Grocery Geek: Survival Week

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April was a great month for me personally. Life seemed to have a good rhythm and our days went smoothly. May is just a blur. And so, here we are with June, and I feel like we’ve had a weird start (grocery-wise) to the month.

This past week was a bridge week between the months. I was ready to say goodbye to May and all its chaos, so I just turned the page on May’s grocery budget.

I’m not sure why, but there it is. This bridge week was kind of “survival week.” Hubby and I were out of town last weekend; there were illnesses in the family; we had birthdays; blah, blah, blah. I was exhausted and overwhelmed all week long.

There’s my disclosure for the following splurges and diversions from healthy diets that you’re about to witness.

Quick Trip to Trader Joe’s

Much of this was for a birthday dinner as well as some basics to get us into the week. I went in a hurry without a list. Lesson (almost) learned.

Total spent = $69

Quick Trip to Ralphs

I had planned to go to Costco on this particular day, but Costco was closed. So was the bakery. So, this was Plan C – a quick stop at Ralphs for some coffee and a quick lunch. Yes, I know the Chili Dogs for lunch was a total regression into old eating habits, but honestly? The alternative was going to be a Costco pizza. So, surely these weren’t much worse than Plan A.

I went in a hurry without a list. Lesson learned.

Total spent = $26

Costco Finally

Hubby went to Costco the next day on my behalf. We stocked up some of our basics. He had a list! And the only “extra” he came home with was the vinegar which we use for general cleaning. Yes, my husband is golden.

Total spent = $118.

The produce box

It was a beautiful delivery that arrived from Abundant Harvest Organics this week. I bought an extra flat of “cosmetically challenged” stone fruit. They were actually beautiful nectarines. 15 pounds for 10 bucks. So, you can guess what we’ve been snacking on.

Also in the box: mint, summer squash, strawberries, rainbow chard, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, plums, beets, green beans, potatoes, and nectarines.

Total spent $52 (includes delivery).

And Walmart, too?!

If you read my freezer cooking update on Life as MOM, you’ll know that my power cooking session was interrupted by a sugar shortage. So I ended the week with a stop at Walmart for sugar, oil, and flour.

Total spent: $24

So, there you have it, my very scattered grocery geekiness for the week. I spent more than my share for the first “week” of our month. It does seem weird for June 2nd to be reporting 1/3 of my budget spent. Clearly June has adopted this survival week, perhaps against its will. There are now five weeks in June. Go figure.

In the coming weeks I anticipate buying a lot of extras in the produce box for plum jam, cherry pies, and pickles. So, I just might go over budget. Not going to stress it. It’s all really good food, much of it organic, most of it “real.” You have to have marshmallows for summertime. Have to.

Total June to date: $289

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  1. Meh, you shouldn’t have to be perfect and a chili dog or some other processed food every once in a while is, in my opinion, totally okay. My kids were actually tickled because the Food Lion was closing out the Strawberry Milkshake poptarts. I picked em up. They may not be overwhelmingly great in terms of healthiness but the kids love to eat them as snacks and a goody every once in a while is not gonna kill them. As long as they realize that its a “treat” and not nearly as nutritional as the box claims it is all good.

  2. Jeanine says:

    Thank you for your honesty and “realness”. (is that a word?) it really helps me not to beat myself up too badly when I am a bit over the grocery budget myself.

  3. Well, does it help to know that I spent more than an entire months food budget on having a party Memorial weekend? That was kind of painful, but we’ve done it for the last 8 years or so & I hate to think of life without it. Perhaps, next time, not quite as big is my dream, but it seems to continue to get larger every year.

    Good news for me is that my CSA boxes are starting up this coming Tuesday and spending should come to a serious slow down since I payed for it last winter at last years rate, which has gone up this year.

    For me, May was wild & I spent more $$ than I wanted to everywhere, so I’ve battened down the $$ hatches and hopefully it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out.

  4. I love both of your blogs because you are so real!! I love that I can read your blog and get encouragement and not guilt that not all my meals are whole foods and sometimes we go over budget. I am a homeschooling Mom of 7, with my oldest being 13, and WOW can these kiddos eat!!! Cooking and budgetting are in a constant state of flux as they always seem to be asking “What else can I eat?” It is constant learning on trying to feed them whole foods and stay within our income – your blog is such a help in that endeavor, Thank you!! Oh, we are reading aloud “On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness”, great book!

  5. Harriet says:

    Last weekend with all the sales, we stocked up on grilling meats and supplies. This weekend eggs are only $0.88 so we now have plenty of those as well.
    Our produce box comes every Saturday. It is $15 and so far has been just the right amount each week for our family of 5.
    We seem to eat a good bit less in the summer because of the hot weather and all the baseball games. Salads, fruit and sandwiches are what we eat the most of so our grocery bill stays pretty low this time of year.

  6. Is that usually the biggest bag you buy of flour?? I have been debating getting it at costco because of the cost savings but feel it would go bad without proper storage. Do you just put some out on your counter and leave the rest in the bag?? This size you picture looks like a great compromise for us.

    • Jessica says:

      @Stacy, this is a 10-pound bag. (I think.) I have bought 50 pound bags before through Azure Standard. My Costco sells only bleached flour, otherwise, I would buy it from them. This Montana wheat is unbleached and unbromated, so I figure it’s the next best thing to organic. It’s also cheaper than what I was buying through Azure Standard. I store the big, big bag in plastic bins with lids in the pantry and then have a smaller canister in the cupboard for everyday baking.

  7. I am surprised Costco costs so much, makes me glad we stuck with our bj’s membership instead. @ Stacy we normally buy our flour, sugar, corn meal and other staples in large bags at bj’s I keep some in the kitchen, wrap the rest in plastic and put it in our extra freezer, then you don’t have to worry about it going bad/ bugs ect.

    • Jessica says:

      @Rebecca, that’s not the price of the membership. That figure is what we bought this week, which was mostly organic and/or hormone free items. Those particular items are the cheapest at Costco than anywhere else. (There’s no BJs on the west coast, so I wouldn’t know how they compare.)

      • @Jessica, I was just surprised the produce cost that much at Costco we thought about the membership our self’s but I didn’t like the fact I couldn’t check it out first and I can always do BJ’s free for three months. If I go to a normal store I’ll spend two to three times what I do their for a lot less.

        • Jessica says:

          @Rebecca, do you mean in my pictures? ‘Cause that produce isn’t from Costco, but from our produce box. The picture above was Costco.

          Or am I totally confused?

  8. no excuses necessary – sometimes life just gets crazy – sorry you got thwarted on your first costco run! ugh!

    For Rebecca I will say that I have both BJs and Costco currently and in truth I think the Costco has much better stuff – won’t be renewing BJs again – but they WILL let you come in and check it out I think – at least here. Not sure they’ll let you SHOP – don’t recall.

    • Cheri A says:

      @cherie, I used to have a membership at Sam’s, which is pretty close to BJ’s, I think. I totally agree with you. I think Costco has a much better quality of foods. And I love how much organics they have for the price.

  9. Cheri A says:


    Thanks for the tip on the wheat flour you buy. I am going to break down and go to Walmart to see if I can get that flour to try. I also love how “real” this blog is. Thanks for all that you share with us. 🙂

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