Grocery Geek: Building a Stockpile

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Building a frugal pantry can be as simple as buying a pantry staple on sale in large quantities. Since you know you will use it in a reasonable amount of time, it’s in your best interests to buy a lot at a low price.

This week was a week of stockpiling in some areas. Maybe it was because I was under the weather and sought comfort in a full pantry or maybe I just wanted to feel productive. Either way I made an effort to buy things that would see us into the new year.

That is to say, some of these things will last until January, others are already gone!

We are bursting at the seams with fresh produce, as you will see, so I think we’re good for the month. Here’s the grocery geek review of the week:

Trader Joe’s:

On Sunday afternoon I cruised by Trader Joe’s for our regular milk and bread and misc round-up. I could have bought most of these things at Costco, but I’m avoiding that place. Gives me hives to think about the crowds that must be there. Cereal, oats, Emergen-C, milk, bananas, clementines, butter, cheeses, eggs, pasta, a round of breads, tortillas, almonds, hot dogs, lunch meat, and pretzels as well as a few canned goods worked out to be about $107.

And yes, the cereal, milk, fruit, and tortillas are already gone.


On Wednesday, the kids and I invaded Sprouts where we scored at the bread rack, buying 6 packages of baked items for $0.99 each. Most went promptly to the freezer. Sprouts also had 25% off all bulk items. Quick work on my calculator told me it was a stock up price on oats and rice ($0.74/lb) so we bought 15 pounds.

We picked up some organic produce that wasn’t going to be in our box: bananas ($0.88/lb), romaine ($0.88/lb), avocados ($0.88/ea), grape tomatoes ($2/box), onions ($2/3lb bag) and conventional cilantro ($0.33/bunch). And unpictured are three pineapples for $0.99 each. We also got eggs ($2.50/dozen for Omega-3), sour cream ($0.99/pint) and organic whipping cream for $2.50.

The grand total at Sprouts was $45.

Abundant Harvest Organics:

Finally, we picked up our last produce box of the year. It was quite abundant with broccoli, the largest head of cauliflower I’ve ever seen, pears, oranges, lemons, mint, arugula, spinach, red leaf lettuce, kabocha squash, daikon radish, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes. I bought add-ons of oranges and mint, bringing our total to $51.

Weekly total was: $203

Monthly total to date: $570

I’ll be honest, we probably will go over the ideal $600 for the month. We will run out of milk and cheese. And I intend to scour the post-Christmas grocery sales. But, we should be fairly close. We are set on bread, grains, and vegetables. 🙂

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  1. What a great haul! I’d say you’ve done quite well for the month 🙂 All that gorgeous fresh produce is making my mouth water!

  2. I’m still trying to figure out what I use in a month…so I do shop a lot…but only buy what I absolutely need. I should start writing this stuff down…because I really like the idea of stocking up on pantry staples 😉 🙂 Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  3. I get the same Abundant Harvest Box and was curious what you will do with that Daikon?

    • @Jane, last time, I peeled and sliced it into an Asian-style salad.

      Were your oranges really dirty?

      • @Jessica,
        most of the fruit is dirty and needs a good washing…but I grew up on a farm in MN and know that it’s just part of the process. Reassures me that it’s fresh! The daikon we got is enormous…the amount of salad would have to feed an army! LOL.

        • @Jane, well, dirt doesn’t bother me, but some of it wouldn’t wash off. Hubs thought it was mildew?

          As for the daikon, I’m not sure ours is THAT big. I used it instead of water chestnut for crunch.

        • @Jane, our daikon was about 12 inches long and 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter!

          All the “dirt” has washed off ours. I’m just glad we are getting pears as well. Last year it seemed like forever all we got were oranges! I was always looking for new ways to use the oranges.

          • That is one big daikon!

            Interesting about the oranges. What’s in store for January? Now that you’ve been through this before…. what will we be inundated with next month. 😉

            Also curious. What part of MN? My dad grew up near Albert Lea in a very small farm town.

  4. I’m so jealous of pineapples for $0.99. Never ever been that cheap here in VA. I paid $2.50 for one last week (cheapest price) and it wasnt even ripe. I was so annoyed to waste it.

    • @Laura, yes, that’s the price you pay when you live in CA. The lowest is typically 88 cents. And it’s def a sale price at the health food store, not a regular price. The regular grocery stores call a “sale” 99 cents/pound.

  5. Looks really good. You are doing a great job of feeding your crew on a budget.

  6. That’s a lot of food for $200! 🙂 Good job… it’s not mom’s fault when the kids eat it all in 3 days. 😉

    And yeah, Costco was a madhouse last time I went — but that was a Sunday afternoon, which is rarely calm anyway… 🙂

    • @Tammy L, thank you for putting that in perspective for me! That is a lot of food. LOL I’m hoping I don’t have to go out again except maybe for milk and cheese.

      I used to go to Costco during the Charger’s games and it was always empty, but now that they stink, people go shopping instead of watch the game. How are the Seahawks doing? LOL

  7. Great haul! I was able to hit a huge meat sale this week at our local butcher. We love their grassfed beef and chicken and their sale was 25% and 50% off fresh cuts: here’s what I got–
    6 lbs ground beef, 2 large T-bone steaks (for Christmas), 2 lbs bone-in chicken breasts, 2 whole chickens, and 4 bratwurst for around $75 including tax (yup, our food is taxed…at 7.75%…ick). I was hoping to pick up some bacon and pork chops but those went fast!

    I wanted to ask if you plan on doing the “Eat from the Pantry” challenge in the new year? I loved it last year and would love to see it again!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

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