Friday, August 19, 2016

Grocery Shopping This Week

Wednesday is my main shopping day. My official 2016 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 4 people (2 adults, 2 teens) but I really aim to spend $50 or less.  

I had planned on going to Save A Lot today to get some eggs and see if there were any bakery clearance items but it looks unlikely that I'll go now, so let's get on with the recap.

Let's see how I did!

Budget for the week: $100
Total OOP: $54.27
Rebates expected: $0.00
Total spent after rebates: $54.27
Money left in budget: $45.73

Baking Supplies: $0.00 OOP

  • None needed

Beverages: $0.00 OOP

  • None needed

Breads/Baked Goods: $2.55 OOP
  • 2 leaves white bread (Aldi) @ $0.85 each = $1.70
  • 8 ct hamburger buns (Aldi) @ $0.85

 Cereals: $0.00 OOP
  • None needed

Dairy: $7.18 OOP
  1. I needed to replenish my emergency supply of shelf-stable milk as we had used a couple of the cartons that I had when the gallon of "on clearance" skim milk that I had defrosted went sour.  I'm happy that I found and thought of buying whole milk this time as I can transform each 1L carton into 2 liters of ~2% milk by mixing it with water.
  2. My daughter decided that she did like the Friendly Farms yogurt cups since there aren't any fruit chunks in them. I think the $0.29 per cup price is going back up at the end of the month so I'll probably stock up on a lot of yogurt next week.
  3. Still sore about CVS not accepting my $1.00 off 1 gallon of milk printable coupon because it beeped!  I ranted on the customer satisfaction survey they emailed me right after my visit as well as emailed Corporate Customer Service. I'm sure I'll get either no answer or a "tough luck, that's our new policy" reply so I've pretty much decided that once I've used up my CVS gift card (which will be a while since I just started a new $100 gift card!), I'll stop shopping there and just shop at Aldi.  I "vote" with my dollars.
  • 4 1-L cartons shelf stable whole milk (Dollar Tree) @ $1.00 each = $4.00
  • 1 gallon whole milk (CVS) @ $2.79 but FREE with CVS gift card earned via American Express Rewards and got $0.25 back from Ibotta so MONEYMAKER
  • 6 cups yogurt (Aldi) @ $0.29 each = $1.74
  • 1 package American cheese slices (Aldi) @ $1.69

Dry/Pantry/Freezer Goods: $3.99 OOP 
  1. The copycat recipe that I found for the Panera Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad calls for using Splenda in the dressing, but I found this at Aldi, which incidentally I can use in my coffee instead of the little packets that I've been buying at $1.99 for 40 packets, so I'm pretty happy. I have yet to actually make the salad, though!
  • (1) 9.7 oz stevia (Aldi) @ $3.99
Produce/Juice: $22.16

  1. Vegetables continue to be pricey at Aldi, IMO. It's the summer. Shouldn't summer squash, cukes, etc be very cheap?! So I barely bought any.  
  2. I wanted to try to make Ina Garten's Rosemary White Bean soup so I bought another can of cannellini (because I know me, I'm going to want to take a shortcut and used canned beans) and then I was also inspired to buy more dry white beans. Note: the Great Northern Beans are only $1.00 for a 16oz bag at Dollar Tree right now, but I had already bought them at SAL.
  3. The onions weren't on sale but I didn't have any and with Greg not being here, I can cook with onions as much as I want! Only... I have barely cooked so far since we've been eating leftovers!
  4. The strawberries and blueberries have gone up a lot in price so it might be time for me to go back to Target and use Driscoll's coupons again?  The strawberries looked like they were sold for $1.29 at Aldi but they rang up for $2.29. Thankfully I caught it before I left so I marched back into the store, took a picture of their sign, and got my $1 back. Honestly, I think they should have their double warranty on mistakes like that too!

  • 1 small jar diced pimentos (Save A Lot) @ $1.19
  • 1 lb dry navy beans (Save A Lot) @ $0.99
  • 1 lb dry Great Northern beans (Save A Lot) @ $1.19
  • 2.46 lbs bananas (Aldi), on sale @ $0.29/lb = $0.71
  • 3 Romaine hearts (Aldi), @ $1.99
  • 1 sleeve celery (Aldi) @ $1.39
  • 2 mangoes (Aldi) @ $0.49 each = $0.98 and got $0.25 back from Checkout 51 so $0.73
  • 3 lbs red delicious apples (Aldi) @ $3.99
  • 2 lbs red grapes (Aldi), on sale @ $0.89/lb = $1.78
  • 1 lb broccoli crowns (Aldi) @ $1.49
  • 1 pint blueberries (Aldi) @ $2.29
  • 1 cucumber (Aldi) @ $0.59
  • 3 lbs yellow onions (Aldi) @ $1.89
  • 1 lb strawberries (Aldi) @ $2.29 but $1.29 since they didn't take down the old signage
  • 1 can cannellini beans (Aldi) @ $0.65

Proteins: $10.82 OOP
  1. I had chicken breasts in the freezer but $0.99/lb was a great deal, especially since the bones were included and I can make chicken stock or soup base with them. So I bought just 1 package and cooked it right away in my new-to-me electric roaster.
  2. I will use the bones along with the whole chicken to attempt to make some "Better Than Bouillon" soup base CONCENTRATE. It's not stock, it's a very concentrated paste that results from cooking everything for many hours, apparently. I thought I'd use my crockpot this weekend to attempt it despite the lack of clear instructions.  If it doesn't work, I'll go get Better Than Bouillon at Walmart with my Swagbucks gift card because we're addicted to it. It's so much better than regular stock and takes no room in my freezer and only a little bit of room in my fridge. But it's pricey.
  • 3.49 lbs bone-in chicken breasts (Save A Lot), on sale @ $0.99/lb = $3.46
  • 4.60 lbs whole chicken (Aldi) @ $0.95/lb = $4.37
  • 1 lb Black Forest turkey (Aldi) @ $2.99

Snacks: $7.57 OOP
  1. Another thing we're addicted to: clearance bakery items from Save A Lot!  My son loves them, I'm loving getting them so I don't have to bake (no work, no oven heating up my house, no washing lots of baking dishes!) and I've been pretty good at not scarfing them down.
  2. I didn't need to buy Swiss Rolls since we already had a full box in the pantry. My son packs them for lunch, sometimes. Oh well. 
  3. I like slipping those little 4-cracker packs of PB crackers in my purse or my string bag "just in case". It came in handy again yesterday as my daughter and I were stuck in a traffic jam for an hour and she was starving because she hadn't eaten breakfast.
  • 2 Mississippi Mud cakes (Save A Lot), on 50% clearance @ $2.25 each = $4.50
  • 2 packages peanut butter crackers (Aldi) @ $0.89 each = $1.78
  • 1 box Swiss rolls (Aldi) @ $1.29
  • 2 large chocolate chip cookies (RaceTrac), FREE with survey reward codes.

Did you get any great deals at the grocery store this week?  Please link up or share your finds in the comments :)


  1. I haven't been to the grocery store this week, so I consider it a great savings week. We are simply using up what we have here, which means the meals have not been exactly great, but they are ok and it's cheap.

    1. Not shopping is the ultimate frugality! Well done!

    2. Totally agree!! More creativity to use what is left in the house saves lots of money! Save lots of money and more time because you don't have to stop at the store. Sadly, we frequently don't have enough energy to make it to the store but after being in the store so much recently, we have too much food so the family is going to be hating life when this stock up runs low :) Hoping not to go much more this month so I guess we will see!!

  2. I love saving the bones and making homemade stock with the ends of the onions, carrots and celery!! I throw in a few bay leaves and thyme and it cooks for at least 3 hours on the stove and it is wonderful. I use it to make everything. We have a freezer full with all the chickens that I got over the winter. My husband says that we got the freezer to put other things in too so I need to stop making stock...luckily, it came to summer and I can't heat up the house that long :) Good luck with yours!! I strain mine into a container and refrigerate and strain again the next morning. It is usually pretty much like jello by the end of the process but not when it is hot so I can never tell if it is going to do it or not. I can't wait to hear how it does in the crock pot. Although I hate cleaning that as much as the broth pot so I guess we will see if I try that next time :)

    1. I can't wait to see if I can make the soup base concentrate as well. I'm kind of worried that I'll waste the chicken, but any liquid remaining can be used as "stock" so it'll be an interesting experiment.

  3. I saw some shelf-stable milk at the dollar store, yesterday and thought about buying one to try, but didn't! Once opened, do you have to keep it in the fridge?

    1. Yes, once it's open then you need to refrigerate it. It might also be a good idea to leave the carton in the fridge for a while before you open it if you're used to drinking cold milk, otherwise the room temperature milk might turn you off. If you turn the cap (like to see if it has been opened before), you might actually tear off the membrane that seals it, so don't turn the cap until you're ready to consume the milk! Greg made that mistake the other day and we had just opened another one so I was mad at him, lol.

    2. Thanks, Nathalie. I was thinking of getting some for my earthquake supplies stock, but we might not have electricity after a major earthquake (I don't have a generator).

    3. You should be able to find the small individual bricks of Hershey's (they sell plain milk too in that brand) or Horizon milk at your regular grocery store, if that's what you want it for. Not as cheap, but good for emergency supplies for a single person or a child. They usually sell them in packs of 3 (Hershey's) or 6 (Horizon).

  4. I love that broth you get from chicken bones. I often use it to make a really flavorful gravy or chicken noodle soup.

    No great deals for me...I just shop the usual sales at the stores. I think my biggest thrill this week was to find Bailey's Espresso cream on sale at the liquor store next to my gym. Heh.

    1. Look at you, making your own chicken noodle soup! I haven't made that yet and I really should because my dinner last night was one of those cans of Campbell's Healthy Request in the chicken noodle soup flavor (the kind where you add a can of water to the concentrate) and it was just gross.

      A sale on an item that you would usually buy at the regular price is awesome! Should I start saving Bailey's coupons for you? I can if you want. I have several inserts I could go through to see if there are any.

  5. Stevia for $3.99 What a great deal! I actually prefer Stevia over many other sweeteners. I hope your experiment works for making "Better than Boullion", but if it doesn't, how could you have failed? You will still have a very flavourful chicken stock. The crock pot does such a great job making any kind of stock, it is the only way I go now.

    1. I just started my experiment an hour ago and I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I'm planning on leaving the crockpot on overnight, hopefully I'll get good results beyond very overcooked chicken meat!


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