Grocery Geek: April End

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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. 

april end

Well, I can’t say we made it through the month with flying colors, but we made it through the month. We saved a lot of grocery money in January and February doing our pre-termite fumigation pantry challenge. We spent some of that money this month.

This Whole 30 is expensive. I can’t just eat a bowl of oatmeal and call it a meal. I’m ready for it to be done. 7 more days. Amen. Hallelujah.

Though we did go over budget for the month, we’re still on track for the year, so it works out.

Grocery Geek

Grocer Geek is my weekly report of how I shopped for groceries, what deals I found, and my running total of how we’re sticking to a budget for groceries.

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

grocerygeek-gceTo update you on my grocery geekiness:

  • I’m feeding eight people, ages 53, 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 five of our 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 and college age son often pack lunch and breakfast to work, but sometime have lunch out. My husband and I enjoy 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 past week:

ralphs april end

Ralphs 1

Over the weekend I stopped in at Ralphs for a few things:

  • tri-tip @$4.77/# trimmed
  • milk $2.39/gallon
  • potatoes $3.99/10#
  • mushrooms $2.29
  • tomatoes $0.99/#
  • ground turkey $2.77/#

Total spent $51

sprouts april end


Sprouts is where I typically load up on produce and a few random health food items.

  • strawberries $3.98/2#
  • grapes $0.88/#
  • melon $0.88/ea
  • xlarge avocados $1.50 each
  • potatoes $1.50/5#
  • mushrooms $3.49
  • red bell peppers $0.98 ea
  • white onions $0.99/#
  • black beans large can $2.99
  • La Croix $1.39 after CRV
  • frozen berries $2.50/bag

Total spent $45

[Sorry, no photo. Mama was just too tired.]

Ralphs 2

Because I didn’t want to miss out on that tri-tip sale, I went back and bought steaks for one night of my Whole30 when I just couldn’t face another chicken tender, sausage, or piece of fish. And yes, I paid $2 more for the cheese by not going to Costco, but I spent a lots less by not going to Costco. Ahem.

  • tri-tip steaks @$4.77/# trimmed
  • milk $2.39/gallon
  • broccoli $0.99/#
  • Tillamook cheddar cheese $11.19 for a large block

Total spent $31

Total spent this week: $127

Total spent in April: $1435

Here’s how that compares with the rest of our year’s grocery spending:

  • January $669
  • February $1092
  • March $1206
  • April $1435

Total YTD: $4402

This averages out to be $1100/month, so we’re doing okay after all. Whew. Now to get back track in May, maybe? Not sure how that will go down; I’ve got one more week of Whole 30, followed by the FishMama Trifecta (Mother’s Day, our anniversary, and my birthday fall within a 19-day period this year), as well as the birthday of FishBoy11. Those will all take a bite of May’s grocery budget, so we will see.

How did YOUR grocery geeking go this week?

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  1. Looks good to me. I just ran to the store for a loaf of bread and realized that this was the only time I would be able to shop during the ” save $10 off of a gas gift card if you bought $50 worth of groceries deal”….quick thinking and a whole lotta flying by the seat of my pants gotta me out of there with $59 in groceries and a gas gift card….here’s hoping that I chose wisely for next week while shopping from my head, instead of a list….

  2. Congratulations, I am amazed at how well you are doing, considering the whole 30 and the tenting! Give yourself a pat on the back.

    Well, for me it was a mixed week! I finally shopped at Sprouts, and found some good buys, but it is a bit far for weekly shopping. Also, I wasn’t happy with a couple of things and put them off until my weekly trip. My shopping trip at my usual grocery store was higher than usual. I bought some extra items because my sister will be visiting this weekend and I wanted some special treats such as produce and frozen ravioli, gnocchi and edamame. I did get two heads of cauliflower at 88 cents each, but the clementines I buy for hubby’s lunches had gone up a dollar to 6.99 for 3 pounds. Oh, well, healthy is a bargain.

  3. I’m continuing with my pantry challenge and given that there were 5 Saturdays in April, I’m happy with my monthly total of $58 and change.

    I successfully made pizza dough in my bread machine this week!

    This was one of my frugal goals for 2016, from which I made two of the goofiest looking calzones I;ve ever seen and stuffed with leftover ricotta cheese mixture from my lasagna roll-up meal.

    I also have a small ball of pizza dough leftover to make a “personal” size pizza as well! Pizza dough at Trader Joes is $1.19. Even with the cost of yeast packets, I think I’m still ahead on this one.

  4. I’m refusing to look at my April total just yet. I bought sooo much fresh produce, plus we made a bunch of breakfast sandwiches with the croissants on sale at Costco (and then the kid promptly ate most of them so I made more) and I found some corned beef on clearance, and we drank a lot more milk this month than usual, and I bought a box of 100 k-cups from Costco, a few other things we got that all added up to much more than it should have. I’m pretty sure that either I consider the PC challenge savings from Jan all used up, or we’re halfway thru May’s budget already. On the plus side, I’ve been eating a lot of fresh salads and fruits, so…

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