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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

February Grocery Recap

(I needed something life-affirming this week. A potted tulip from WinCo was just the thing. I'll transplant these beauties into a pot on the deck later Thursday, so that they will slowly develop over the next month.)

Here we are, in the last week of February. Once again, it's time to wrap up my grocery spending for the month. I shopped twice this month: once, with a curbside pick-up at Walmart, spending $99.81; the second time, in-person at WinCo, spending $84.85, for a total of $184.66.

Here's what I bought, what it cost and where I bought it all:

2 boxes crackers, $1.78 & $1.68, Walmart
2 boxes graham crackers, $1.71 ea, WinCo
1 box animal cookies, $1.38, WinCo
80-ct corn tortillas, $2.18, WinCo
16-oz pretzels, $1.52, Walmart
9-oz bag oyster crackers, 80 cents, Walmart
12-oz bag oyster crackers, $1.18, WinCo
2 jars instant Folger's decaf, $6.32 ea, Walmart
2 jars instant Folger's decaf, $6.54 ea. WinCo
large jar Folger's reg, $8.65, WinCo
ketchup, 88 cents, WinCo
yellow mustard, 78 cents, WinCo
3 cans olives, $1.26 ea, Walmart
4 cans olives, 98 cents ea, WinCo
garlic powder, 98 cents, Walmart
1 package hot dog buns, 88 cents, Walmart
1 small bag mini powdered sugar donuts, 1 small bag chocolate donuts, $1 ea, Walmart
64 oz cranberry-black cherry juice cocktail, $1.78, Walmart

2-lb bag frozen broccoli cuts, $2 Walmart
2-lb bag frozen broccoli cuts, $2.30, WinCo
2 bags frozen mushrooms, $1.98 ea, Walmart
8 Roma tomatoes, 15 cents/lb, Walmart
1 head green cabbage, 58 cents/lb, Walmart
2 heads green cabbage, 78 cents/lb, WinCo
15 bananas, 42 cents/lb, Walmart and WinCo
3 heads iceberg lettuce, 25 cents ea, Walmart
5 avocados, 68 cents ea, Walmart
3 avocados, 58 cents ea, WinCo
6 lbs clementines, $5.96, Walmart
3 lbs fuji apples, $3.17, Walmart
two 3-lb bags fuji apples, $2.58 ea, WinCo
1 bundle organic celery, $1.26, Walmart
1 bundle celery, 98 cents, WinCo
2 green peppers, 73 cents ea, Walmart
3 green peppers, 38 cents ea, WinCo
2 lbs fresh carrots, $1.34, Walmart
5 lbs fresh carrots, $2.48, WinCo
6 oz dried apricots, $2.87, Walmart
24 oz dried cranberries, $4.94, Walmart
5 oz dried cherries, $2.98, Walmart

5 dozen eggs, $4.75, Walmart
2 dozen eggs, 98 cents ea, WinCo
7 gals 2% milk, 2 gal whole milk (for yogurt), $2.18 ea, Walmart and WinCo
2-lb block of cheddar cheese, $5.51, WinCo
1-lb block sharp cheddar cheese, $3.36, Walmart
2-lb bag shredded mozzarella cheese, $6.28, WinCo
pint whipping cream, $1.98, Walmart

2 packages turkey kielbasa, $3.16 ea, Walmart
2 packages turkey smoked sausage, $2.48 ea, WinCo
36-ct, turkey breakfast sausage links, $4.48, WinCo
21-oz pack pepperoni, $6.32, Walmart

You may not realize this, but I post these grocery lists for myself as well as you, friends. I find interesting insights in my own grocery shopping, sometimes helping me shop smarter in the next month. WinCo doesn't list any prices online, so I only know the cost of each item when I'm actually in the store. Pricing between Walmart and WinCo is very competitive on many items. However, there are a few things where I could save a bit of money by buying them at one store over the other. I'll be keeping that in mind the next time I need to shop. 

I haven't bought much meat in a while. Neither Walmart nor WinCo are my favorite places for buying meat. Next month I'll shop specifically for meat, going to another store. 

So, maybe you're wondering why I went to WinCo for my second shopping this month. My last batch of whole milk yogurt only partially set. I don't know what went wrong, but one thought was Walmart's milk supplier has changed their process (using a higher temp for pasteurizing could be an issue). I wanted to try WinCo's milk for my next batch. I also wanted to shop at a store that wasn't part of a mega-chain. During this past year, there's been a huge shift of wealth toward corporations like Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, etc. I don't want to lose the smaller venues, so I'll be trying to shop at more of the stores that I especially don't want to lose, WinCo being one of them. (WinCo is a chain store in both the western and central US, but they are employee-owned, which is a good thing for economy diversity in supermarkets.)


  1. I enjoyed your price comparisons. We don’t have winco in my town, but I go to one an hour away once a month. I go with 2 of my kids and we take turns buying the gas, and also go to Costco while we are there. Your Walmart prices are lower than mine, especially on dairy and produce, but your winco prices are very similar.Last month I plugged all my winco purchases into my Walmart app and saved almost 50%, but I do try to only buy stuff at winco that is cheaper there. I love their produce, but, like you, I don’t buy much meat there. Winco is expanding in Montana, and I really hope we are next on their list of locations. Even the shopping experience itself is better than Walmart. Here we only have Walmart and Safeway.

    1. Hi Diane,
      It sounds like you and your kids have found a way to make WinCo work for you until they expand to a location closer. I hope that happens sooner rather than later for you. I can imagine the frustration of only having 2 stores to choose from locally.

  2. I agree that your listing your shopping trends does help me try to keep my spending habits in check. Walmart is not my favorite place to shop either but it is close to Aldi and for the things I can't get at Aldi I have to go somewhere else. I don't like Aldi meat so much. I like Save A Lot for meat. But right now my freezer is full and just when I thought I was out of ground beef, I dug deeper and found several pounds! There is a lot of chicken and pork in there. I recently found a recipe for ham balls made with ham and pork. I didn't have high hopes for it but the family agreed it was a winner!


    1. Hi Alice,
      Sometimes Walmart is the only place locally that carries something I want to buy. My favorite brand of flour for bread is at Walmart and not WinCo. And Walmart is definitely closer to my house. I also really like the people who work at my local Walmart. They're always super kind.
      Lucky you to have so much meat on hand. The ham balls sound delicious!

  3. I think it's important to support your local businesses-especially during these times and that's something we try to do. However, when the large corporations are doing better, they can hire more people. My son, who works at Costco, has seen that as people have been losing jobs at other places, they have been able to find jobs where he works. I just hope that anyone who wants a job is able to find one.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I agree that having a job right now is also important. In the long run, though, I believe that competition in the marketplace is beneficial to both consumers and workers. So, I'm doing what I can to keep some competition going.

    2. Yes, all competition is always good for the consumer.

  4. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one purchasing some "fun food". :) I'm also starting to occasionally prepare what I think of as springtime foods--I made rhubarb/blueberry sauce earlier this week, and lemon bars yesterday. Looks like you are also thinking spring, with your potted tulip plant.

    I mostly shop at Meijer and Aldi. They are both more convenient for me, and I prefer them over Walmart. There is a local specialty foods store (D&W--Alice may be familiar with the chain) near my mom's assisted living and I sometimes pop in there to see if they have items I can't find elsewhere. We occasionally use other local chains if they have a good deal, but I admit that I tend to choose price point and convenience when grocery shopping.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Fun food? Where do you see fun food in my list? Those donuts were medicinal! And so were the cookies and crackers!
      I had blueberry-rhubarb sauce in the freezer that I served last week. I made this last summer but it was so appreciated this winter. I think I got the idea to use blueberries in rhubarb sauce from you, years ago.

      I've found that sometimes shopping for low prices also means shopping at a smaller store. For instance, we have several small ethnic markets that I like to check for produce. They can have some of the best prices on produce in my town. They also often have fantastic deals on things like large packages of corn tortillas and dried beans in large bags. I'm going to be trying to get back to more shopping at these smaller stores in the coming months.

    2. Kris, I am familiar with D & W. We also have Family Fare but I think the prices might be a bit higher at those. Not sure but I don't shop at either of them. I think I know where your mom lives! So close to my home!


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