Sunday, March 19, 2017

March Grocery Shopping: Week 3






March 18 Groceries

Stopped at the regular grocery store on my way home from the tax preparer's office, this morning, to buy a few things I needed, mostly bread and milk, and a few things I wanted, such as the crackers, frozen chicken wings, and boxed mac and cheese.

Does anyone else debate with herself when buying convenience foods?  Like the frozen chicken wings, for example.  I've been wanting to buy frozen chicken wings for several weeks, now, thinking they'd be a quick dinner on days when I don't feel like cooking or a convenient snack at tea time, especially on those evenings when I come home from work feeling hungry.  I could toss a few in the microwave while the tea brewed and have them with my tea.  But I know I can make my own chicken wings for less and it really doesn't take a lot more effort to bake up a batch and freeze.  As a result, I haven't bought the frozen chicken wings (until today).  Except, I really haven't felt well enough to make the effort to make them from scratch, either.  So, I've been coming home from work and thinking, "Oh, if I had some frozen chicken wings, I could have microwaved them; I really should buy a bag; oh, but I could make some myself and it'll be cheaper" and so on and so forth, round and around!

So, there I was, standing in front of the frozen foods section, trying to do mental arithmetic (never my strong point, but I forgot I had a calculator function on my cell phone!  I am a bit slow that way!  LOL!).  The 28 oz. (1.75 lbs.) bag of frozen chicken wings has a regular price of $6.99, but was on sale for $5.99 this week (with the purchase of five participating items to get the $1 discount).   Chicken wings are usually priced $2.99/lb. at this particular store, but, they are on sale for $2.69/lb. at the ethnic store this week.  I always round up the amounts to whole numbers when I do mental arithmetic, so, figured 1.75 lbs. of chicken wings at $3/lb. from that store would come to $5.25; the difference between that and the bag of frozen wings (rounded to $6) was $.75 and that would be the cost of the glaze plus baking it and felt it was a good buy for the convenience.  Of course, the difference would have been bigger if I bought the chicken wings at the ethnic store for $2.70/lb., but not a lot.  When I came home, I calculated the difference had I bought the wings at $2.69/lb. and it came to $1.29 (1.75 lb. x $2.69/lb = $.70;  $5.99 - $4.70 = $1.29).   Yes, making them from scratch would have been cheaper, and I would be in control of what was used for the glaze (real honey, etc.), but, for right now, until I feel well enough to make my own, this convenience food was worth it, to me.  Whew!  I'm glad I got that all figured out!  LOL.

I also checked the refrigerated biscuits section to see if they had any on sale and saw that the 5-count cans of biscuit dough were on sale for $.50 each (regular price: $2.29; sell by date of April 15, 2017).  I wouldn't pay full price for a can of biscuit dough, but, these come out to $.10 per biscuit, and I thought that was a good price.  I bought three cans.  The cashier charged me full price for one of them and I didn't realize it when he initially scanned it, but I remembered to check the receipt before I left the store and noticed the error.  I pointed it out to him and he refunded me the difference.  Not quite sure what I will do with 3 cans of biscuit dough - bake a can a week over the next three weeks or bake them all and freeze some? 

What I bought:

Frozen chicken wings (28 oz. bag) = $5.99
Crackers = $1.49
Mac and Cheese = $1.00
1 loaf bread = $1.29
2 cans condensed milk, @$1.69 =   $3.38
1 pink milk = $1.19
3 cans biscuit dough, @ $.50 = $1.50
Total = $15.84

Receipts from March 18 (2nd receipt shows the price adjustment for the biscuit dough)
 
I bought three bags of cat food, as well, on sale for $9.99 per 16 lb. bag (regular price: $10.99), but that doesn't come from my grocery budget.  I have deducted the amount for the cat food and the tax on it from the grocery totals.


March grocery budget = $75
Spent to date = $5.50 + $21.90 + $15.84 = $43.24
Balance left in the budget = $31.76


I am planning a trip to the ethnic store, as well, tomorrow.  The frozen puff pastry squares I have been waiting to go on sale are on sale this week for $1.99/package (regular price $2.50) and ground beef is on sale for $1.99/lb.  I might buy some fresh produce, as well.  Papaya is on sale for $.49/lb., red grapes for $.79/lb., celery for 3/$1, etc.


How is your March grocery budget coming along?  Would you have bought the frozen chicken wings and the refrigerated biscuit dough?   

18 comments:

  1. Sometimes the convenience of something is worth paying the little bit extra. I usually make most of my meals from scratch but have occasional days off for various reasons like lack of time or just being exhausted.😊
    I have caught up with reading now and especially enjoyed seeing your garden photographs. With you having lost so many plants to dry weather, I will try not to moan so much about our rain. X

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    1. Yes, you are right - we pay for the convenience, but, sometimes, it is worth it. Are you getting a lot of rain? Day after day of rain can be a bit too much, but it makes a garden lush and green, doesn't it?

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  2. You are doing well with your budget! I haven't used half of my budget yet and there is only one week left. I think not buying any meat has made it so low. I would have bought the frozen chicken wings and probably regretted it when I got home, but then it is nice to have something like that handy! We dont have refrigerated biscuit dough here, not really sure about that! I understand where you are at as I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and sometimes I get so tired that I cant be bothered even to eat, yet alone cook.
    Have a lovely day.

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    1. Sharon, that's great that you have more than half your budget left! Yes, I'm sure not buying meat was a big savings; meat prices tend to be so high. What are you planning to do with the budget surplus? Are you going to roll it over to next month or use it to stock up? Or, perhaps, put it towards something else? Sorry to hear about you having rheumatoid arthritis; that can be quite painful at times from what I understand. Take care of yourself and do only what you can.

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  3. "Does anyone else debate with herself when buying convenience foods?"

    Yep. As a vegetarian with food intolerance issues, there aren't a lot of convenience products I'm interested in. But even when I find something, I start wondering. There are a few things I get, because they are simply too much trouble to make at home just for myself. Like the porcini stuffed tortellini. I decided a long time ago that I'll get those convenience products and eat them on days when I'm not well or too busy to cook.

    Even though the list is short, I only grudgingly pay those unreasonable sums for the food. Unreasonable in comparison to the home made version, but of course not unreasonable understanding there are days when I do not have the time and energy to cook a decent meal. It also adds variety during longer stressful periods.

    Jazz

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    1. Glad to hear that I am not the only one! :D Yes, making from scratch at home is better, especially from a quality control point of view, but it takes time, energy, and effort which we might not have.

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  4. I spread the biscuit dough out, top it with pizza toppings and bake. I also cut them into fourths, deep fry, then sprinkle with cinnamon or powdered sugar for a treat.

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    1. Granny J, I've been looking up some recipes, on line, and seeing all the things one can do with the biscuit dough! I have made the "doughnut" treats, myself, on previous occasions! One of my college roommates introduced me to that! :)

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  5. Yes, why not buy treat yourself once in a while? Sometimes, especially when you aren't feeling well, you have to forgo a bit of savings for the convenience. I wouldn't feel bad about it in the least. Hope you enjoyed your chicken wings. And those biscuits stay good a lot longer than the expiration date, so I'd just save them in the can until you're ready to use them.

    HUgs
    Jane

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    1. Thank you, Jane. I guess, in a way, it is cheaper than getting fast food. Reading the list of ingredients on the label almost gave me a heart attack, but I'm baking one of the cans of biscuits as I type this!

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  6. hi! If I go to the grocery store when I am hungry...boy the frozen goods aisle looks so good to me! If I know I crave something and wouldn't have the time to make it, I think it would be worth the convenience of frozen goods. (Unless you plan ahead and make your own and then freeze the leftovers to have on hand). The trouble is, when you come home hungry, you might be apt to grab something to eat on the spur of the (hungry) moment that maybe wouldn't be as good for you....in my case...it would be candy! Andrea

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    1. Hi Andrea, yes, going to the store when one is hungry is a big problem! I used to be a lot better about cooking and preparing things ahead and freezing; but recent ill health has set me back a bit. I don't want to make that an excuse, though. But, I will get back to doing more things from scratch when I feel better. These days, I seem to crave more savory things than sweet, so, I'd reach for chips instead of candy! :D

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  7. I especially like the frozen meat balls. You can pop out as many as you need for a meal and they go well with your choice of pasta and I use spaghetti sauce from a jar. I also keep in frozen garlic bread which I usually purchase on sale. Again take out one or two slices or whatever you need. Another convenience food I purchase is those tiny small carrots which we eat with a sandwich for lunch. I do also buy the large carrots but I don't want to stop and clean one up for a sandwich these days! My daughter who is a working mom buys rotisserie chicken sliced up. She finds that her teen boys will grab this rather than a more unhealthy choice so has decided it is worth the cost.

    Your blog is very interesting today and I wonder are we as women programmed to feel guilty for making our life a little easier. The men I know don't seem to have these internal battles.

    Sandy

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    1. Oh, yes, frozen meat balls are another item I will buy, although I haven't bought any, recently. Here's the thing with me - I used to make a lot of things from scratch, but didn't think twice about buying prepared things, either. These days, I am reading labels a bit more, trying to be healthier, trying to monitor what I put into my body, and trying to justify the cost of convenience food, as well!

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  8. BLess, I too, talk to myself about buying conveince foods versus making myself. Sometimes.. it is just nice to have them already fixed and when you live alone [or like me, just 2 of us], it is almost as cheap to buy some items conveince .ha
    Proud you bought the wings for yourself..smile

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    1. Thank you, Judy. I know it is more wholesome to make things from scratch, but, oh, that convenience factor is a big thing when one is tired or doesn't have the energy, isn't it?

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  9. I fully understand the thinking and reasoning that went into the purchase of the chicken wings. I have days when I think I might buy something, then balk at the list of ingredients, and other times I might just "go for it" anyway. I think if we balance our home cooked food with occasional supplements of processed food we can maintain a certain amount of good nutrition balanced with a healthy amount of sanity when we don't feel up to cooking from scratch!

    DH is roaring ahead with the tapping of maple trees, with his buddies. Seems we are into the season at last.

    I have to ask, did those green beans ever get cooked? (maybe I shouldn't ask, :D )

    Bushlady

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    1. Bushlady, you are definitely a "voice of reason"! :) Yes, balance is the key. Glad to hear that DH is going ahead with the tapping! Spring must be on its way, then! Hope the sap flows well.

      LOL, of course you had to ask about the green beans! Yes, they eventually got cooked, but not till this evening! :D

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