Total grocery expenditures this week = $139.46. Number of stores visited = 3.
On Thursday I made a quick stop at one of the local shops for .77 cans of fruit (peaches, cocktail). My primary thought here was to serve these goodies at dinner time, with my cottage cheese at lunch, or as an after-school snack. I also stocked up on cottage cheese, going for .99 a tub. Again, cottage cheese works well here as a dinner side dish - all kids like it. I froze one tub, thinking maybe to thaw it sometime for a lasagna. Packages of hot dogs were also going for .79 a package - hard to pass that up. Not that I'm a big wiener fan (well...), but with summer camping around the corner...
Then, today was our monthly trip to the Costco warehouse. It's hard to walk in there and keep the bill under fifty bucks, but I tried. I did about $85 dollars' worth of damage, and just $60 of that was food. Fruit was the major purchase here - a six-pound bag of Anjou pears for 5.99 (.99/lb). I purchased four pounds of pears on sale at Hy-Vee last week for .88 cents a pound...but they were gone within three days. I did not even get a one. I suspect, with twelve pounds of them now in my crisper, my odds increase greatly. Costco is the place where I buy the three-plus pound assortment of pretzels bags that my kids have as an after-school snack....however, at roughly $2.50 a pound, it's probably time to consider purchasing the giant bags of pretzels and bagging them in individual portions myself. My biggest zippity-doodah at Costco was a 16 oz. bottle of pure vanilla for $6.79 (.42 cents an oz)...when I checked prices later at Fareway, a 4 oz bottle ran me $7.29 ($1.82/oz)!! Highway robbery!
The last stop was at the other grocery store in town, Fareway, last night. The bill was higher than I'd anticipated, especially since I only needed a few items. Brent threw in two bottles of our favorite Moscato - but he said I could categorize it under "entertainment" instead of "food". Hahahaha. Also, I had a $4 off coupon for General Mills cereal - but again, cereal can just be so expensive, sometimes I wonder if I really am getting the great deal.
So, here's the breakdown:
1. I feel pretty good about a third of my spending this week being devoted to fruits and vegetables - I'm never usually going to regret that. If I'm lucky, the fresh fruit will last two weeks.
2. About a quarter of the spending (23%) was on items that aren't usually part of the weekly list: wine, yeast, vanilla (Wine and Baking Items).
3. True to my word, meat spending was way down. I took advantage of .99 packages of Little Sizzlers, the previously-mentioned hot dogs, and lunchmeat. I suspect this trend will continue, some major meat sale notwithstanding.
4. There's another quarter, though, that's kind of a thorn in my side - the processed food quarter (Cereal and Snacks). I paid about $28 dollars for refined and processed "grains" and air. Hmph. I suspect that is an area that will change in the weeks to come.
5. Why is string cheese so damn expensive?! Five dollars for a 24-pack? Well, I guess it does come to about .20 cents a piece...maybe that's not so bad....but string cheese is so little. Also, $5.79 of the dairy spending came from a 35-oz. container of Fage yogurt, the really thick Greek style stuff. It breaks down to .17 cents an ounce, and I simply can't find it in bigger containers anywhere.
So yeah - I waaaaay overshot my $50 this week. But still, $139 dollars on a week's worth of groceries is significantly less than what I've paid before.