Sunday, May 2, 2010

Grocery Shopping: May Edition

We did our monthly grocery shopping over the past couple of days and ended up with some great bargains. We bought some processed foods, which we are very much trying to get away from. However, in the end, the budget wins out and we make compromises. I came in under budget this month, which I needed to do in order to spend more on our garden (future grocery investment!), dentists, orthodontists, and car upkeep expenses. Here's what I have to work with in May, keeping in mind a mid-month trip which will add $40 to $60 more to my total for the month.

First trip: We found a meat market in town with really low prices when you buy their bulk packages. Here's what I got and what it cost me:

  • Large loaf of bread = $1.39
  • Cheapy white hot dog buns, 16 count = $1.39
  • 18 count eggs = $1.99
  • cookie dough, shrimp, corn, bread dough, and corn = $19.99 (big bags)
  • 5 lb roasted peanuts = $3.99
  • 10 lb potatoes = $3.99
  • Veggie special (5 lb each lima beans, blackeyed peas, snap beans, cut green beans, corn on the cob, creamed corn, broccoli) = $39.99
  • Super Special (6 large T Bones, 6 large Ribeyes, 5 lb center cut pork chops, 5 lb ground beef, 5 lb hamburger patties (all beef), 4 lb curly fries (junk, I know), 5 lb rind-on bacon, 5 lb chicken breast, 5 lb chicken wings, 5 lb smoked sausage, 4 lb chicken drumsticks) = $124.99
  • 3 lb collard greens = 3.99
Total spent at the meat market = $201.71

They have more meat packages that I'm thrilled about finding. Next month I'm going to expand my purchases there. If I buy several meat oackages, I'll have a greater variety and a few months' worth of meat in one trip.

Next trip was my post's commissary. I found a lot of clearance rack bargains today. Here's what I bought:

  • butter $1.29
  • sour cream $.95
  • cheddar and mozzarella, $2.50 each
  • hot dogs (junky ones) $.89
  • baking soda $.59
  • yeast = $1.29
  • toaster pastries by Fiber One (2 boxes) $3.00
  • unflavored gelatin, 2 boxes $2.10
  • shortening = $1.84
  • frozen coconut = $.89
  • confectioner's sugar = $1.59
  • granulated sugar = $2.38
  • all-purpose flour, 10 lb = $3.98
  • frozen blueberries = $1.79
  • strawberries, 2 baskets = $4.00
  • spinach = $1.65
  • 6 lemons = $2.34
  • cucumbuer = $.39
  • gren onions = $.44
  • flour tortillas = $1.09
  • 2 gallons of 1% milk = $5.00
  • 3 lb yellow onions = $2.99
  • vegetable oil = $2.79
  • coconut oil = $5.79
  • bottled water (ick) = $3.50
from the clearance rack (damaged packaging or discontinued items):
  • Honey Bunches of Oats cereal
  • diced tomatoes
  • chicken broth
  • cookies
  • cheese puffs (organic)
  • Spaghetti-Os
  • Excedrin
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • coconut milk
Total spent = $75.72 (includes surcharge)

Total spent on groceries for the month of May = $277.43 Not bad at all! I forgot cocoa powder and bananas, so I will need to return to the store for those some time during the week. In all, I'm pleased with my spending.

On our garden, we spent about $200 total for the season. I'm confident that we'll make that back. I already have 12 cherry tomatoes on my plant (they're all green still), my strawberries are blooming, my peppers are blooming, and my potatoes are going very well. Here's a list of what we've planted this year:
  • 1 cucumber plant
  • 1 broccoli plant
  • 4 bell pepper plants
  • 8 sweet banana pepper plants
  • 5 crookneck squash plants
  • a bunch of potatoes
  • 9 sweet potato plants
  • about 30 onion plants
  • 4 watermelon plants
  • 2 strawberry plants
  • 1 husky cherry red tomato plant
  • 1 Mr. Stripey tomato plant
  • 1 Taladega tomato plant
  • dill
  • basil
  • chives
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • rosemary
  • mint
Two questions for you readers: First, how do my local grocery prices compare to yours? And second, how are your gardens going?


a soldiers wife said...

Your commissary prices seem to be better than mine. I buy our meat and veggies from a farm and our milk from a creamery so can't compare those prices but do think you have better prices all around from what I see at the local supermarkets as well.

Your garden sounds great! I'm pleased with how mine is doing so far. We've already enjoyed a few things from it. I have a tiny back yard since I live on base, so besides a raised bed, I have containers spread all over and even some onions, etc. growing in my front flower beds. I haven't gotten a single growth from my strawberries though :(

Keli said...

Your garden sounds great! I can't wait to get ours planted! We have been buying a few plants here and there but next week we're going all out at the farmer's market up the road, I can't wait!

Tara V said...

I'm sure your prices are much better than mine as the price in canada are more in dairy. For instance, a 5lb block a cheese is over $12 for me and I can go across to the US and pay $5ish. I'm impressed that you go 2x a month!
I don't have a garden...yet...
What do you use the collard greens for?

Michelle said...

hi Soldier's Wife. :) Our back yard is fairly tiny as well, but much bigger than when we were staioned at Fort Carson in Colorado. We have a patio so all my plants are potted and on the patio. This way, we don't ruin the grass and have to end up resodding it when we PCS. We're hoping to re-enlist for Germany so I look forward to buying from farms and markets and such when we get there. Here, the pickins are slim and I take what I can get. :)

Hi Keli! It's been really fun watching our veggies and fruits grow. This is my first year gardening and it's a really rewarding experience.

Hey there Tara! My mother's side of the family hails from Canada. Collard greens...we use them as a side dish here in the south. They're typically cooked with some unhealthy meat like pork fat or bacon. ;) I haven't decided how to serve them yet, as this will be my first time working with them. It won't be with pork fat, for sure.

Jenn said...

Your store has killer deals! It's rare you get prices like that out here (Arizona). Chris and I spend about $250 each month for just the two of us. I suppose if I was a bit more frugal, I could cut it down, but I doubt as far as you do!

heather said...

some of your prices are lower than my store, but some are also higher. thanks for posting this. ALthough counting today's list and last week's I got our "monthly" groceries for $170...that's not including meat. Once my freezer is empty I'll be buying in bulk from a "local" farm and that will be about $50/month if I keep planning the way I have been.

My garden so far has dirt in it...we still need more dirt b/c our soil here just STINKS!(all sand/rock) but i purchased my plants-broccoli(6), cauliflower(6), purple tomatoes(2), orange tomatoes(2), grape tomatoes(2), red pepper, orange pepper, rosemary, oregano, basil, and i have to go back for cukes and squash. i got our potatoes today to start those growing(once they start sprouting!)all that was about $40 but we will need 24 more bags of dirt, so in total we will probably spend around 70/75 for the garden. but next yr will be less b/c we won't need the dirt!

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