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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

January Grocery Recap

Here we are in the last handful of days of January. I thought I would get one more pickup from Walmart, but then I saw we had an abundance of milk, eggs, and produce remaining. So, I'm putting off my pickup until next week. I am finding that I often misgauge how much we will need to cover 3 weeks at a time. Sometimes we run short on items, and sometimes we have a surplus.

For January, I did one pickup order from Walmart early in the month, then had my daughter pick up 4 things for me later in the month. I spent a total of $54.07. Even in a non-pandemic year, January is a low-spend month for us. So, this amount isn't surprising.

We are still preparing meals from our back-up pantry, spare fridge, and freezers. Every other week, I bring out additional cans, boxes, and bags from the back-up pantry to add to the kitchen supplies. We're still doing well with what's on hand plus a few extras each month. I'm thinking that in March I may want to do a little restocking of our back-up pantry. In addition, I'd like to add some variety to our meat this coming month. I'm not a fan of Walmart meat, so this will require me to shop in-person in another store (Fred Meyer, most likely).

This is what we bought for January:

8 large bananas (each banana was about 2 servings), 42 cents/lb
2 heads cabbage, 40 cents/lb
3 heads lettuce, 40 cents each
green pepper, 80 cents
4 avocados, 58 cents ea
1 bundle celery, $1.28
5-lb bag oranges, $6.28
3-lb bag fuji apples, $3.23
frozen onion rings, $2.58
frozen sweet potato fries, 2 bags, $2.78 ea
frozen pepper strips, $1.92
6 gals 2% milk, 1 gal whole milk (for yogurt), $2.18
pint whipping cream, $1.98
3 dozen eggs, $2.88 total
30 oz mayo, $2.48
ketchup, 88 cents
8 oz cocoa powder, $1.98

My list for my next shop so far contains celery, bananas, apples, cabbage, avocados, dried cranberries, dried apricots, frozen mushrooms, meat, milk, eggs, cheese, and instant coffee/decaf. I'll also try to think of something special to pickup and make for Valentine's Day.

And that about wraps up January's grocery spending.


  1. Wow! That is a low amount for groceries for a family of four. Right now I'm at $278 for January which is low for me. I still am working from the freezer and choosing anything I see or touch and challenge myself to make a meal from it. Any leftovers I have I make a meal for my son because he is still acclimating to living alone so a few meals for him go into his freezer and he grabs those for work days. He makes almost every meal and snaps pictures for me to see so I know he's putting forth a good effort. It's his way of staying frugal and he's doing fine.

    Cabbage is a great way to add to a meal and quite often is cheap. It's one our fillers as well and we all love cabbage. Back in October we picked a peck of apples and though they were expensive honeycrisp, I stored them and still have plenty right now. It still is a deal because we have had fresh apples for months.

    1. Hi Alice,
      You're likely including items other than people food in your total, is my guess, like pet supplies and cleaning and hygiene supplies. If we had pets or I included all other household supplies, my total would be higher than it is. Plus, my family tends more toward vegetarian than many families, which also keeps our costs low.

      Those honeycrisp apples sound wonderful. I'm so glad you were able to go out and pick them. It was probably a nice outing as well as providing high-quality apples for many months.

      Have a great day, Alice!

  2. We like cabbage at this house, too, and had a very good cabbage soup this month. Our grocery spending was up in January because we bought more convenience foods from Costco since everyone's working schedules have been busy. Costco has some very good premade meals and we had chicken pot pie and street tacos that I particularly liked. Once again, not as cheap as making them from scratch, but cheaper than getting take out.

    We are also rotating some of our emergency foods back into rotation. I'm very pleased with that because that's a weak point for us--the out of sight, out of mind syndrome. :)

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Cabbage is such a great filler vegetable, being both highly affordable and nutrient dense. I haven't made cabbage soup in a while. Thank you for that reminder! I'll add it to our list in the next week.

      I've heard many good things about what Costco offers. I'm glad that you have that option.

      With regards to using up the emergency supply, it really helps that we're trying to not go into stores. So, I'm finding more reasons to go poke through what's on the shelves in the back-up pantry. It also helps that I've made a plan to restock the kitchen pantry on a regular basis, using the back-up pantry. I'm glad that you're able to keep on top of using your emergency pantry, too.

  3. I'd be interested in your Valentine's day ideas. I usually make cherry pie, get Valentines and chocolate, and call it good. Not very creative.

    When we were traveling a couple of summers ago, we ate at a local fast food chain called Runzas. They have sandwiches made with seasoned ground beef and cabbage baked in a delicious bread, sort of like hot pockets but much better. My husband found a recipe online and has made it a few times. That's my kid's favorite way to eat cabbage right now!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Yum, those pocket sandwiches sound delicious! That's such a great idea for using cabbage.

      Valentine's Day- I always do some sort of small gift for everyone, plus chocolates and a nice dinner/dessert. This year, Valentine's is on a Sunday, so I'm thinking of doing a brunch, outdoors, and inviting my son and daughter-in-law. In summer, we did a cook-out brunch that was a lot of fun. We could do the same for Valentine's Day. Of course, weather permitting, which can be tricky here. I bought whipping cream for making truffles this year and will also make a cheesecake with cherry topping. I'm still working on our plans.


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