to eat out or get take out.

  2. I calculated what I spent in July and was around $570. But I had 4 adults for every meal. Plus we had a few things I don't normally do like steak. A discount store near me had wonderful steak so we splurged on that. We also went out to eat several times and oldest daughter and I took a vacation to Connecticut to visit youngest daughter. We flew, rented a car and a hotel and ate out every meal. That doesn't count in my grocery budget but it did still add up.

    I will buckle down for August and the family size will also decrease to three adults. We keep using our freezer food then filling it right back up. Dad hasn't offered me much from his garden. He and hubby are not getting along and dad has reminded hubby where his garden fresh food comes from so it isn't being offered so much. Really sad. I will need to just buy as I need it from the grocery store.

    Every Saturday hubby and I go to Horrock's and look for discounted milk (50 cents per gallon) and then look around for reduced food items. We make our meals based on the discounted goods. We finish our grocery shopping at Aldi and
    Daily Deals.

    I have a turkey in the freezer and I really should deal with that thing. I know it is big and I don't love turkey but I should do something with it. I'm thinking pressure cooking after breaking it down into manageable sections. tonight I'm making a corned beef casserole. I had 3 or 4 corned beef from March that I put in the freezer so we're slowly using those.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Your vacation to Connecticut sounds so fun. I bet you and your daughters really enjoyed your time together!
      I'm sorry that your hubby and father are having a difficult tie right now. Hopefully this won't last long.
      Do you find it hard to think about eating turkey when it's still summer? I do. In past years I have bought several extra turkeys, with the thought I'd roast the last one in August. I just couldn't bring myself to do whole turkey dinners in August, so would delay until just about October. That still worked out, but we were definitely tired of turkey by the time Thanksgiving rolled around. Last year was the first year in many that I didn't buy extra turkeys. I'll go back to buying 1 extra this fall, I think. I can roast it in winter, and I think that will work fine.
      Great price on the discounted milk! I'm glad that you have that nearby.

    2. Lili,

      I cooked that turkey last night and it was delicious and juicy. I also decided to roast it whole and in the oven. I didn't quite do a full Thanksgiving type meal but pretty close. I found a box of au gratin potatoes in my cupboard and french beans and regular beans in my freezer. We roasted the bird for 3 hours and it was very tender and delicious.

      It was kind of a hot day but with the AC on in the house, it wasn't too bad. My initial feeling is that I don't love turkey but maybe because I cooked it "out of season" made it taste quite good. It also wasn't quite as large as I thought it was so that may have helped.

      I might just buy another small one near Thanksgiving and save it for summer.


  3. I always love hearing what is growing in gardens in different locations--apples and pears are a ways off for us! We are getting a bumper crop of green beans and my husband found a hidden zucchini that got big quickly!

    We are leaving on a road trip in a few days. I went to Aldi to prepare and when I looked in my cart at the end of my shopping session, I realized that I was purchasing items I would otherwise never buy--but as L&L said, convenience foods that I buy in a store are still less expensive than buying snacks in a gas station or eating lots of meals out! Dried fruit, canned stew, instant mac and cheese, summer sausage ... all should be helpful.

    1. I'm not big on convenience foods mostly because I don't think they taste good but I have purchased them and there's nothing wrong with doing that! The steak we bought (see above) were prime rib thick slices. They were fully cooked and just needed to be reheated. I am terrible at cooking steak so we tried these and LOVED them. I have dumplings, eggrolls and a few other convenience foods in my freezer and we'll use them when I am too busy to make anything else.

      When I was on vacation we had a hot breakfast as part of our hotel stay so we ate well for breakfast and ate nothing for lunch and bought dinner out. I intentionally had leftovers so my daughter (who is interning down there) could have those for lunches and suppers later after we left. That allowed her to not have to cook (tiny, tiny little kitchenette) and she could freeze some for later.

      Peaches are starting here and they are cling peaches I did make my first batch of peach jam! Can't wait for the cling-free around the middle of August!


    2. Alice, you are fortunate to live close to Horrocks! I loved going to Horrocks when I lived in Lansing. Great deal on milk!

      I agree, I don't love the taste of convenience food, but they do fill a need at times. We are renting a condo and will have a full kitchen. We plan on grocery shopping once we arrive but to get us through travel and the first day at our destination, we have a few items. I'm sure I'll miss my Aldi prices when we go shopping!

    3. Hi Kris,
      these are early apples and pears. We have later apples and pears, too. On top of them being early varieties, they have also ripened earlier this year, due to extended heat, I think.
      I do that too, with shopping for fun foods before a road trip. It makes the trip fun, without a lot of expensive restaurant stops on the way to our destination. And sometimes, I think a picnic stop halfway is way more fun than a restaurant. Enjoy your trip! It sounds wonderful!

  4. What a lovely photo! Are those squash blossoms? Do you eat them?

    My garden is having a very odd year - probably because it's been an odd year weather wise. We had some cold weather in May, then summer came straight out of the chute with super hot and dry weather in June lasting through the middle of July, then the monsoon hit and it's been cool and rainy. The tomatoes and zucchini seem to be really behind - although that could be what we in the technical field call "operator error" - in other words they got planted late. I planted my peas in a different location than usual and surprisingly they are still producing! The cucumbers are going great guns as are the volunteer sunflowers and radishes - though the radishes have mostly been harvested for greens and seed pods since it's been too hot for them to form good roots.

    Anyhow, in my role as climate change crazy lady, I've been reading the reports of the wild weather all over the globe this summer, and apparently crops all over the world have taken a beating, so food futures are very high and people are saying we should expect prices to rise. With that in mind, I've stocked up on staples a bit more than I already do, though it's hard to say how prices will look for us especially with all of the tariff madness thrown into the mix. Either way I really, REALLY need to do some freezer cleanout - which will involve some soup making. I think half of the freezer is full of scraps saved for soup. Honestly, though, it's sooo hard to get inspired about soup in the summer!

    Anyhow, sorry to ramble. Happy gardening!

    1. We will be sorta in your neck of the woods next week--ok, Rocky Mountain National Park--what can I say? When I think of Colorado, I think of you, as you are the only person I *know* there.

    2. Hi Cat,
      yes, those are squash blossoms, and yes, they are edible. I like then thin-sliced, like I would do cooked greens. Then I saute them in oil and butter, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Really yummy. I've also deep-fried squash blossoms dipped in batter, for blossom fritters. Also delicious.
      So, the garden didn't go perfectly. But it does sound like you're getting some things out of it. I'm sure the zucchini and tomatoes will catch up shortly.

      Oh, that is bad news about crop problems worldwide. I will keep that in mind as I shop this summer.
      I feel the same way about soup and other cool weather foods. Hard to get inspired to eat something that I associate with winter. But we do it, whenever weather cools a bit, which is today. So, it's soup tonight for dinner.

  5. I was looking for fresh peaches, which we finally bought yesterday. They are so good. I love these summer time foods.

    1. I'm so glad you found a good deal on the peaches. I love the summer foods, too.


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