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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Grocery Shopping April 2023

I'm sorry this is late, for those of you who enjoy reading about my grocery spending. April was a difficult month. As a result, I didn't keep track as the month progressed, but instead saved my receipts and am now tallying them. I won't list the individual prices or quantities for everything, but will give you an idea of what I bought and how much I spent in total at each store.

Spent $231.71 for month of April.

What was unusual about April's grocery spending:

  • a double birthday celebration
  • Easter breakfast and dinner, along with a postponed Easter due to daughter's illness, which meant buying strawberries a second time
  • stock-up on soy milk powder, eggs, flour, different meats, instant milk, snack foods for family, and I bought some boxed and canned foods on markdown
  • Sometimes I ran into the store just for 1 or 2 items as I happened to be in another business in the same strip mall. Sometimes I was shopping for gardening and home organization supplies in Fred Meyer, so I checked the clearance rack while I was there. This was not a very organized shopping month for me.
  • My daughters also stopped into stores for me while they were running their own errands (breaded mushrooms, 15-dozen case of eggs)
  • I did a lot of clearance rack shopping. Getting those bargains is a real mood-booster.

I shopped on 8 different days, going to one to three stores on any given day. Like I said, not organized.

April 1. Walmart $21.36   50 lbs flour, bananas

April 6. Swansons (online) $47.00  4 bags of soy milk powder

April 6. Grocery Outlet (salvage store) $9.98  coconut date rolls (Easter), Craisins, quick grits

April 6. Fred Meyer $5.10  asparagus, strawberries (for Easter dinner #1)

April 7. Fred Meyer $10.02  clearance rack: granola bars, cereal, canned vegetables, boxed donuts

April 15. Fred Meyer $32.93  clearance rack: instant milk, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned pasta sauce.
Also bought chicken, pork loin, fresh strawberries (for Easter dinner #2 after #1 was canceled), tangerines

April 20. Chefstore (restaurant supply) $39.60  baklava, gyro meat (birthday celebration)

April 20. WinCo $27.18  produce, pita bread, tzatziki (birthday celebration), chicken breasts

April 22. Walmart $6.68  frozen breaded mushrooms (birthday celebration)

April 25. Walmart $1.87  bananas

April 28. Chefstore $29.99  15 dozen eggs

Did I spend more than recent months? Yes, but I was still comfortably within the range that I've determined for us. And I also have to take into consideration that we made 2 extended family meals for special occasions included in this spending. I do hope that May's grocery shopping focuses less on snack and prepared foods and more on basics to begin stocking up for next winter. We'll see how well I do. May is shaping up to be a better month overall for me, so that should help.


  1. I still think your monthly total was absolutely amazing for all the things that happened and how you remedied them! Kudos! Sometimes you just can't get away from the issues at hand and things became more costly.

    We also had a "bust" for the month of April. It's rare my birthday daughter is stateside for her birthday but this year she was so we had our fair share of celebrations that cost a bit more. There were other celebrations that we went out to eat more than we've ever done in a month. We bought more things that were discounted than we have for a while and all this added up to an expensive month. But we created memories and had fun which is what we desperately needed.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I love your last line -- that you created memories and had needed fun. That's one of the reasons that I think many of us practice frugal living for much of the time, so that we can afford to make some occasions special. I think you did very well in the life-balance department.

  2. That is still a great total for four people, especially considering the special occasions that you had to cook for.
    There is a new Chefstore in Helena. It sits in front of winco in the same parking lot. I’ve been to winco twice since it opened, but we haven’t gone in yet. I don’t really know what that store is, or what they might have that I need. Any tips?


    1. Hi Diane,
      Oh, exciting a Chefstore now near you! The best "deals" are items that you want to buy in large sizes. I get some of my spices at Chefstore, because we go through a lot of certain ones (cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and powdered ginger). I also like to buy baking ingredients, like yeast, flour, and sugar. I also get rolled oats and steel cut oats in 25-lb bags there. And popcorn in 12.5 lb. bags. Not everything needs to be in super large containers to be a value. I also buy tomato past in 29-oz cans, by the case. Sometimes the case price is better than individual cans, so I check when shopping.

      Things to not buy at Chefstore -- milk is always more expensive than what I find at WinCo. Same with corn tortillas. WinCo's price is better. Ditto on boxes of crackers or bags of cereal. Those items go on sale often enough at regular grocery stores.

      My best advice is to know the price per unit that you usually pay for individual items, then compared with Chefstore's prices. Bring a calculator or use the one on your phone. Chefstore doesn't have unit pricing on the shelves.

      Have fun looking around! It's a great place to shop if you're planning a big event, too.

  3. You are amazing! You work so hard and succeed in keeping a good budget while feeding your family interesting and nutritious meals while allowing for celebrations as you go through life. What a great balance!

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you. I think the key is like Alice above said, to be able to afford some special and memorable occasions when they most suit or are most needed by the family.
      Have a wonderful rest of your evening, Linda.

  4. Like Alice said, sometimes life circumstances interrupt our good planning. You should feel proud of how you adapted to changing situations.

    I feel odd when I get items that are out of the norm when grocery shopping. I have an urge to tell people that we don't typically eat lots of junk food. Was it strange for you to purchase special food for your celebrations?

    1. Hi Kris,
      I did feel the need to point out to the cashier that "my family" would be enjoying the granola bars as a treat. Ha ha! I did have 2 of them, and that's enough for me.

      I wouldn't say it felt strange to buy special foods, but more an intentional thing. My daughters often cook my birthday dinner and Mother's Day brunch, and I wanted the cooking to be much easier on them. Their lives are full right now and I don't want them spending a huge amount of time on cooking for me. So, I deliberately chose special foods that would be easy and quick for them to put together. We're working on a Mother's Day brunch menu right now, trying to come up with easy to prepare foods or them to do.

      Have a lovely evening, Kris.


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