Wednesday, January 10, 2018

My First Big Grocery Haul Of The Year

It had been nearly two weeks since I last stepped into a grocery store and it was time.  The produce selection was getting a bit thin and the milk was due to expire.  In the week leading up to shopping day I had gone through my pantry, the chest freezer in the garage and the refrigerator and freezer so I knew what I had on hand.

I opened up my weekly meal planner and got busy drafting meal ideas for the next few weeks and as I did that I also began to draft my shopping list.  Filling in the gaps of items I was low on or out of as well as additional items we wanted or needed in the coming weeks.

Printed out and ready to go!

Next I checked out the ads for all the supermarkets in our area plus Cash & Carry.  I don't have a membership for Costco because for me personally I don't see the value in the cost of the membership as I wouldn't shop there enough to make it pay.  If I shopped there more often, then it would probably make more sense.

After checking out the ads I went to each of the store websites and downloaded coupons for the items on my list.  I also checked out, but that didn't pan out for me this time.  There were a ton of cereal coupons, but I wasn't buying cereal so I didn't need them.  I also checked for laundry detergent coupons, but didn't come up with what I needed there either.  Sometimes that is just how it goes.  That is okay, because I don't need laundry detergent right now so I can be patient and wait.

Had to buy eggs as the hens aren't laying much these days 😐

At Winco I picked up all of the items on my list that were not on sale at the other stores.  I passed on green onions because they were high there and I knew I could get a better price elsewhere, which I did.

I really love their mushrooms, produce and dairy items.
Their ground turkey is really good too and they have the best price on
bananas and avocados, handsdown!

At Trader Joes I picked up my favorite items from there and then moved on.

Cash & Carry had their lean ground beef and Monterey Jack cheese on their Hot Sheet Special.  I'd been waiting for the deal on ground beef and picked up 20# at $19.98 each.  Good price!

A year's supply of peanut butter, hopefully 😉

Next was Albertson's (since Dollar Tree wasn't open yet) to pick up a case of peanut butter on their case goods sale, two cans of their fire roasted salsa tomatoes (we love this stuff and it is much less expensive than buying regular salsa) and a bag of clementines on sale.

The tealights were my treat for being such a good shopper! 😏

At Dollar Tree I picked up minced garlic, potato gnocchi, liquid fabric softener, two packages of shower hats (I use them as bowl and plate covers) and a box of snack size ziploc bags.

I also picked up this feta cheese.  We really like it on salads and it is much less expensive at Dollar Tree than at the grocery store for the same thing.

Last stop was Fred Meyer where I had the most downloaded digital coupons to use.  I picked up toilet paper for $1.99 ($2.99 less $1 OFF coupon), tissues for $2.99 ($3.99 less $1 OFF coupon), almond milk for $1.99 ($2.99 less $1 OFF coupon), salsa verde (55¢ OFF coupon) and skinless boneless chicken breast and Italian sausage for $10.01 (less $2 OFF coupon on $10 meat purchase) for $8.01.  

Five packages of cheese for 99¢ each (digital special buy), and four bags of veggies, 2 stir fry ($1.49 each) and 2 chopped salad (99¢ each), on markdown.

When we got home I cleaned out the crisper drawer and organized it by freshest on the bottom to least freshest on top so things get used up appropriately.  I do tend to overbuy produce quite a bit, but I don't ever worry about using things up because I know the chickens will happily help us out with the extra.

I filled up my largest mixing bowl with fruit.  The pantry items were put away and everything else went into the refrigerator.

The youngest and I repackaged the cheese, ground beef and chicken for the freezer.  The packages of ground beef actually ended up at 11 pounds instead of 10 so with the extra two pounds of ground beef we were able to put up 22 packages ($1.81/lb) in our chest freezer.  That should pretty much last us most of the year.

This cheese will last us several months

My hope is to make all of this last until the end of the month, especially as I used up our entire budget.  My youngest is confident we can do it, so with that how can we not?  I expect the last week will be slim pickings with the produce, but we shall see.  We have plenty of canned and frozen fruits and veggies on hand too.  I'll let you know how we do.

Some of the produce overflowed into the bread bin

As for the time we invested, I spent a good solid hour preparing for this shopping trip.  We started shopping at 7:45 a.m. and pulled back into our driveway at 10:30.  By the time we unloaded the car, brought everything inside, staged and photographed it for the blog, put it all away, packaged up the meats and cheese and put it in the refrigerator and cleaned up the kitchen it was exactly noon.  

Bags hanging on the front door ready to go back out to the car

While it is definitely an investment of time as well as money I feel it is definitely well worth it.  I'd much prefer to exert a little more effort in order to spend a lot less money.  The less you spend, the more you can save. 😁


  1. You can do it! I am always amazed at how we manage to make it when I can't/won't shop. It always works out and we use up things that need to be used.

  2. You did very well, indeed. While I do not buy Feta, I wonder how expensive per lb it is at other shops. You paid what equates $5.28/lb for the 3 oz packets @ $1 divided by 3 oz x 16 oz to equal a lb. I aim never to pay more than $4/lb for cheese, that is just my price point. Curious is all.

    1. I really like feta and it is expensive, no doubt. 6 oz at Trader Joes is $2.99 so I saved a $1. Also a little goes a long way so since these are two individual packages it lasts me a little longer with less chance of spoiling.

  3. That's a lot of shopping! You did great with prices, and are clearly more patient than me. I typically do shop at Costco (which is an entire adventure, unless we can go mid-week) & then add in a stop at the produce stand for other stuff. I usually hit the grocery store a couple of times a month for things that don't make sense to buy at either of the other two stops.

    Looking forward to hear how you do with the rest of the month!

  4. Your planning and organizational skills are admirable!

    I cancelled our Costco membership a long time ago for so many reasons. I basically just shop at Trader Joe's and Asian markets (Asian markets for great prices and also because I'm part Asian and sometimes crave specific ethnic foods!) and then Target for everything else :)


    1. I love Trader Joes. My favorite Asian market closed up shop a few years ago, that was a big bummer!

  5. You did a great job, and I agree with daughter..YOU CAN DO
    I agree, a little time spent ahead of time preparing, saves lots of money.. Well worth that time to me..

    1. Thanks Judy. I agree. I'll happily spend a little time to save a lot of $$. It has been almost a week and so far so good.

  6. You did great! I love that you found so many marked down items. While the college students were gone on vacation, I was able to find a lot in the produce section at Walmart, but now that they are back, not so much. ;) I also agree with your daughter that you can do this. :)

  7. Good on all the groceries. Where do you find the electronic coupons. Have a great week.
    Patti from San Diego

    1. Hi Patti. I found the digital coupons at the store's website. Fred Meyer and Albertson's both offer them and you load them right onto your rewards card.


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