I promised I’d share all my grocery purchases with you in February, so here goes! Now you can see everything I buy that fills up my great big grocery budget. Don’t forget who I’m feeding though. We sure do love us a lot of good food.
The month started off with a big (expensive) bang because I had appointments in Lincoln on Feb. 1. So I hit my favorite city stores and stocked up since I don’t go there very often.
I went to Aldi and Fresh Thyme Market, both of which are such fun places to shop! (My hometown only has one kind-of-pricey-in-my-opinion local store and a Super Walmart.)
Two things about my Aldi trip this time around:
- There are four items I love buying there, so I always get at least an entire case of each every time I’m there since I don’t get to go to Aldi very often. You’ll see in the pic below that I bought a case of organic salsa, a case of organic black beans, a case of organic spaghetti sauce…and you can’t see it but I also bought a case of cream cheese.
- Our church was hosting a big youth rally that weekend, and we had signed up to house 13 teenage boys Friday and Saturday nights. I know from experience to have a LOT of food on hand for snacks (even though they eat their main meals at the church building on Saturday). I bought six take-and-bake pizzas for the weekend (for only $5 each!), a case of juice (a fun splurge), a few boxes of granola bars, plus some tortillas and shredded cheese so I could make a big breakfast burrito bar for all the teens Sunday morning before church. Sooooo, if you see items in the picture that shock you (junkie pizzas and store-bought white tortillas?? what??) that’s why. :)
As you can see from the pictures, I combined my Aldi purchases with my Fresh Thyme Market purchases. I bought a lot of produce at Fresh Thyme Market, and their coffee was on sale, so I stocked up. (Jamaican Blue Mountain – my favorite from FTM).)
Here’s the itemized breakdown of my shopping trip:
Aldi, Feb. 1
12 cans organic black beans $9.48
24 packages cream cheese $30.96
12 jars organic pasta sauce $23.88
Snacks for youth rally (granola bars/crackers) $5.36
Juice bottles for youth rally $9.99
2 packages tortillas for youth rally $3.38
6 pizzas for youth rally $30.94
16 jars organic salsa $30.24
2 jars banana peppers $2.98
3 boxes applesauce pouches (for Asa to keep in the dorm for a quick snack) $5.67
Fresh Thyme Market, Feb. 1
6 packages coffee $29.94
1 package pepper jack cheese (to surprise Justus) $3.33
6 packages shredded cheese for youth rally breakfast burritos (BOGO deal) $8.97
8 pounds butter $20.00
Case of sparkling water (my fizzy treat!) $3.99
2 pounds strawberries $5.00
5 pounds carrots $2.99
1 pound baby carrots for youth rally $1.50
1.64 pounds Broccoli $1.62
5 pounds Gala Apples for our family and for the youth rally $5.26
4 avocados $2.00
2 pints organic grape tomatoes $3.00
2 red peppers $1.98
2.49 pound red grapes for our family and for the youth rally $2.47
5.82 pounds bananas for our family and for the youth rally $3.43
A note on why I spend extra and compromise on nutrition by buying processed food when we host a houseful of teenage boys during the youth rally:
- Last year during youth rally weekend, I got eight hours of sleep – total – during the entire weekend. I know I have to be very careful about what I take on so I don’t overdo and wear myself out.
- We go through a high volume of food, and I don’t have time/energy to make everything homemade. (Roll out and cook enough tortillas to feed 13 teenage boys breakfast burritos on a Sunday morning? I don’t think so.)
- They don’t care if it’s homemade. They eat it as fast as we can crank it out.
- We have relationships with most of these boys because of our time spent with them at church camp each summer. If I’m distracted with intense cooking, I miss out on more important relationship-building time with them.
Moving on beyond the weekend (in which I got a total of 12 hours of sleep – a big improvement over last year!)…
A few days later, Matt had to run to Wal-Mart so while he was there he picked up containers of organic spinach and organic mixed greens. We try to keep these on hand at all times so we can eat salads every day.
Walmart, Feb. 6
16-ounces Organic mixed greens $5.98
5-ounces Organic baby spinach $3.46
Once each month, we order from Azure Standard, a great food co-op based out of Oregon. Pick-up day was Tuesday, and here’s what we got:
Azure, Feb. 7
5 pounds organic carrots $4.00
3 pounds organic onions $3.25
10 pounds organic frozen green beans $21.90
10 pounds organic frozen peas $22.25
50 pounds organic golden potatoes $45.00
5 pounds dry roasted peanuts $13.15
$109.55 + $9.31 shipping -$25 credit
Wednesday we were almost out of fresh fruit, so I made a list of items I could price-match, and headed to Walmart.
Note: I also needed a few ingredients to complete meals I was making to take to a family who just had a new baby and to take to our local rescue mission.
Walmart, Feb 8
3 jars pizza sauce (for the mission meal) $3.42
1/2 gallon half-n-half $3.98
1.91 pounds bananas $1.05
1.65 pounds broccoli (for the mission meal) $2.87
14 ounces Hormel Naturals smoked turkey (to pack sandwiches for our basketball games over the weekend) $5.76
2 cans natural olives $4.52
Sour cream $3.94
2 pounds hamburger meat (to make burritos for the new parents) $4.16
16 pack tortillas (to make burritos for the new parents) $4.58
7.65 pounds of red grapes (pricematched at $0.97/pound – some for the mission, some for our family) $7.43
3 pounds strawberries (pricematched at $1.79 each) $5.37
2 pints blueberries (pricematched at $2.00 each) $4.00
6 ounces raspberries (pricematched) $2.00
Grape tomatoes (pricematched) $0.97
6 pounds clementines (pricematched at $2.49/package) $4.98
2.97 pounds gala apples (pricematched at $0.88/pound) $2.61
3 pounds bartlett pears (pricematched at $0.97/pound) $2.91
If I’ve done my math correctly (don’t hold your breath), so far this month we’ve spent $416.21 + $108 average for our bulk meat we buy once per year = $524.21.
Price-matching saves us a great deal of money since locally my best option is to shop Walmart. (I’d heard a rumor that price-matching was going away, but a friend who works at Wal-mart told me that nope, it’s still alive and kicking!) Do you price, or do you live close to stores with good sale prices?
I have to go back to Lincoln for another appointment this week, so I’ll get to go to Fresh Thyme Market and Aldi again. It’s rare for me to make it there twice in one month!
One would think after looking at the pictures of all the food I bought during the first 8 days of the month that we’d have enough to last us a while. Yep, one would think. :)
Watch for another post later in February sharing an update of our spending. Can I stay within budget? Maybe even come under budget a little? This all remains to be seen. :)
How’s your grocery budget coming along so far this month?