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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Grocery Plans for July

I was under-budget by $3.20 for the month of June, giving me a total of $128.20 for the month of July. We're doing okay on most of our basic supplies -- still have about 20 lbs of meat in the freezer, lots of pantry staples, and a garden which is producing. One of my stock-up items is the 50-lb bag of flour.  We'll run out of all-purpose flour by the end of the month. So far, I haven't found a really great price on AP flour and will wait and see if the price drops at Cash & Carry when the next ad comes out. I'll buy it when I really need it, as $13.09 is about $1 to $1.50 higher than I saw it advertised last. The other stock-up item is popping corn. I buy it in large bags at Cash & Carry

I'll be shopping at 7 stores this month. Grocery prices continue to rise, so to get as many good buys as possible, this is what it takes. I had to edit my list a bit. I had planned on buying cheddar cheese this month (as we're just now finishing off a bag of mozzarella), but mozzarella continues to be lower in price than cheddar by a dollar or two, so mozza it is.

The party peanuts may seem like an odd thing to add to my list, but when priced out per pound, the peanuts will be a cheaper source of quick protein than cheese. Plus I think they'll be a welcome addition for adding to recipes and snacking. I am still making rhu-sins -- gorp with peanuts and dried rhubarb could be tasty. The pretzel rods are for a 4th of July treat. I'm making white chocolate dipped pretzels, with red chocolate drizzle and blue sprinkles. I happened to have everything for this except the pretzels, so it seemed like a natural to me.

As you can see, I'll be under budget again, perhaps as much as $13. That amount is being set aside for stocking up later in the season or into early fall.

July Grocery List


Lentils, 83 cents/lb, 5 pounds, 4.15
Raisins, 1 lb, about 2.67/lb
Bananas, 10 lbs, 42 cents/lb (or Walmart), 4.20

Country Farms

Watermelon 49 cents/lb, $5
Jalapenos for salsa, about 80 cents

Cash and Carry

Canned tomato paste, First Street #10, 5.89
Canned whole tomatoes, Simply Value 2.89 #10 get 2 cans (total 5.78)
Mozzarella, 10.69 until 7/7
Popcorn, 12.5 lb bag, 6.97
Carrots 10 lbs 4.47
Peanuts, First Street Party Peanuts, 52 oz. 5.49
ADM Hotel and Restaurant flour, 50-lb, 13.09 
Russet potatoes, 10-lb bag, 1.93


Decaf coffee, Great Value 3.52
Garlic powder 3.4 oz for 98 cents (4.61 lb)
Chicken leg quarters, 5.98 10-lb bag

Fred Meyer, Senior Discount day

Butter, 2 lbs, Moovelous, 2.51 each, (5.02 total)
Milk, 6 gals, 1 whole, rest 2%, max - 12.90


Produce, misc $6 (2 times), $12 total, incl a head of cabbage, peppers, eggplant, cucumber
Couscous, 2.49/lb, 1 lb

Dollar Tree

Rod pretzels, $1

Total 115.02


  1. Good job on making the best you can on your small budget. I have to say you are the most creative person I know...especially in the budget and meal plan department.

    I have been doing a good job myself working through the freezer. WE have really put a dent in using the goodies inside. I had "lost" a gallon of ice cream and for the longest time I was unable to locate it in the freezer. But suddenly it appeared and just in time for July! We are now out of potatoes and I won't be buying more for a while. We're busting through the pasta and rice I bought at an Amish discount store earlier this year.

    Part of the reason is that my missionary daughter is home for the summer so now I cook for a family of 4. She misses mom's homemade meals and I'm glad to have her home.


  2. Lili do you feel you will be able to keep this up with all the talk of rising food costs? Seems every week the costs of most things are going up 10-20¢.

  3. Hi Alice,
    yay! on finding the ice cream. I think this was providence that you found it now when it can be appreciated more because it's summer and you have 4 at home again.
    I'm so glad for you to have your daughter home. Will she be going back at the end of summer, or is she back in the US now for the time being?

  4. Hi Cheryl,
    I know, As I made my list and was checking prices on everything, I was dismayed by even the small increases from what I had expected. I really expected to find watermelon for 29 or 39 cents/lb for the 4th of July. 49 cents/ lb was the best I could find. And the flour prices are higher than I expected. I will just do my best and see what God provides in the future. I have been thinking more and more about how we could both make the most of what we have growing as well as what we could plant and where in the yard.
    How have you thought to manage rising food prices? Are you allocating more per month toward food and cutting back elsewhere? Or have you planned to grow more of your own food?

  5. I'll ask you the same question that you asked Cheryl. Are thinking about changing another part of your budget/savings to allow more for food? You're doing a great job, but it must put a strain on you after a while.

  6. Cheryl,
    Just after posting my comment to you I was online double-checking all of the stores in my area for any lower prices on anything on my list and I discovered that Fred Meyer had seedless watermelons for $2.99 each! I know I checked in the morning for their price on watermelons, so I was surprised to find this. The website indicates that this is a markdown, so maybe it happened just this afternoon. Anyway, one of my daughters wanted to run to Fred Meyer to get something so I tagged along with her and pre-spent some of July's money on a 14-lb watermelon (worked out to 21 cents/lb) and 6 half-gallons of milk (99 cents each, a savings of 15 cents/gallon over what I was expecting to pay on Senior Day). So a savings of almost $3 over what I had planned on spending. I'm always excited when serendipity comes my way.

    1. Hi Lili! I use the Flipp app to check the best prices for an item. It can be downloaded on a smartphone.

  7. Hi live and learn,
    It is stressful at times, having to scrutinize every penny. For now, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and make decisions about the budget when it's really necessary. Thinking about what we might have to give up is stressful in itself. Thanks for your moral support. It's helpful.

  8. Love this Lil - it inspires me so much!
    We have just cut our food/consumable budget by 50% and everytime I get a little to nervous I come here for inspiration! I can't express how much this means to me and how helpful your sharing is to me. Thank you so very much.

    Suggestion: If you are at Walmart before you go to the Dollar Tree check to see how much pretzels are there, at our Walmart they were cheaper then at Dollar Tree. Might not be the same in your area but just a suggestions.


  9. Lili, my daughter goes back to Honduras in early August so she's only home for 7 weeks. She has just finished 3 years there and has contracted for another 3 years. She loves it there.

    Have you tried cubing the watermelon and freezing small blocks? Popping a frozen watermelon block in your mouth in the heat of the summer is really good.


  10. You are an inspiration to me to keep close tabs on my food budget. Thank you so much. We are retired and every little bit helps.

  11. Hi Cathie,
    Thank you for the tip on Walmart vs. Dollar Tree for pretzels! I'll make sure to check that out. I've found that sometimes, with Walmart vs DT, items at Walmart may not look cheaper on the surface, but may have more content by weight than the equivalent at DT. So always good to check.
    I wish you luck with your own budget challenges. I get nervous, too. What helps me is to go to my pantry and look at all that we do have, then think of all of the treats and meals that I could make with what is there. That little exercise makes me realize just how fortunate I am.
    Good luck!

  12. Alice, enjoy your time with her while she's home, then!

  13. Frugal in the USA, good luck to you! Thank you for your comment. It helps me, too!

  14. Hi Lona,
    thank you! I don't have a smartphone, but Flipp has a website that I can access from my laptop. I like that Flipp incorporates the ads from stores that don't send flyers to my home. This looks like a good way to scour the ads.

  15. How do you store your large cans of tomatoes once you open them? I always pass them by unless I am cooking several batches of things at once.

  16. Lili, it is a fighting battle with deer here. I grow tomatoes in a container and joined a CSA which has been nice but not cheap by any stretch. I am lucky to only feed two and my husband does not complain about what food there is just have some at meal times. We are really trying to cut done how much we eat, at one time we would each get a steak (about 1 lb) and force ourselves to eat it all. No more of that, 1/2 each and only on special occasions. Carbs are measured and as always I buy on sale.

  17. I was at Safeway in Eastern Washington. The celery was 5.99 for a bunch! My daughter asked if we were in the organic section, nope!

  18. Hi Shara,
    I freeze the canned tomatoes in quart-size containers in the liquid in which they were originally packed. It works great. I don't notice too much of a texture change from their canned state, and I can still use them in soups, chili, stews, and sauces.

  19. Hi Cheryl,
    Oh that must be difficult to try to garden with deer. Our battle is with raccoons, squirrels, rocky mountain beavers, and birds. We only get a handle of cherries off of our 2 trees each year. I spend a lot of time chasing animals our of the cherry trees. Oddly, we also have rabbits, but they don't cause any issues with the garden.
    I find that my husband and I eat far less than we used to, too. The benefit of aging, I guess. We're eating far less meat these days in general, with a lot beans and lentils to make up for the protein. It's better for our health, but also more economical. Wishing you well!

  20. Those celery prices are horrible! I've been hearing that celery is over $5/lb in Canada. Do you ever use celery seed in place of celery in soups or sauces to add the celery flavor?
    If you do find yourself needing fresh celery, check stores like SmartFoods Cash & Carry. There are a couple of those stores in Spokane. Although still expensive, they currently have celery in 3-bunch packages for $7.95. That works out to $2.65 per bunch, much better than $5.99/bunch, and celery will keep in the fridge for several weeks. Or you could split a package with neighbors, friends, or other family. Good luck!


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