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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Grocery Recap for July 2021 (plus another few items added to the possible shortages' list)

grocery shopping in 1938
photo source:

In July, I began to feel the need to stock up on some staples again. I placed a few orders with to be shipped to my house, made a pick-up at a Walmart store, and shopped in-person at WinCo, US Chef'Store (formerly Cash & Carry -- a restaurant supply) and Fred Meyer (while picking up gardening supplies). I spent a total of $293.58. (Of this, $10.75 was for foods for the 4th of July.)

Here's a comparison of what I've spent, month by month, in the last year. My spending in July is not bad, considering I stocked up so much.

Monthly food spending for last 12 months

Aug 2020   $92.18

Sept 2020  $182.30

Oct 2020   $304.52

Nov  2020  $189.45

Dec  2020  $77.98

Jan  2021  $54.07

Feb  2021  $184.66

Mar 2021   $152.77

Apr 2021  $447.19

May 2021  $285.53

June 2021 $127.98

July 2021 $293.58

Here's what I bought. You'll notice that I bought very little produce (the garden is prolific in July) and little meat. Most of what I bought was for my pantry stock-up.

12 bananas, 6 @ 46 cents/lb, 6 @ 48 cents/lb (Walmart and WinCo)
6 20-oz canisters raisins, $2.94 ea (
bundle celery, 88 cents (WinCo)
5-lb bag carrots, $2.48 (WinCo)

4 gallons 2% milk, 1 gallon whole milk, $2.79 ea (WinCo)
pint whipping cream (for making ice cream), $1.87 (WinCo)
5-lb bag shredded cheddar and jack blend, $12.15 (US Chef'Store)
2 5-lb bags shredded mozzarella, $11.85 ea (US Chef'Store)
10  1/2-gallons 2% milk, 3  1/2 gallons whole milk, 99 cents/ea (Fred Meyer)

24-oz package pork bacon, $5.98 (Walmart)
2 27-oz packages pepperoni slices, $7.47 ea (Walmart)
2 dozen eggs, $1.15/dozen (WinCo)

2 10-lb bags all-purpose flour, $2.50 ea (
5 10-lb bags sugar, $3.92 ea (
2 gallons vegetable oil,  one at $5.60, one at $5.70 (
4 5-lb bags all-purpose flour, $1.22 ea (
4 boxes graham crackers, $1.23 ea (
6-pack 32-oz spaghetti pasta, $7.92 total for 12 lbs (
2 3-lb boxes macaroni pasta, $2.12 ea (Walmart)
4 32-oz raw honey, $7.93 (
5-lb bag corn meal, $2.36 (
26 oz canister salt, 40 cents (
2 16-oz bags whole almonds, $4.96 ea (
.55 lb bulk cocoa powder, $1.42 ($2.58/lb), (WinCo)
2 16-oz jars chicken bouillon, $2.74 ea (
2 16-oz cornstarch, $1.08 (
4 boxes toasty oats cereal, $1.23 ea (Walmart)
3 bags chocolate chips, $1.78 ea (Walmart)
2 bags mini chocolate chips, $1.98 ea (Walmart)
32-oz beef bouillon, $3.98 (Walmart)
25-lb bag regular rolled oats, $14.50 (WinCo)
25-lb bag lentils, $14.96 (US Chef'Store)
large container ground cloves, $14.98 (US Chef'Store)
88-ct corn tortillas, $2.39 (US Chef'Store)

4th of July
hot dog buns, 85 cents (WinCo)
2 packets Kool-Aid (1 red, 1 blue -- 4th of July jello), 18 cents ea (WinCo)
deli potato salad, $3.98 (WinCo)
whole watermelon, $5.56 (33 cents/lb), (WinCo)

This was the month that I was preparing to defrost 2 freezers, which meant I didn't have a lot of space to keep much in the way of stock-up freezer items. In August, I hope to stock-up on meat.

More foods to add to the possible shortages and price increase list

A few more foods have come to my attention that may see significant price increases in the coming year -- bacon, flour, and almonds. Last week, I read an article about Prop 12 in California which will ultimately drive pork prices up. Read it here. I read another article about the devastation of our regional drought to the wheat crop in Washington state. I suspect flour prices will jump, as Washington state is one of the 4 major producers of wheat in the US. This article is here. When wheat scarcity hits, many will turn to other grains, which could drive those prices up as well. And again with California in the news, almond growers in CA are tearing out their almond orchards due to record drought and water restrictions. 80% of the world's almonds are grown in the US, with California producing more almonds than any other state. The article on the almond growers can be found here. 

I can live with less bacon, and I'm also happy to eat turkey bacon. The wheat crop may be better in 2022, who knows. But the almond orchards being torn up could lead to longterm higher almond prices. This will in turn affect the price and availability of almond milk.

And yes, I did stock up on more bacon, flour, and almonds when I read this news. Some of these purchases fell in August, so they'll be reported in a month.


  1. Interesting that Cash and Carry is now US Chef's Store. We have a US Chef's Store in OKC, and I've been twice over the past few months. Being 90+ miles away, it's not worthwhile to make a special trip there, but we've gone while up there for other errands.

    Another price we've seen jump here, presumably due to the big freeze in Brazil, is coffee prices. My husband is not a picky coffee drinker, so has been using Great Value coffee for quite some time. The container that was $3.86 for years is now $5.92. So I bought Folger's from Sam's Club that is now the better deal.

    Bacon has definitely become more of a treat food here. :( Sadly. Interesting about the almonds. I wasn't aware of the issues surrounding those, other than the drought itself.

    I always enjoy seeing your logic and purchases, even though we eat quite differently. Regardless of that, I primarily follow the "pantry method" (from the Tightwad Gazette), much as you do. And it's cool to see how others do things.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Cat,
      I'd been using Great Value instant decaf for a long while, then I discovered that I actually used less of Folger's than the GV to get a good cup of coffee. so a jar of Folger's lasted a lot longer. I figure that my final cost may be about the same since I use less Folger's. I'm glad that Folger's is less expensive for you at Sam's Club.

      One of the things that I appreciated about Cash & Carry (now Chef'Store) is that their prices seem to reflect current market supply and prices, so I get a good idea of what will be expensive in regular grocery stores very soon as inventory is depleted.

      My mom always shopped one week at a time, buying only what we needed to get through 7 days. When I discovered "pantry principle" shopping, I never turned back to how my mom shopped. Stocking a pantry and cooking from what I have on hand saves us so much money. But I admit, most of what my mom cooked was more mainstream than I cook, like casseroles and meat/potatoes, and we didn't have a garden growing up, so produce always had to be purchased weekly.

  2. I didn't know that Washington grew so much wheat. I always think of it as a mid-west crop. The only thing we've stocked up on is coffee. I told my husband about the price increases (he's the only who drinks it) and he has enough to last several months. He didn't want to get any more.

    I think the stock up concept is very good, but if we bought as much as you did at one time, we would probably have a lot of waste. We are not as disciplined as you are with your food prep. With that being said, we try very hard not to waste what we do have.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Eastern Washington is hot and dry in summers (other side of the mountains) and has been historically used as farmland. I know what you mean, though. Wheat sounds like something only grown on the Great Plains.

      I do have to keep an eye on our stock so foods don't go past expiry or get buggy. But I see that management as a part of my overall job. I'm perhaps stocking up more than in previous years because everything feels so unstable in our economy these days. I could put our extra money into savings or I can put it into food that I know we'll eat eventually. I think grocery inflation will surpass the percentage I could get in a savings account at the bank in the next year. So that's how I'm looking at this stocking up.

    2. Bank rates are very low right now, so you're probably right about food being a better return for you money right now.

    3. That's my thinking, anyway.

  3. I think you made some very wise, thoughtful stock up purchases. I’d definitely concentrate on meat when you can. My son’s rancher friend we just bought beef from says he predicts next year is going to see high prices because ranchers are selling off now because they can’t afford to feed the cattle. There is no grass because it’s all burned up, hay is hard to come buy and very expensive too.

    FYI if you are in a safeway/Albertsons at some point. They sell a huge bag of irregular pepperoni slices for $5 (might be slightly more now). My DD’s store in New Mexico had it so it must be something they all sell. My bag is buried in the freezer so I can’t go look at the size, but it’s approximately 12”x6” big so it’s a lot of pepperoni! In my experience, most of the pieces are sliced perfect for pizza or whatever, and I just take the larger chunks and slice or chop them up. Huge money saver! They are with the lunch meats in my store.

    1. Hi Diane,
      Meat is on my list for this month. I like to buy meat in-person and select myself. For almost all of July, I used curbside pick-up and delivery for grocery shopping. My hope is to get inside a couple of stores this month and fill my now defrosted and cleaned out freezer. Thanks for the tip. And thank you for telling me about the pepperoni irregulars at Safeway/Albertson's.

  4. I always remember something I wanted to say lol. Thanks for the heads up on the almonds. My younger dd is vegan and she uses almond milk. I wonder if it freezes ok? She doesn’t drink much milk but uses the almond creamer in her coffee.

    1. Hi again Diane,
      I've frozen quarts of almond milk several times with no issues at all. I'm not sure about the almond creamer because it may have thickeners/gums/starches added and they may not freeze well. She could take a small amount of a current container and freeze then thaw and see how she likes it before freezing larger amounts. That's what I always do -- freeze just a small amount first to see if we like it.

  5. We're OK with Aldi coffee, so I've picked up a couple of extra cans for the pantry. I've had good luck recently finding meat on markdown (Friday mornings seem to be a good time) — perhaps folks just aren't buying as much? BTW our Kroger has sugar on sale: 97 cents for 4 lbs. Don't know if the other Kroger-owned stores will have this sale, but wanted to offer a head's-up.

    1. Hi friend,
      thanks for he heads up on Kroger sugar. I'm glad you've got some extra coffee and meat bought at good prices. It can't hurt to have a little extra.


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