What I spent on groceries in June (A Grocery Geek report)

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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.

Whew! June has already flown the coop. I’m not sure how that happened, but it did. In a flash! We celebrated two birthdays as well as Father’s Day and a little parent getaway in June, but it didn’t do too much damage to our grocery budget which is actually pretty exciting.

We’ve really come to rely on my doing a fair amount of baking, especially sourdough boules for sandwiches, but now that my supply of primo flour has come to an end, I’m not really sure what July will look like. Lucky for me, there was a huge pile of clearance breads at Ralph’s on the very last day of the month and I still had grocery money to spend. Boom. Stocked the freezer in case I can’t find any good prices on flour.

July’s too hot for baking, anyway, right? Well, here’s hoping.

And here’s….

The Grocery Geek report

For those of you new here, Grocery Geek is my regular 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

To update you on my grocery geekiness:Grocery Geek: What We Spent in March | Good Cheap Eats

  • I’m feeding eight people, ages 55, 46, 21, 17, 16, 14, 11, and 9. Five of those people are males. They eat A LOT!
  • I’m shooting for a budget of $1100 this year, trying to beat what the feds think it will cost. Per the USDA food cost reports it should cost our family $1336.20 to eat all meals at home under the “thrifty plan” for people of our demographics.
  • We 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.
  • BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME FOR EXTRAVAGANCE, please read this post.

What we spent on groceries in June:

Ralphs

  • mozzarella cheese$3.29
  • cream cheese $0.99
  • blueberries $2.99
  • mushrooms $1.89
  • donuts $4.74 – for donut day!

Total spent $16

Costco

  • Pirate’s Bootie $3.89
  • cheddar/jack shredded cheese $11.99
  • greek yogurt $5.69
  • salt $2.79
  • organic maple syrup $1169
  • cooking spray $4.99
  • dill pickles $6.89
  • sourdough bread $3.69
  • olives $9.99
  • milk $4.29
  • garlic $8.99
  • Tillamook cheddar $8.99
  • raspberries $4.99
  • bagels $4.99
  • organic spring mix $3.79
  • tortilla $3.69
  • hummus singles $6.49
  • turkey breast $15.36
  • shredded mozzarella $11.79
  • heavy cream $9.59
  • spaghetti $9.99
  • butter $11.79
  • organic pasta $8.79

Total spent $188

Walmart

  • flour $3.48/5# bag

Total spent $7

ALDI

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast $1.89/lb
  • shredded frozen potatoes $1.69
  • 10# russet potatoes $2.55
  • hershey’s 6-pack $2.99
  • organic sandwich bread $2.99
  • ciabatta rolls $2.89
  • goat cheese $1.99
  • green tea $0.99
  • fruit strips $4.99
  • feta crumbles $2.19
  • eggs $0.94/dozen

Total $70

Ralphs

  • frozen veg $1.00
  • buttermilk $2.99
  • pasta shells and macaroni $1.49
  • extract $2.99
  • blueberries $2.99
  • baby spinach $4.99
  • cherry tomatoes $3.99
  • bananas $0.59/lb
  • baby carrots $1.99
  • tri-tip $3.99/lb

Total spent $46

Costco

  • butter $11.79
  • tuna $12.99

Total spent $25

Sprouts

  • strawberries $0.98
  • zucchini $1.49/lb
  • jumbo avocados $1.50
  • organic broccoli $1.99
  • organic apples 3# bag $2.98
  • red bell peppers $0.48 each
  • red onion $0.99/lb
  • roma tomatoes $0.99/lb
  • cherries $2.88/lb
  • french bread $1.50

Total spent $33

Walmart

  • tortillas $1.78 to $3.26
  • bread $3.98

Total spent $12

Ralphs

  • club soda$0.79 to $1.50
  • ginger root $2.99/lb
  • lime juice $4.99

Total spent $8

Costco

  • oranges $11.49
  • spring mix $3.79
  • asiago cheese $8.89
  • cucumbers $3.49
  • blue cheese $6.79
  • pesto $7.89
  • crumbled feta $4.19
  • sliced almonds $7.89
  • bars $10.99
  • tri-tip $5.99/lb (birthday)
  • bread $5.79
  • turkey breast $12.73

Total spent $119

Sprouts

  • mushrooms $3.49
  • zucchini $1.49/lb
  • 3# bag onions $1.99
  • grape tomatoes $1.50
  • green onions $0.50
  • grapes $0.77/lb
  • lemons $0.50
  • limes $0.50
  • bell peppers $0.50
  • mangos $0.50
  • red onions $0.99/lb
  • couscous $2.50
  • tea $2.99
  • garbanzo beans $0.99
  • spices $3.99
  • grass fed beef $3.99/lb
  • lamb chops $2.99/lb
  • baguette $3.49

Total spent $72

Sprouts

  • yogurt $2.49

Total spent $5

Ralphs

  • vinegar $2.69
  • pineapple chunks $1.29
  • sugar $2.69
  • hominy $0.99
  • 2# rotelle $2.09
  • chip multi-bags $4.49
  • Nando’s peri-peri sauce $4.99
  • sparkling water $2.42/8-pack
  • green onions $0.99
  • cilantro $0.69
  • 2# strawberries $1.97
  • romaine $1.29
  • bell peppers $1.25
  • larabars $3.99/5-pack
  • cherry juice $3.60
  • chicken breast $0.77/lb
  • bacon $2.99
  • breakfast sausage $1.49

Total spent $106

Ralphs

  • sugar snap peas $4.99
  • carrots $1.59
  • bananas $0.69/lb
  • mango $0.99
  • raspberries $2.50
  • blueberries $2.49

Total spent $14

Ralphs

  • salsa$2.50
  • milk $2.49
  • dry black beans $1.29
  • tortilla chips $0.99
  • buns $1.25
  • tortillas $2.50
  • corn tortillas $1.79
  • juice $2.00
  • watermelon $0.99 each
  • ham $5.99

total spent $32

Sprouts

  • strawberries $0.98
  • 5# russet potatoes $0.98
  • artichokes $1.66
  • mushrooms $3.49
  • jumbo avocados $1.66
  • organic broccolette $0.98
  • cereal $1.50
  • ground beef $3.99

Total spent $33

Trader Joe’s

  • potato chips $2.99
  • frozen chicken tenderloins $7.49
  • macarons $4.99
  • flour tortillas $1.99
  • drinking yogurt $3.69
  • rice crackers $2.79
  • greek yogurt $1.99 to $2.79
  • sunflower seed butter $4.99
  • crunchy almond butter $5.99
  • ak-mak $1.99
  • 24-ounce salami ends and pieces $5.99
  • almonds $5.99
  • baby carrots $1.49
  • cereal $1.99
  • string cheese $2.99
  • cashews $7.99
  • chocolate milk $3.99

Total spent $100

Ralphs

  • mozzarella cheese $3.39
  • 18-ct eggs $3.59 after digital coupon
  • milk $2.49
  • blueberries $3.99
  • mushrooms $1.89 on markdown
  • organic bagels $.79 to $1.79 on markdown with digital coupon
  • ham $6.99
  • clearance bread $1.99
  • popsicles $4.49
  • juice $3.99
  • 2# strawberries $1.97

Total spent $48

Trader Joe’s

  • milk $2.69
  • buttermilk $1.79
  • eggs $1.59
  • bran flakes $1.99

Total spent $16

Sprouts

  • baby carrots $1.29
  • broccoli crowns $0.98/lb
  • cauliflower $0.98/lb
  • nectarines $0.98/lb
  • sweet onions $0.50/lb
  • bananas $0.59/lb
  • juice $2.99
  • bottled water $3.70
  • frozen raspberries $1.50/12oz bag

Total spent $32

Ralphs

  • frozen potatoes $1.99 with digital coupons
  • popcorn $3.49
  • pie crust $1.75 (I’m out of flour and haven’t found a good deal yet)
  • cheddar cheese $2.99
  • tortilla chips $1.69
  • mayonnaise $2.99
  • cream cheese $1.49 with digital coupons
  • Ritz crackers $0.99 with digital coupons
  • cheerios $0.99 to $1.99 with sale and coupons
  • apple cider $1.99
  • hot dog buns $1.25
  • 18-count eggs $3.99
  • coleslaw mix $0.99
  • organic hamburger buns $0.99 (on clearance)
  • organic whole wheat bread $1.49 (on clearance)
  • Ezekiel bread $2.49 (on clearance)
  • pork ribs $1.77/lb on sale with digital coupon
  • Hebrew National hot dogs $1.99 on sale with digital coupon
  • shrimp $5.99/lb
  • naan rounds $1.99 (on clearance)
  • sourdough boules $1.19 to $1.49 (on clearance)

Total spent $111

Spent in June: $1095

Spent in 2018:

  • January: $490
  • February: $1084
  • March: $1224
  • April: $1009
  • May: $994
  • June: $1095

Total spent YTD: $5896

That’s an average of $983/month!

So, we’re doing okay, despite the crazy that a full house provides. Here’s to another tasty month!

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. Roberta says:

    Wow! Your average is 26% below the FDA “thrifty” plan, and you all are eating like royalty. Way to go!

    We came in at $208.35 for June (YTD monthly average of $235.10). We’ve been harvesting quite a bit of produce from the garden, and our hens are giving us 3-4 eggs a day, so that’s been helpful.

  2. Alice E says:

    Congratulations on doing so well and good luck on the hunt for flour! It is pricier than it used to be even last winter on the holiday sales. Great buy on the bread and aren’t we glad we have freezers and can use them to save money. I need to start baking bread again. I quit in the heat of last summer and never got started again, but it does save money.

    Our grocery budget has been higher the last couple months, since I now have to eat very low fat. This has ramped up our meat expense and I’m slowly building a supply of meat on sale in the freezer. I’ve stored some extras lately when I cook things I can eat, then I can get them out to eat when I fix something he can eat but I can’t to use it up and get it out of the freezer.

    You are an inspiration to us all. Good luck in the month ahead.

  3. How do you find the dasani sparkling water compared to the aldi or trader joe’s versions?

  4. I love that you bake bread sometimes and buy bread sometimes. You make buttermilk sometimes and buy buttermilk sometimes. Your freedom and balance inspires me ?
    I buy the Wheat Montana flour at Walmart. My family thinks the sourdough bread, tortillas, pancakes and pizza crust I make with it are yummy, so I go with it since it’s a good price. But if you find another killer deal on King Arthur, let me know!

    • Thanks for your kind words. Every day, especially when you have a houseful of kids, holds the unexpected, so you gotta roll with it. I’d rather load up on convenience to stash in the freezer when it’s on sale than when I’m in a rush and it’s $4/loaf. Ya know? 😉

      And yes, for awhile I was buying that same thing, but I avoid Walmart if at all possible. Will need to brave it again for flour! I just bought a bunch from Vitacost, but will check next time. Do they still carry the bread flour at our Walmart? I went to a different one a few weeks ago and they didn’t carry the bread flour.

  5. Hi, Good job staying under! How do you use up the frozen bread? Especially things like boule? Do you thaw/put them in the oven? I tried freezing sliced whole grain bread but the slices stuck together & the texture after toasting wasn’t great.

    Also, can you please do a post on organic produce at Costco? Heard they have good prices & variety now. I don’t have the membership, so I get most of my organic produce from Sprouts (they have good deals all the time!) & some from Trader Joes green beans, Kiwi, bell peppers, & Org. Chicken. But want to see if Costco is better.

    Thanks!

  6. What’s your preferred brand and type of “primo” flour? My MIL just told me that she buys King Arthur now for baking because many of her old recipes don’t turn out right with store brand flour. And I’ve had the same experience with Kroger store brand flour–it’s hard to develop the gluten, and many bags actually smell like mildew when I open them (and I can taste it in the bread too).

    We’re between thrifty and low-cost on the document you listed (although we didn’t line up exactly with the ages listed and I don’t want to figure out a personalized one 🙂 ), so that makes me feel better about how much I’m spending. I know our costs have been up because I am not making as much from scratch (baby in the house!) and we are eating a larger amount of fruits and vegetables which just plain cost more than pretzels and white bread. I don’t know how you keep yours so much lower than thrifty, but I bet all the baking you’re doing is helping a lot!

    Going grocery shopping this morning actually, so thanks for the incentive to keep working to keep it reasonable 🙂

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