Grocery Geek: February, Week One

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Want a peek into our grocery cart? Here’s how I’m grocery shopping and feeding eight people on the cheap.

sprouts february

The week has gotten away from me, but, I’ve got a grocery geek update for you! We ate well, and there’s still food left. My family has agreed to do food prep tomorrow so I can take the day off. Fingers crossed!

We still don’t have a date for the termite tent, so I’m trying to eek along with buying what will get us through the next week and trying not to go overboard, but you know me. It’s hard not to stock up on good deals or yummy things. I’m trying to resist though.

Grocery Geek

Here’s the rundown on my shopping this week. As you read, keep in mind who and how I’m shopping:

My grocery shopping profile

To update you on my grocery geekiness:

  • I’m feeding eight people, ages 52, 43, 18, 15, 13, 11, 9, and 7. Five of those people are males. They eat A LOT!
  • I’m shooting for a budget of $1200, per the USDA food cost reports the last time I added up for people of our demographics. I live in Southern California where produce is cheap, but meat and dairy are not.
  • I’m trying to feed us mostly unprocessed foods, with a few “healthier” convenience items thrown in and a junk food splurge* here and there.
  • I work at home and teach six kids, so I don’t have as much time for fiddling in the kitchen as I would like.
  • I no longer use coupons on a regular basis, though I do love the coupons that Ralphs offers.
  • I have at least ten grocery stores within 5.5 miles of my house. It is easy (for better or for worse) to stop at several stores to get the best deals.
  • We mostly eat at home. My husband often packs lunch and breakfast to work, but sometimes has lunch out. We eat out for a date once a week. FishPapa takes one child out to “dinner with dad” once a week. We eat out as a family on average once a week.

Obviously, your mileage may vary. But, I’m constantly amazed at how well we eat without spending a crazy amount of money.

Here’s how the shopping went down this week:


  • cuties $1.98/2# bag
  • cilantro $0.50
  • cole slaw mix $1.49
  • org red delicious apples $0.48/lb
  • panko bread crumbs $2.99
  • assorted deli meats and cheese
  • mushrooms $2.29
  • bananas $0.69/lb
  • broccoli crowns $0.98/lb
  • XL avocados $1.50 each
  • jalapenos $0.99/lb
  • kiwi $3.98/2#pack
  • sparkling water $1.69/bottle
  • canned tomatoes $2.79
  • tomato sauce $1.49
  • red bell peppers $0.48 each
  • cucumbers $0.68 each
  • green onions $0.50
  • pork country strips $1.99/lb
  • penne $1.19/lb
  • potatoes $4.98
  • chuck roast $3.99/lb
  • onions $1.29/lb
  • organic celery $2.29
  • frozen raspberries $2.99/bag
  • assorted deli meats $17 total
  • pork sausage $3.99/lb

Total spent: $113

trader joe's feb

Trader Joe’s

  • cereal $1.99 to $2.99
  • milk $2.99/gallon
  • string cheese $2.99
  • frozen green beans $1.99
  • chicken tenders $7.49
  • mahi mahi $8
  • eggs $2.49/dozen
  • sourdough bread $2.99
  • brie $5.19
  • hashbrowns $1.99
  • cream cheese $1.69
  • sunbutter $4.99
  • bagels $1.99 to $2.49

Total spent $66

Sprouts again

  • baby carrots $0.98 each
  • clementines $1.98/2# bag
  • kalamata olives $1.99
  • tomato sauce $2
  • milk $2.79
  • pasteurized eggs $5.49 (for mayo, mousse, etc)
  • parmesan cheese $2.80
  • pepperoni $1.44
  • ground pork $5.19
  • ground beef $8.88
  • tortillas $2.99
  • pita $4.99

Total spent: $44


I don’t recommend grocery shopping on a Friday afternoon after you’ve been to see the tax lady. You might comfort shop. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

  • hot dog buns $2.29
  • salsa $3.49
  • cheese $4.99
  • tortilla chips $0.77 to $1.77 after sales and coupons
  • club soda $0.79
  • whipping cream $4.99
  • oreos FREE after coupon
  • sugar $2.99
  • canned beans $1.69 to $1.99
  • Ritz crackers $1.77
  • marshmallows $1.49
  • spaghetti squash $4.94
  • carrots $1.19 (these were supposed to have been free after coupon)
  • broccoli $3.37
  • canned tomatoes $1.99 to $2.79
  • chicken legs $2/49/lb
  • carne asada $4.77/lb
  • hot dogs $3.24
  • diced hams $2.99
  • brats $3.99
  • sushi $8.99
  • pepperoni $5.99
  • sourdough $0.99

Total spent $102

Total spent this week: $325

It’s not a great total, considering that we’re only 1/4th of the way into the month. However, I’m not buying in bulk like I normally would, trying not to fill the pantry up before we have to evacuate. I also need to point out that $125 of this was for recipe testing, to make sure that certain recipes are just right before I share them with you. So, I get a pass, right? 😉

How was your grocery shopping this week?

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  1. Ack jealous of tj sunbutter for only 2.49, here in Milwaukee it’s 4.99, so I make my own, which is fine but sometimes it’d be nice to save time 🙂

  2. Lol! Well makes me feel better but darn, too bad it wasn’t half price for you 🙂

  3. Laurie in CA says:

    I received my organic veggies yesterday. My provider has gone up in price. I’m going to switch to a local CSA that will save me a minimum of $10 a delivery for the same amount of produce (this last delivery was $45.20 as I ordered extra broccoli but only got one stalk) and is a lot closer to my house.

    We stopped by Save Mart on our way home from our mountain drive yesterday. I usually only shop loss leaders there as they’re prices are rather high. A cart of impulse buys for Super Bowl, ugh. But I did score on 3 lbs. of 80/20 ground beef for $2.59 a lb. (it goes in the freezer as the use by date is today) and a 4.5 lb. pork butt roast on clearance. I think it cost about $4.00. Tri-tips were on sale too for 3.99 a lb. so we bought a couple of them. Anyhow, my total came to $75. Not a very frugal weekend. Today is my grandson’s 14th birthday. He and my son are coming over for the game so some of the food is for them. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it 😉

  4. My shopping for the first week of February included Aldi. I got milk for 1.99 a gallon, red and green grapes 2lbs for 1.98, lettuce 1.49 a head, broccoli .99 a lb and cauliflower .99 each. I bought 5 of each. I then went to a local store for ground beef 80/20 for 1.99lb when you bought 10lbs. They also had celery for 1.49 so I bought 2. The only thing I will need this week is milk. I might go back for more broccoli and cauliflower thou.:-)!!!

  5. Stephanie M. says:

    Not shopping yet since beginning of February. Still pressing on with the challenge but I have less and less in the freezer and I’m anticipating shopping in the next few weeks but until then, only buying what I need to make meals with the meat I have in the freezer which is not very much. Pantry is getting empty too. There’s an echo in both the freezer and pantry so not much longer before I’m done.

  6. Ugh… all of these prices make me sad…. I blew my weekly budget last week spending $400. My weekly $250 (for family of 5) includes our groceries, eating out and household items. Last week we splurged eating out twice @ $129 and our household subscription items from target came in. Actual grocery spend was $120.

    So for February Im over by $150 on my budget in the first week.

  7. Life’s been crazy busy so I’ve not been participating in the Feb PC chatter, but I’m still pressing on with the concept (except for a couple of items bought for Super Bowl snacks). I’m at $25 so far for Feb. I got the chicken from Costco and while I was there picked up some avocados on sale (have frozen guacamole but not fresh ones to just eat and I wanted to try a recipe for cheese-stuffed avocado), found they had overstocked wheels of Brie so had it marked down to $2.97 to get it out of the store before the sell by date, and bought more eggs. I already had enough chips and salsa so did not need to buy any of that. I’d planned to splurge a little for game day and am pleased it remained only a little. Plus, since they were gearing up for Super Bowl, there were tons of sample snacks on the day I was there so I got an entire meal out of tasting those. Goal is $100 for the month, we’re 25% thru and at 25% of total, so pretty much on schedule.

  8. I think you did good considering you just finished a pantry challenge and have to buy everything for the week. Especially if you did some comfort shopping. Don’t be too hard on yourself during this period when you are coping with extra difficulties such as the upcoming tenting and taxes. I’m still trying to mostly use up the pantry and freezer, so spending is down, but I don’t have a specific budget amount. What I spend mostly depends on whether I am stocking up on bargains. This week it was easy to only buy milk and a few vegetables and just rely on the pantry and freezer.

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