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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March Grocery Recap

I'm going to finish this up for the month a day early. For March, I had roughly 3 1/2 grocery trips. Early in the month, I piggy-backed on my daughter's shopping at Target for 1 gallon of milk, spent $2.59. A few days later I was shopping at Fred Meyer for garden items and picked up a bag of ground flax seeds for $3.29. Mid-month, I did a pick-up order at Walmart to begin restocking a couple of things, spending $46.20. Because I'm also shopping in person at WinCo now, I also shopped there mid-month to pick up regular food items to get through the month. I spent $62.99. And finally, the other day, I did another pick-up at Walmart to restock flour. I spent $37.70. My monthly spending for March came to $152.77.

This is what I bought:

3 gallons vegetable oil, Walmart, $4.44 each
8 10-lb bags flour for bread, Walmart, $5.98 each (these bags are airtight, reusable zippered plastic and can store without probs with bugs; exp date is Feb. 2022)
1 5-lb bag whole wheat flour, Walmart, $4.14 (trying a new brand)
2 5-oz bags dried cherries, Walmart, $2.98
1 bag oyster crackers, WinCo, $1.19
2 boxes crackers, WinCo, $1.28, $1.58
1 box animal cookies, WinCo, $1.38
1 box toasty o's cereal, WinCo, $1.68
10-lb bag sugar, WinCo, $4.95
1 bag chocolate chips, WinCo, $1.68
1 can black olives, WinCo, 98 cents
1 jar mayo, WinCo, $1.98
1/2 lb pastel M&Ms, WinCo, $1.95
2 jars instant decaf, $6.32 ea
bag of ground flax seeds, $3.29

3 gallons 2% milk, 1 gallon whole milk (for making yogurt), WinCo, $2.28 ea for 3, $2.78 for 1
1 gallon whole milk (for making yogurt), Target, $2.59
2 lbs shredded sharp cheddar, 2 lbs shredded mozzarella, WinCo, $4.98 each
2 18-ct eggs, WinCo, $1.45 ea

8-ct box all-beef corndogs (special dinner for daughters), WinCo, $4.58
refrigerated cinnamon rolls (special breakfast for daughters), WinCo, $1.69

10 lbs apples, WinCo, 50 cents/lb
1 bundle celery, WinCo, 98 cents
1 head cabbage, WinCo, 48 cents/lb
8 bananas, WinCo, 42 cents/lb
3 cans frozen orange juice conc, WinCo, $1.30 each
3 cans apple juice conc, WinCo. 99 cents each

I didn't shop for meat as I had planned. I'll get to that in the next week. I did stock up on flour for yeast baking. (I also keep standard all-purpose flour on hand.) I'm also trying out a small bag of 100% whole wheat flour from the same company. 

We are still eating out of our freezers and pantry. In addition, our garden is now producing kale, watercress, and chives for us several times per week, and the sorrel will begin producing in early April. 

We've been baking several times per week lately. A pan of brownies one day, applesauce muffins the next, followed by a couple of loaves of sandwich bread, cupcakes, pie, etc. There is always something to snack on in the kitchen. Breakfasts are toast, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and/or yogurt. We've had a lot of homemade soups for lunches lately. Plus sandwiches, eggs, fruit, veggies, yogurt, cheese. As I've mentioned in past posts, dinners are homey and filling scratch foods like pizza, macaroni and cheese, eggs, meatloaf, chicken casseroles, chicken and dumplings, beef stew, chicken nachos, chicken salad, bean/TVP burritos, rice and beans, TVP meatballs and spaghetti, etc. 

These past few months have been rather easy on the budget, but I expect next month will be a big-spend month. I want to pick up several packages of meat and will need to restock some pantry items from the restaurant supply. Buying those institutional-size packages may be cheaper per unit, but up-front they seem costly. And that about wraps up my grocery spending for the month.


  1. I know you do a lot of baking. How long will 80 lbs of flour last you?

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I'll use 80 lbs of bread flour in about 10-11 months, so just inside of the sell-by date.

  2. I was also wondering about the flour. Do you have good luck with the results? I have had poor results with some house brands of all-purpose flour so I am slightly suspicious and tend to stick with Gold Medal (or, when I can get it on sale, King Arthur).

    1. Hi Kris,
      this flour isn't a house brand but a small-ish Montana company, Wheat Montana. Walmart happens to sell this one. The protein content is 12.25% (just under King Arthur Bread Flour of 12.7%, but higher than KA all-purpose flour of 11.7%). Gold Medal bread flour is about 12.3% protein, and Gold Medal all-purpose flour is about 10.5%. For best results, bread flour should be between 12% and 13% protein. The cost of Wheat Montana is higher than Gold Medal, but lower than King Arthur. Because of the cost and protein content, I reserve this flour for yeast breads, using a cheaper/lower protein AP flour for other baked goods. And yes, I do like the results I've had with Wheat Montana flour. I'll be trying out their red wheat 100% flour this next month.

  3. I would love to do the baking you do but as you know both of us are diabetics and I can't. Bread like that is for a special occasion and we love the no-knead one. We finally are fully vaccinated and got to hug two grandchildren today. Are you and your husband able to get one yet?

    1. That's wonderful, Cheryl! I had a dream recently that I got to hug my son and daughter-in-law. Soon. My husband and I aren't eligible yet. So, we're still waiting.
      I think I would find it hard to give up bread. When I've had to go all brown rice and millet for periods, due to gluten, I've really missed bread. I'm glad you can have some on special occasions.

  4. Lynn from NC Outer BanksMarch 30, 2021 at 8:25 PM

    My husband and I are both fully vaccinated and feeling relieved and thankful! We are still being vigilant with masking and social distancing. Our area continues to mask with slow re-openings as well. We are thrilled to be able to gather in person with my dear mother (90) and MIL(94)for Easter. We were able to visit with my mother for her 90th birthday as I mentioned last month, but we had just gotten our second vaccine so not fully immunized. My MIL is in assisted living. My husband has had one in person visit this last year. We are looking forward to big hugs this weekend for them both :) Lili, I hope you, and everyone else, will be able to get a vaccine soon and not just dream of hugs, but actually give and receive them! XOXO

    1. Lynn, your joy is showing through. I am thrilled for you to finally be able to have a real, in-person visit with your mother and MIL. We are planning a visit to my in-laws over Easter weekend. They live 8 hours away and it's been a year and a half since we last saw them. Too long.


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