Sunday, April 12, 2015

April Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning: Part 1

I didn't go grocery shopping last week, choosing to eat from the freezer, fridge, and pantry, instead.  Then, my neighbor brought me dinner, one night, with enough leftover for several more meals.  And I had lunch provided free one day at the office, when I attended a training session, with enough leftover for that night's dinner, as well.  Plus, on Friday, I went out to lunch and had the leftovers for dinner!  I almost didn't need to go grocery shopping this week, either, but I was running low on fresh fruits and vegetables and I wanted to buy more meat.

So, I did my first grocery shopping for the month.  I went to two stores.  Store 1 is the closer of the two and I considered buying everything from there.  But Store 1 was pricier than Store 2 for some items I wanted to get, so I chose to go to Store 2, as well.

Sometimes, the price differences are small enough to make it worth my while to buy everything from one store, especially when I take the time it takes to go to another store and gas, etc.  For example, spinach was $.99 at Store 1 and I knew it was on sale for $.50 at Store 2, but that $.49 difference would not have mattered too much, if that was all I wanted.  And I found yeast on sale for $1.99 at Store 1, whereas I had paid $2.39 at Store 2 when I bought it, earlier.  But chicken drumsticks were $1.29/lb. at Store 1, when I knew that they were on sale for $.79 at Store 2, and 30% fat ground beef was $5.49/lb. at Store 1 and I knew 15% fat ground beef was on sale for $3.49 at Store 2.  I had studied the weekly grocery ads before I made my grocery list.  :)  The salmon, too, was more expensive at Store 1. 

Store 1:

2.5 lb. pork chops, $1.29/lb. = $3.26
1 gal. milk = $2.59
1 pkg. frozen corn = $.99
1 container ice cream = $2.49
4 2-liter bottles soda, $.89@ = $3.56
2 3-count yeast, $1.99@ = $3.98
Total = $16.87

(I also bought 2 big bags of cat food, but pet food is a separate budget.)

Store 2:

6 chicken drumsticks, $.79/lb = $2.28
2 salmon steaks, $3.99/lb = $5.61
1 lb. ground beef (15% fat), $3.49/lb. = $3.51
2.73 lb. Fuji apples (5 apples), $.39/lb = $1.06
.75 lb. green beans, $1.29/lb = $.97
.53 lb. broccoli crown, $.99/lb = $.52
.65 lb. beets, $.39/lb = $.25
1 bunch spinach = $.50
1 cucumber, 3/$1.00 = $.34
.93 lb. cabbage, 6 lb/$1.00 = $.16  (I still have half a cabbage in the fridge, but this was so inexpensive, that I bought another, small cabbage; it'll keep for a couple of weeks)
1 lettuce = $.50
1 lb. bag carrots, 2/$.89 = $.45 
Total = $16.15

Total spent:  $16.87 + $16.15 = $33.02

April grocery budget = $75
Amount left in budget = $75 - $33.02 = $41.98

This evening, I cooked the ground beef - I browned it with 1/2 diced onion, 2 grated carrots, 3 cloves of minced garlic, salt & pepper.  Then, I put aside half of the mixture for another dish I will make later (haven't quite decided if I will make a cottage pie (ground beef mixture topped with mashed potatoes) or curry puffs (savory ground beef filled puff pastry turnovers).

To the remaining half of ground beef in the pan, I added a can of spaghetti sauce ($.49 on sale) and some oregano.  I also had half a package of 8 "brown and serve" sausages in the freezer - I had bought them on sale with a coupon, some time ago, to try them (not my usual breakfast links type sausages) and hadn't liked them too much.  But I didn't want to throw them away, either, so they sat in the freezer till now.  I microwaved them, cut them into small pieces and added them to the ground beef and spaghetti sauce.  I cooked some pasta and had that with the meat sauce for dinner, along with another carrot cut into carrot sticks; the sausage bits were fine in the sauce.  I had some ice cream, topped with cashews and pieces of preserved ginger, for dessert!

There's enough spaghetti sauce left for another 4, possibly 5, pasta meals.  There's enough cooked pasta leftover for another 2 meals.

I also cooked the 2 salmon steaks - I like to season them with salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice and saute them in a little bit of oil, some sliced onions and sliced tomatoes.  One salmon steak is bigger than the other; the bigger one will give me 4 portions and the smaller one will give me 2 portions.  So, 6 portions in all.  I packaged the larger salmon steak and froze it for future meals. 

I plan to cook the chicken (make a curry, probably) and the pork chops, tomorrow.  Again, I'll probably freeze half of it for future meals. 

Today, I had one of yesterday's leftover chocolate chip waffles for brunch, with the last piece of leftover bacon and a fresh orange.  Dinner was spaghetti, carrot sticks and ice cream, as mentioned above.

How is your April grocery budget coming along?  Do you usually shop at multiple stores if you know you can get some items for lower or would you consider that a waste of your time?



  1. I don't generally shop at multiple stores. I'll pay a little more at one just to avoid the hassle of going to another. I'm usually not in the mood to shop and prefer getting home as quick as possible.

    1. Jess, the time and effort to go to multiple stores is definitely something to take into account. Especially if one has to shop with little ones.

      How is your hand? Is it better?

      Hope you are having a good weekend and enjoying spending time with your little one.

  2. Bless.
    You found some really good deals this week.. Yes, I go to different stores.. The savings is well worth the trouble/cost of gas.. I also com ad at wal mart, so this saves me [sometimes] from having to go to multiple stores.However, sometimes, wal mart doesn't have that item..
    I have added the different meats, such as your smoke sausage , to my spaghetti or casseroles.. It stretches the meal, and if its not my favorite, it works great in other dishes. even have added it to taco meat.ha
    Have a great day.

    1. Judy, I usually add diced celery to my ground beef, and, sometimes, bell pepper. But I didn't have any celery or bell pepper this time. The sausage blended in quite nicely and I am glad to have been able to use it up. Hate to waste food.

  3. Hi there. Envious of your pork and salmon prices, where are you located??

    1. Hi Shannon, I'm in Southern California. I go through the week's grocery ads and buy that week's specials to keep the costs down. I used to keep a price book, but these days, I'm pretty familiar with the sale prices and know how much I am willing to pay for things. For example, I'll buy salmon when it's on sale at $3.99/lb. and skip it when it is $8.99/lb.


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