Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in February

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Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in FebruaryI know that February is a “short” month. I have no idea why three days seems to make such a difference, but it does. Regardless of fewer days of eating, I probably will spend our full allotment this month in terms of grocery money.

I was looking through the figures put forth by the USDA regarding average food costs for this post. I’m going with December’s data since January’s wasn’t in yet. Predicted costs for our family could fall between $1211 (thrifty) and $2422 (liberal).

I remember one point last year, shooting for $900 a month, so I think I’m going to return to that target, especially with this cookbook to create. If we hit $1000 in a month due to recipe testing, I’m not going to feel bad.

That said, here’s how shopping has gone down this month:

Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in February


I braved Costco on Super Bowl Sunday. Oh, yes; yes, I did. I timed myself — just for kicks. I gathered all my purchases in 16 minutes. And then proceeded to wait another 16 minutes in line and in checking out.

I had my rebate check from last year, so I’m taking that $60 off the total of these groceries.

  • rbst-free milk
  • eggs
  • rbst-free butter
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • orange juice 6 for
  • bacon 4 pounds
  • sourdough bread 2 pound loaf
  • tortillas
  • chips
  • Tillamook cheese
  • blue cheese
  • nitrate-free turkey breast
  • frozen organic cherries
  • dried organic apricots
  • dried cranberries
  • organic ground beef

Total spent – $70

Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in February

Trader Joes

Date night often includes a trip to Trader Joe’s. Doesn’t everyone’s? Here’s what we got:

  • bacon
  • pepperoni
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • bars
  • cereal
  • eggs
  • more milk (not pictured)
  • rice cakes
  • beans
  • bread
  • vinegar
  • flatbreads

Total spent – $79

Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in February


I sent Hubs this list from my phone. Most of the items were for recipe testing, except the bananas and milk. We always need bananas and milk. Sorry, no picture.

Total spent – $20


More milk.

Total spent – $3

Grocery Geek: Stocking Up in February

Produce box

Wednesday morning the produce box came bright and early. We got lots of winter crops: leeks, green onions, carrots, dried mint, parsley, brussels sprouts, lemons, apple, oranges, broccoli, butternut squash, lettuce, cauliflower, and chard.

Total spent – $44

February, to Date

So far this month I’ve spent $216.

I think it will be okay, but I really need to step things up on my cookbook project, so we’ll see what next week holds. I ordered quite a few extra apples and oranges that were a good deal from Abundant Harvest Organics, so I know that will bump our bill up a bit. The kids have been asking that I make juice more often, and so there we are.

How are YOUR grocery geek adventures going?

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  1. I so wish we had a Costco close to us. Unfortunately the closest one a an hour and half away. A friend and I did a large freezer cooking day in Jan. We’re calling it a success and for the first time ever I have a meal plan for the whole month. I’m not doing too bad for the month just trying to get the few perishables that we need each week. We always seem to run out of fruit which is a good thing I think.

  2. I did fairly well this past week … $10 @ Aldis (strawberries for 99¢) then $38 @ publix for what was supposed to be $5 toilet paper 😉 … off to costco this morning and hope to post that trip.

  3. What app is that that you are using for your list?

  4. I’ve spent 1/3 of the budget already, which is not great since we are not 1/3 through the month, but at the same time they have all been considered purchases and not whimsical buys, so I’m not too concerned about it. Almost half of the purchases have been things we like that are being discontinued by the store and marked down to at least 50% off, so I bought a few to put in the freezer. (you know, that space I’ve been working so hard to open up? At least I had a place to put the new buys!) Overall, I think we are doing reasonably well.

  5. I’m glad that you increased the budget, since you’ve been debating this for some time. You have a family of growing, active children and your priority is providing for them. Please don’t be apologetic about this! 🙂

  6. Last month I was able to shave $130 off of our grocery bill and I’m hoping to do the same this month. I’m trying to be more intentional about making better use of my veggie/fruit delivery and making several meals on the weekend to eat during the week. I’ve also started making more homemade breads on the weekend and freezing them. I’m also rethinking my yard/garden and might add a pomegranate and apple tree (we have an orange and lemon), some blueberry bushes and mostly grow tomatoes and herbs in the veggie garden. Hopefully these late winter rains will help our drought situation in central CA and our crops won’t suffer too badly.

  7. I was at Costco today ( I live in riverside county, so not terribly far…) and I noticed the cans of crushed tomatoes are $2.77 EACH! Yup, the big huge cans! I thought about stocking up and making 6 months worth of your red sauce! Just thought you’d like to know!

  8. Is Costco a lot better than Sam’s? Sam’s is super close but there is a costco in the area and my neighbor takes the extra drive. What are the differences?

    • I liken it to the difference between Target and Walmart. Target playing the Costco role in this scenario. It’s a nicer shopping experience: cleaner, more organized, wider aisles, and there is just a slightly higher quality of items at Costco.

      That said, it’s been years since I lived in a town that had both and compared the two. It’s possible that SAMs has improved in ten years.

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