Remember how I told you about how I grocery shop when I shared our 2011 Grocery Budget? I don’t usually buy much at grocery stores; I buy in bulk from co-ops; I purchase from local farmers. Some months I hardly buy anything, some months I buy a lot. This month, February, would be an example of me buying a LOT…and you get to witness it here today! Everything just sort of hit all at once this month, but that’s okay. There is money in our grocery budget. I just wait to spend it until I need it!
Here are a few pictures and some details about my grocery purchases this month. Some of this will last us one month. Some of this will last six months. Some of this will last for a year. Some of this will be gone before you read this post. ;)
Here is our Azure Standard food co-op order for this month:
This month’s order was a pricey one because I ordered a case of butter. See that box up there with two pounds of butter on top? There are 28 more pounds in that box. It’s a hefty investment all at once, but we go through a lot of butter and it’s nice just to have it in the freezer for when we need it. I can avoid going to the store as often this way, plus, this butter is much higher quality!
What else did I buy from Azure Standard? Well…10 pounds of oranges, three packages of frozen broccoli, 2 big bags of frozen peas, five pounds of peanuts (to make peanut butter!), a case of raw white cheddar cheese, a bottle of red wine vinegar, 10 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, 20 pounds of Fuji apples, a little bag of avocados, 25 pounds of whole corn (to grind into cornmeal), 6 half-gallon jars for milk and other food storage…and three jars of Hain Safflower Mayo. Yep, that would tell you that I haven’t attempted the Homemade Mayonnaise part of the Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Challenge yet. Hey, a girl can’t do everything at once. :)
My co-op order total (with delivery fee included) was $254.00…quite a bit more than I normally spend on an Azure Standard order. It was the butter. The cost of butter is rising I’ve noticed. My case of 30 pounds was $108. Ouch. And yet, I’m paying for high quality butter, and this will last us a while. By “a while”, I mean that I really have no idea how long it will last us. Three months maybe? Maybe not that long. Depends on how much baking I’ll need to do.
Beyond our large Azure Standard order, we also got our year’s supply of wheat last week. Remember how last year I ordered 500 pounds of wheat? It has lasted 12 months and I still have some left over, so this time I held back and only ordered 300 pounds. :) Total cost for my year’s supply of wheat which will make all of our bread, tortillas, muffins, quick breads, cookies, brownies, cakes, pie crusts, pancakes, waffles, and everything else that needs flour: $144.00. That’s only $12/month for ALL of our high quality, organic, whole grain flour!! Have I proven to you yet that investing in a grain mill WILL save you money? :)
In addition to all of this, I was almost out of chickens and hamburger meat, so I ordered 60 pounds of ground beef and 6 whole chickens from the local farmers we love and trust. That was a hefty (yet reasonable) price tag too: $362.00. This meat will last us for a few months, depending on the amount of company we feed and how many times I’m in the mood for sloppy joes. :)
If you did the math on that, you would have found that I have spent $760 on bulk groceries (so far) this month. This isn’t including what we’ve spent on milk and eggs, or what we will spend on bananas and a few other little things that we do get at the grocery store.
Sound like a lot?! :) Maybe. But this is how grocery shopping and spending works for us. We buy food when we need it, we don’t buy food when we don’t. We are blessed to have three freezers and plenty of pantry storage for bulk purchases. I am amazed at how much money we save by buying our food this way.
And can I tell you my little secret? I love having a wide variety of all of our staples on hand at all times. Rarely am I out of any basic ingredient, which means that at just about any time, I can cook up any recipe I have a hankering to cook up. This makes meal planning so much easier for me and helps me run my kitchen so much more efficiently.
So, how do YOU buy groceries? Share what works well for you!