Grocery Geek: Mid-December Purchases

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The month hasn’t gotten much easier with this week. More family illness, home and garden issues, weather, and of course, yesterday’s tragedies in Connecticut. From big to small, life proves that it’s harder than we’d like it to be.

Food is a comfort, though. I’m thankful that while God obviously made it for sustenance, He also made it tasty and enjoyable. That is a good thing.

This week we enjoyed some good meals together as a family. My kids rallied to help make Tamales one night; they devoured the entire pot’s worth in about fifteen minutes. They rejoiced over Sauerkraut and Spare Ribs on another evening while Hubs and I enjoyed a dinner out together.

I also found a few good grocery deals that reminded me of the thrill of my couponing days. Food doesn’t solve our problems, but sometimes good food helps us just a wee bit.

Here’s how the week played out in the grocery aisles:


On Sunday I woke to find the coffee cupboard empty, so I ran out with bedhead to make sure we had some joe. (Turns out my sweet hubby had already bought some with his blow money.)

While there, I bought fixings for a big breakfast. My kids love that, but to eat out costs us a minimum of $45 for breakfast (if we choose wisely); buying the ingredients cost $15. There’s a lesson here.

I also picked up meat to make tamale filling and the (expensive) ingredients for Cherries Jubilee while I was at the store.

Total spent $66

Trader Joe’s

That night I swung by Trader Joe’s and stocked us up on breakfast and lunch stuff. It made the week much easier at those meals.

Total spent $100

Abundant Harvest Organics

The produce box was abundant. More squash! I have a large collection of squash building in the pantry. I wonder if those would work as Christmas presents for the neighbors?

We also got apples, pears, Korean daikon, persimmons, carrots, lettuce, onion, rosemary, spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.

We are set! There’s one more delivery for the month and then we’ll have two weeks off to use it all up.

Total spent $36.


My kids have been really sick this week with all kinds of hacking and sneezing. By Wednesday, everyone was ready for comfort food. I ran into Ralphs for tomatoes and some good cheeses, and lo and behold, found these incredible deals:

  • butter – $2.29/pound (dated January)
  • orange juice – $2.99/gallon (the kids consumed both gallons in 24 hours, so it didn’t matter that the sell-by date was 5 days away)
  • organic eggs – $2.49/dozen

Those great deals offset the high price of buying cheese at the grocery store instead of Costco or Trader Joe’s.

Total spent $53 at Ralphs.

Total spent this week $255

Spent Month-to-Date : $506

This is a month when I am more determined to keep my cheery disposition than to hold a tight line to the grocery budget. We’ve discussed this before; something’s gotta give. I’m thankful that this season has room for that.


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  1. All those hard winter squash make great pumpkin substitute for pies or bars. At least that’s what I would use them for 😉 my family would not eat them

    • amy Leblanc says:

      You can also peel it and microwave for 10 minutes then freeze for later dishes. I love it roasted with olive oil and herbs or you can do a sweet take on it as well. My daughter loves it that way.


  2. What do you do with your persimmons? I recently got a dozen in a produce box and I have no idea what to do with them!

  3. Oh man… wish I were available to take those persimmon off your hand.. I love them.

    You could always make pumpkin rolls with your winter squash.. no one will know they arent. 🙂
    I never made any till this past week & it was just as easy as this gals video on You Tube.. It was awesome!

  4. I’ll be grocery geeking next year. The USDA thrifty plan average for a family like mine is about $550. Hoping I can average $500/month with some help from freezer cooking. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

  5. How wonderful to find food items marked down like that. A great blessing. Our stores dont do that.

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