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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Grocery Shopping for February

Before this week's snowfall, I cut some branches from the
native plum trees, providing us with an indoor taste of spring.

So the month of February is about over, and I'm done with grocery shopping until next month. I feel like I shopped an average amount of days in February. Some of these trips to stores were two-in-ones, going to two or more stores on the same run. I tend to grocery shop once per week. WinCo is further away, so I limit trips there to every other week. Walmart, on the other hand, is practically right around the corner, and Grocery Outlet is directly across the street from Walmart. 

WinCo is my preferred store, so even with the extra cost in gas, I still shop there, just less often. It's a more pleasant shopping atmosphere, even when crowded. WinCo has slightly better prices on many foods, an enormous bulk section, and better quality on dairy, eggs, and meat. While Walmart may not be as pleasant to shop in, they have some items, such as chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and vegetable oil, that are priced lower than anywhere else. In addition, I sometimes need to get milk or produce during the weeks I'm shopping local and will get those closer to home, meaning Walmart or Grocery Outlet.

The tally for the month

2 visits to Walmart
$40.74 - cabbage, bananas, Roma tomatoes, avocados, bell pepper, gallon milk, egg noodles, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vegetable oil

2 visits to Grocery Outlet
$14.76 - graham crackers, strawberries (for Valentine's Day), canned beets, turkey bacon, smoked chicken-artichoke sausages

1 visit to Target
$14.76 - eggs, 4 18-count cartons

2 visits to WinCo 
$137.99  - red and green heads of cabbage, cucumbers, Roma tomatoes, avocados, bell peppers, carrots, bananas, Fuji apples, 2-pack of whole chickens, milk, sharp cheddar cheese, organic flour, canned tuna, mayonnaise, dried fruit, butter, 3 tofu, chia seeds, baking powder, pepperoni slices, corn starch, powdered sugar, flax seed meal, bran, pink M&Ms (for Valentine's Day), baking coconut, prepared mustard, garlic granules, roasted peanuts

Total spent for February -- $208.25

The last couple of months our spending has been on what may seem to be the low side. That will change for next month, as we get more high-quality beef again. It's expensive, but so worth it to us. To afford this, we're mostly sticking to the basics, cooking and baking from scratch, and buying in-season or budget-friendly produce (exception Valentine's strawberries). Anyway, our monthly grocery spending fluctuates significantly due to our periodic beef purchases now. 

What I bought this month

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:

4 heads cabbage (green and red)
2 cucumbers
6 avocados
a dozen+ Roma tomatoes
3 green bell peppers
20 pounds carrots
several bunches bananas
4 bags Fuji apples
1 pound strawberries (Valentine's Day purchase)


3 gallons milk
2 small blocks cheese
6 dozen eggs
3 containers tofu
4 pounds butter


2 whole chickens
1 package turkey bacon
1 4-count package smoked chicken sausages
1 package sliced pepperoni (enough for 2 to 3 large pizzas)

For the Pantry:

1 gallon vegetable oil
1 package egg noodles
4 canisters cocoa powder
2 jumbo bags semi-sweet baking chips
1 bag baking coconut
2 bags powdered sugar
10 pounds organic flour for bread
1 box graham crackers
1 jar mayonnaise
1 bottle mustard
5 cans beets
2 cans tuna
bulk items:
pink M&Ms (Valentine's Day purchase)
dried fruit (dates, prunes)
chia seeds
baking powder
corn starch
flax seed meal
granulated garlic
roasted peanuts

How is grocery shopping going for you in 2024? Do you drive out of your way to shop at a preferred store as I do? Are you still able to stick to your budget, or have you had to increase your budget due to rising costs or a new emphasis on eating better? It can be challenging, can't it?


  1. I was intentional this month to shop less and use more from what I already have. I spent $225 this month and won't shop until March. I really want to go out and buy some crescent rolls for a recipe but I just need to skip that or try to make them instead.

    1. Hi Alice,
      Your total spend for the month sounds very good! I hope you found an alternative to those crescent rolls.

  2. Your plum blossom branches are so pretty! I'm not sure what season we are in. :) Yesterday it was in the upper 60s and today it's in the 20s with snow. I'm trying not to mentally shift to spring but the warmer weather sure makes me think about it a lot.

    I am fortunate to live close to several grocery stores, so I don't need to drive out of my way. I'm paying a little bit more than I used to but since we don't eat out often, I feel like we are still doing ok with our spending. But yes, it's tricky.

    1. Hi Kris,
      That does sound like crazy weather.
      Eating at home is a real budget saver, not to mention you can control the ingredients and nutrients.

  3. I've been thinking about getting some beef from the local farmer. Actually, I'm leaving that up to my husband since he eats a lot more meat than I do. Right now we have a big turkey and two pork shoulders in the freezer, and those, along with the $4.99 rotisserie chickens we can get at Costco, I think we're set for meat for now.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Yes, it does sound like you have meat well-covered right now. And probably a good plan to let your husband decide on buying the local beef for the time being.

  4. We went to winco for the first time in several months. It’s 60 miles away, and we’ve been skipping winco and just coming home after Costco. Anyway we went and it was so darn busy, and not a good experience at all. I told my dd I don’t care if we ever go there again lol. I’m sure we will though.

    My grocery spending has stayed at about the same for the last year. Our meals aren’t very exciting, but we are fed and most days that’s good enough. I was out of ground beef from our half a beef, but luckily our guy had some so I was able to restock the freezer. We have a lot of steaks, and a few roasts left. We will probably get another half this fall. Like you, we are willing to pay a bit more to have quality beef, and fortunately we are in a position to do that.

    After 24 years, my days of having chickens have come to an end. I gave away my last 3 last week, and am back to buying eggs. I was just tired of taking care of them and an opportunity to give them to a good home came up, so I just did it. We don’t use many eggs, but I do buy pasture raised, so they are expensive. Like the beef, having chickens raised more humanely is important to me, and I will cut back in other areas.


    1. Hi Diane,
      I'm glad you were able to get more ground beef. I find we go through the ground beef faster than the roasts or steaks that we get. I considered grinding one of the roasts to use when I want ground beef. I haven't done that yet, but am considering it.

      24 years keeping chickens sounds like a long time. I still hope to try it for myself some day.

  5. Lynn from NC Outer BanksMarch 2, 2024 at 4:44 AM

    That sounds like a good deal you got on eggs at Target. I’ve kept my budget the same so far, but it is definitely more difficult to do so of late. Like you and others, I cook from the basics, without processed items, which is helpful.

    I make a big loop when shopping, hitting Publix, Harris Teeter (Kroger affiliate) and Food Lion pretty much weekly. It is about 35 miles round trip, but my new car just sips gas (35+mpg) so I feel like I save more than the cost of a gallon of gas by doing so. I have a small grocery store on our island that has great chicken (Springer Farms) that is carried by the higher end stores. They often put it on sale and provide a 1.50 off coupon which makes it cheaper than traditional chicken. Right now we have ground chicken, chicken burgers and thighs all by this brand to eat. And whenever we travel out of town to see our little granddaughter (we’re heading there today:) or my 93 yr old mother, we hit Aldi for produce.

    My cholesterol was up at my last doctor visit, so I’ve added more salmon to our diet and less red meat. I could up our budget, but I like a challenge! And challenge it is!

  6. We shop at the same stores about 15 miles away, and spend an average $500 a month on groceries, HABA, and eating out combined. We have been spending the same amount for quite awhile. Since we are soon both in our 70s, I noticed we are eating less. Also I don't snack as often because I am trying to reduce sugar and carbs. Our garden provides enough daily greens, and for fruits, the easiest, cheapest is frozen. Costco sells frozen mangoes and blueberries that are cheaper than fresh. We top the frozen fruit chunks with yogurt or cottage cheese, flax seed, chia seeds, and walnuts, so don't miss fresh fruits. We shop for clearances all the time. Bought 17 lb of uncured cooked pork loin for less than $17. Uncooked pork loin recently was less than 60c/lb, which I sliced and froze for stir fry. Despite food prices rising, we can still budget the same amount.

    Have a great day,

    1. Hi Laura,
      Wow, what a deal on the pork loin! That will provide a lot of protein for many meals. Your use of frozen fruit from Costco sounds both delicious and simple. I like that!

      Have a wonderful evening, Laura.


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