Friday, November 6, 2015

Weekly Grocery Ads

This Week's Ads

Every week, usually on a Tuesday, I receive the weekly grocery ads from 11 nearby stores, which are located within approximately 3 miles from my home.  In addition, there are several stores that do not send mailers to the house.

The first thing I do is discard the ads from the stores that are furthest away.  I usually narrow it down to the 5 stores that are closest to me.  The closest one is less than 1 mile away.  But if I go a bit further, there are 3 stores located in the same strip mall!  The last one is a bit further away, but it is my favorite ethnic store with a wide range of fruits and vegetables and, often, the best deals.

I don't usually make a meal plan and then buy what I need to make those specific meals.  Instead, I look through the ads and make a note of what's on sale and where and buy what I need from that.  I have a "buy at/cut off" price for a lot of things - that's the price I am willing to pay for that item.  I rarely buy an item at a price above it unless I absolutely have to have that item and I stock up if the item goes below that price.  Occasionally, if the item no longer goes on sale at my "buy at" price, I increase my "cut off" price.  For example, my buy at price for eggs used to be $1.99/dozen.  Now, with egg prices so high, I've raised it to $4/dozen.  When the price for large eggs went above $4, I switched to medium eggs, which are priced at $3.49/dozen.   

This week, according to the ads, one store (located in the strip mall with 3 grocery stores) has name brand cake mixes on sale for $.89; pure cane sugar 4 lb. bags for $1.69 ($.30 less than my "buy at" price of $1.99/4 lbs. or $.50/lb.); boneless/skinless chicken breasts for $1.59/lb. ($.40 less than my "buy at" price of $1.99/lb.); and name brand cereal and crackers for $1.49 a box, provided I buy 4 participating items (easily done if I buy 2 boxes of cereal and 2 boxes of crackers).

The closest store has boneless/skinless chicken breast for $1.57/lb., name brand pasta for $.49/box (12-16 oz.), name brand canned soup (cream of chicken or mushroom) for $.49 each, cereal for $1.79/box and name brand frozen individual pizzas for $.49 each; provided I buy 6 participating items (again, easy to do).

The ethnic store has chicken drumsticks on sale on Tuesday (11/10), only, for $.39/lb.  That's an excellent price for chicken drumsticks, but I'd have to go after work and that's inconvenient.  So, I probably won't go there, this week. 

I am thinking of going to the nearest store for the pasta, since I've almost come to the end of my stock of pasta.  I don't use a lot of canned soup, but it might be good to get a can or two of the cream of chicken soup to keep on hand.  I can see myself having a little of it when I am having chemotherapy and not feeling like having a big meal.  And a couple of the frozen pizzas would be good to have on hand for daughter when she's down here and wants an easy meal.  Not the most nutritious thing to eat, but okay for when she's too tired to cook.

And since I am almost out of cereal, I will buy some cereal too.  I just need to decide if I want to pay more and get it from the nearby store (a sweeter cereal) or drive to the other store and get their advertised cereal (a different brand, but one that's probably better for me since it's not as sweet) as well as the crackers and sugar.

The two stores are in opposite directions,  but the distance between the two are a little over 2 miles, so, not too far apart.

The next item I'll be on the look-out for a sale is vegetable oil.  I recently opened the last bottle I had on hand and will need to stock up when I find it on sale for $1.99/48 oz.

How do you plan your grocery shopping?  Do you have "buy at" or "cut off" prices above which you don't buy an item?  If so, then, what do you substitute for that item?  Or, how do you accommodate the price increase?   


Today, I went to the office and had a good day.

I had a peanut butter and elderberry jelly sandwich for breakfast; approx. 1/2 cup of grapes for mid-morning snack; the salad for lunch (approx. 1 cup); approx. 1/2 cup of grapes for mid-afternoon snack.  For dinner, I had a frozen meal - pasta in a cream sauce with chicken and broccoli.  It was 480 cals.  (and much of it from fat!)

I didn't spend any money, today.

Today, I am grateful for:
- a pleasant day at the office
- phone calls from my cousin and aunt; emails from my friend
- safe commutes to the office and back
- listening to a cd of favorite hymns in the car
- video chatting with daughter

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.


  1. Coupons are a much bigger thing in the States I think. I do use them - if they are for a product I would buy anyway - but I wouldn't travel far, petrol costs much more here! I have found that on Tuesday evenings, many supermarkets do price reductions on goods that are not selling, so I try and shop then if I can. Weekend blessings xx

    1. I used to use coupons a lot, especially when stores used to double or even triple the savings, but not as much these days. Most coupons are for processed foods, and I try not to buy too much of them. Or, I find that the store brand items are cheaper than the name brand item even after the coupon discount is applied. But, coupons are great if the item is already on sale and you can apply the coupon discount.

      I've read on some of the UK blogs about the "yellow stickered" items that seem to be 90% off the regular price and marvel at the price reductions and savings. Most of the grocery stores here don't do that, but they will reduce some items by 50% if they are nearing their "sell by" date.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Hope you have a blessed weekend, too.

  2. You've got me worried yet again, Vitamin D speaks to a lack of sunshine, a pleasant, daily walk no snow and little rain to force you indoors helps your health on so many levels. This is one of those times when I curse my lack of diplomacy. Please forgive my blunt statements, i promise they rise from true concern.

    I don't ever see the healthy dark greens or colors that are critical to the cancer sisterhood on your lists. Avocado, asparagus, edamame, green beans, kale, spinach come to mind...Eggplant, squash, pumpkin, tomato, sweet potato... Blueberries, almonds, walnuts, even cottage cheese. Ask your nutritionist about tofu and green tea, some important, other types contra. Cool Peppermint or ginger tea especially at mid afternoon are important to help keep you hydrated which is so critical to chemo patients.
    Perhaps you don't yet see yourself as the $ 6M dollar medical patient ! You'd likely be in shock if you saw your detailed medical bill. This is a point where a lot of recovery depends on's not the time to concentrate on the cost of food.

    1. Hon, don't worry about being blunt. I know you care. :)

      This month before I start chemo will be my month of grace to build up my immune system and well-being in preparation for the rigors of chemo.

      Food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, really don't cost a lot, here. For example, I could buy some of all what you've listed above for about $20. Avocados are on sale this week for $.25 each. Spinach for $.50 a bunch.

      My problem is that I only like certain vegetables, like green beans and broccoli and that's what I eat most of the time. And although I love avocado, I've always considered it as a fruit and the only way I like to eat it is in a dessert made with lots of sugar and therefore, not good for my diabetes! Other items, such as tofu, cottage cheese, and green tea, I just don't like. I've tried them, time and time again, but I don't like them (I am OK with cottage cheese if in a jello salad, though).

      I do know that hydration is important and I am working my way up to the 10-12 cups a day that are being recommended! I am about half way there, but, as I said, this is my month of grace!

      As always, thank you for caring and for your comments. I really do appreciate them. Hope you, too, are keeping well, my friend.

    2. Thank you, Hon. You said exactly what I've wanted to say and you're exactly right. Neither of us want to see Sri have less than the full benefits of treatment, but there are things that must be eaten even if they don't taste good. Sri, I had no idea you're diabetic or I probably would have gotten after you sooner for your poor eating habits. I know some of it's cultural, but our bodies have the same needs no matter where we are from. Those of us who can see the bigger picture, either though personal experience or education, are alarmed. You aren't giving your body the fuel it needs to withstand the effects of chemo and radiation and later to heal. I guess I'm blunt, too, but we happen to care enough about you to risk hurting your feelings. Your diet has been poor for a very long time. You need to use the time before you start chemo to make some real changes. Cook some nutritious meals for the freezer, get some frozen vegetables, and work on your understanding of good nutrition. There, I'm finished, and I will take my cues from you.

    3. Thank you, again, for your honest opinions and caring. Yes, I'm diabetic, and I have a few other chronic conditions, as well. I'm working closely with my primary care physician, during this time, because of that.

  3. BLess, I do the same thing.. I get my newspapers and write down all the sale prices , of things I need, at each store.. Sometimes, I go to the different stores, but sometimes , I just comp ad them at wal mart.
    I try to keep my pantry/freezer with all things I need to make any given meal.. So, I don't have to run to the store for anything.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Our Walmart is not that near and I rarely go there. But I do know that they have very good prices on a lot of items.

      A long time ago, I did a price book, using the grocery store ads. These days, I know the prices well enough to know when something is a good deal.

      Hope you have a blessed weekend, Judy. Take care.

  4. Oh dear, I read the excellent advice given here but I must admit that when I read what you are eating I simply lust after those excellent curries and the home baking!! Anyway, you've got some good "Moms" looking out for you, so you had better watch out from now on.

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I do try to sneak in more veggies when I cook some dishes. My chicken curry, for example, has onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, hidden in it, not just curry powder. And when I brown ground beef to make spaghetti sauce or cottage pie, I add grated carrots, onion, celery, tomato, etc., to bulk it out. But I'll be the first to admit I don't eat enough vegetables. Or, I'll eat the "wrong" kind of vegetables - corn instead of squash; green peas instead of spinach. I'm glad to have so many concerned, caring friends, though. :)

  5. I don't get any ads, but there are 3 places to shop for groceries in my town (actual grocery places, not counting dollar stores and such that have a small selection of food). Only one really have sales and I look at the ad online, plus they have digital coupons that load directly to the Rewards card and I have gotten some good deals there. There is also Free Download Friday where there is a free item every Friday you can download to the card.

    I keep an ongoing list in the kitchen of things I need to buy and if I'm going to the store with the ad above, I'll write down all those items as well as coupon discounts. The only thing I really have a cut off price for is soda. If I notice the price of other things have gone up, it just depends. If I need it, I'll still get it, but if I can go without I will until I find it cheaper.

    1. Jess, sounds like you have a good system set up that works for you. And that's what's important, isn't it? Some of the stores here have gone to digital coupons, but I've no idea how to download them and so...I don't! Maybe, when my daughter takes over the grocery shopping for me, she can figure it out!


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