Sunday, May 7, 2017

May Grocery Shopping: Week 1

I went grocery shopping twice in the first week of May.   Once on May 1 and again on May 5. 

May 1 Groceries

On May 1, I went to one of the dollar stores and bought:

3 bananas, @$.49/lb. = $.60
1 packet of chocolate wafers = $1.00
2 packets of gelatin, @$.50 = $1.00
Total = $2.60:

May 1 Receipt

The receipt also includes the package of clothes hangers I bought, but that is not part of the grocery budget.

May 5 Groceries

On May 5, I went to the grocery store and bought:

1flavored coffee creamer = $2.99
2 boxes macaroni and cheese, @$1 = $2.00
1 can pasta sauce = $1.00
1 bag (14 oz). frozen meatballs = $1.99*
4 ears of corn, @$.25 = $1.00
1 package (9 oz.) chicken & turkey cold cuts = $1.99*
2 bolillo rolls, @$.25 = $.50
Total =  $11.47

(In addition, I bought 2 bags (16 lbs. each) of cat food, on sale for $9.99* each plus tax, which came to a total of $21.73; it is reflected in my receipt, but is not part of my grocery budget).

May 5 Grocery Receipt

* The store was having a "buy 4 participating items and save $4 ($1 per item)" sale.  The prices I've shown are the final sale price.  The two bags of cat food, the meatballs, and the cold cuts were the four participating items I chose to buy.

The meatballs had a regular price of $4.99, was on sale for $2.99, but, the final cost was $1.99 because it was one of the four participating items.   I wouldn't have bought them at the regular price.  I probably wouldn't have bought them even at the sale price.  But, at $1.99 for 14 oz., they become an acceptable convenience food to keep in the freezer for an evening when I won't feel much like cooking something from scratch.  I could either make a quick spaghetti and meatballs dinner, or, if I felt a little more energetic, make a meatball curry with them. 

The same with the cold cuts.  I didn't check what their regular price was, but it was on sale for $2.99 and cost $1.99 as one of the four participating items.  Convenient for sandwiches to take to the office for my lunches or to have with tea when I come home from work.

I was laughing to myself about the ears of corn, though.  There was a pile of unhusked corn selling for 4/$1, or $.25 each.  Right next to it, there were cleaned ears of corn, with the husks and the silk removed and the ends trimmed, arranged on styrofoam trays and covered with plastic wrap - priced at 3 for $3.99 and 5 for $5.99! (Or, it might have even been more, but I can't remember; should have taken a picture!)  And there were people actually choosing to buy the pre-cleaned ears of corn, apparently unconcerned about the price difference!  Or, maybe they didn't realize it?  Maybe, because the cleaned ears of corn were next to the unhusked corn with the sign advertising 4/$1, they thought the cleaned ears of corn were the same price?

Actually, I know several people (family and friends) who'd buy the cleaned ears of corn because it was more convenient.  At least one of them wouldn't even buy the ears of corn because she wouldn't know how to cook them and would buy only the frozen corn.  But then, I'm the person who just bought boxed macaroni and cheese and frozen premade meatballs instead of making my own, so I probably shouldn't say anything! People in glass houses and pots calling the kettles black, and so forth!  LOL. 

I did, however, buy myself 4 unhusked ears of corn at $.25 each.  It took me less than 2 minutes to strip the husks and silk off of one ear of corn, last night, which I boiled and enjoyed as part of my dinner.  I will add the corn husks to my compost pile.  When my daughter was little, I used to make her corn husk dolls to play with; maybe I should make one for Dancer (but he'll probably try to eat it!)  

I know that some of you will look at what I bought in the first week of May and think it lacks some, if not several, of the major food groups.  No fresh fruit other than the few bananas, no vegetables other than the corn which is considered a carbohydrate for someone who needs to watch her blood sugar levels, mostly prepackaged convenience foods and snacks, etc.  I acknowledge that all that is true.  But, this week, this is all I really needed and wanted.  I still have a serving of cooked green beans, some lettuce, some carrots, more than half a cabbage, a tomato, and a cucumber in the fridge, along with a mango, a pear, a banana, several apples, and a crisper drawer full of oranges from the tree.  There are also some beets and a yam that probably should be tossed, as they are rather wrinkly, but I hate having to toss food that I buy and don't eat!  I want to finish eating the fresh produce that I have on hand before I buy more. 

I made some gelatin on Wednesday, using one of the packets I bought on Monday, just in case I had any dental work done on Thursday and couldn't eat solid food.  I didn't have any dental work done, however, so I've been eating the gelatin for dessert!

I treated myself to some Chinese food, yesterday ($7.00), and there's enough leftover from that for at least a couple of meals!  I budget $25 per month for eating out/take out.  Although, this month, with daughter coming home for mother's day, next weekend, I might go over that eating out budget (in which case, I'll use some of my "miscellaneous" spending budget to cover it).

For brunch, today, I made myself a sandwich with half a bolillo roll, some of the turkey cold cuts, and lettuce:

Cold Cuts Sandwich

My May grocery budget is $75.00

Spent to date: $2.60 + $11.47 = $14.07
Amount left in the budget: $75 - $14.07 = $60.93

Have you done any grocery shopping yet, in May?  Would you have bought the unhusked ears of corn at $.25 each or bought the cleaned ones for between $1.19 and $1.33 each (depending on the size of package)?   Would you have bought the frozen meatballs for $1.99? 


  1. thank you for the list of fresh fruit and vegetables. I look forward to reading more. I'm on for open heart surgery tomorrow, I'd be delighted and appreciative of prayers to help me through this scary ordeal.

    1. Hon, most certainly, prayers are coming your way for the surgery to be successful and for your recovery to be uncomplicated and complete. Please keep me updated on your status as and when you can. Until then, I will keep you in my prayers. My best wishes for your good health, my friend.

    2. Hon Min, I'm sending positive and healing thoughts your way.

    3. I think the people who bought the clean corn were just in a hurry and didn't carefully check the prices. But, who knows. My philosophy is if someone is not asking me for money, they can spend it however they want.

      Is you corn fresh? Corn season won't start around here until July. We can get corn in the stores sometimes, but it has been shipped from far away.

    4. I like your philosophy, Live and Learn. It's their money to spend as they will. Very true! :)

      The corn seems to be fresh. I really didn't see a sign saying where they were from, though.

    5. Hon Min, I just caught up with this and you have my prayers, too. I hope the surgery was uneventful and successful and that your recovery will proceed well.

  2. I'd definitely have bought the meatballs, mac'n cheese and the cheap ears of corn. I do like it when Aldi has theirs (packaged and semi-cleaned) on sale but usually will buy mine at Save A Lot where they are not husked. It's not that big of a deal to clean them but I'm impatient so there's always a little bit of silk left on the ears. I tell my family it's fiber, hahaha. I have stopped composting the husks, though, they make it hard to turn my compost pile and don't seem to "compost" as fast as everything else. I told you, no patience! The thing with the Aldi corn (besides the waste of the packaging) is that they look cleaned up but they're only halfway cleaned up... the back side still has the silk and husk on it. As for the meatballs and mac'n cheese, my kids ONLY like the boxed mac'n cheese and it has the be the really cheap one from Save A Lot (they tolerate the Aldi brand). And my daughter eats meatball subs for lunch once in a whole so frozen meatballs are awesome. $1.99 is a very good price! You did well.

    I did one grocery trip so far this month and I spent about $77. This month will be expensive for me as I'm going to stock up on a bunch of stuff for hurricane season that starts on 6/1. I'll be spending several hundreds of dollars on cat food and cat litter alone since the 6 cats are on veterinary prescription food and I want to make sure that we have several extra bags in reserve. But it'll all get eaten and used up so it's not like it's wasted.

    Have a great week, Bless.

    1. You know, come to think of it, the packaged ears of corn I saw might have been only partially cleaned, too! I didn't used to like mac and cheese, but now, I seem to want it on a fairly regular basis. Plus, with the toothache, it was soft and easy to eat! This is really the first time I've bought these meatballs; I used to buy from Costco and my mother used to make meatball curry with them. But I thought, for $2.00, what did I have to lose?

      Good planning on your part to stock up for hurricane season. I hope that the season won't be a bad one and that there won't be any hurricanes at all. But if there are any, may they be small, of short duration, and not cause too much damage!

      Hope you, too, have a great week, Nathalie. Take care.

  3. Considering all the fresh fruit and veg you still have on hand I think your grocery shopping is fine. I rather like the frozen meatballs. Makes it so easy to make a quick meal. With just the two of us to feed it works out very well. Oh and I would purchase the corn in the husk. I think it keeps better and there seems to be a lot of ways in which to cook. I also eat jello quite a lot. I like it with plain Greek yogurt.

    Hope your Rx is sorted out and you will soon have a dentist appointment to start the needed work.


    1. Sandy, yes, the Rx has been sorted out and I picked it up on Saturday; although, the poor pharmacy seems to be still confused as I received a text this morning, saying that the dr. didn't authorize it and to please contact the dr.!

      Yes, I want to finish the fresh produce I have on hand and clean out the fridge before I buy anything more. I buy what I think is a reasonable amount for 1 week, but then, I find it takes me 2 weeks or more to eat it all, by which time, some of it is ready to be tossed as it has wilted or worse. Don't like that at all.

  4. Can so relate to your dilemma of sometimes not being able to eat fresh produce before it goes bad. With just hubby and I to cook for, there's a real potential for that in our home, too. Something that helps me conserve it, is to prepare and freeze it for future meals. Even if we don't quite feel like eating a certain veggie at the time, I try to slice and freeze or cook and freeze. That way my conscience is clear! haha!

    1. Carolyn, that's what I tell myself - prepare or cook and freeze it, but, it doesn't always get done! However, today, I cleaned out the two crisper drawers, tossed a few things, cut up and froze the tomato before that spoiled, cut up and made a salad with the cucumber (I'm eating it as I type), and will decide what to do with the rest of it, in a little bit. :)

  5. Hon.. sending prayers for you and your family.
    BLess, Funny, I have family that would buy the corn cleaned too. NOT ME... SMILE

    1. Yes, Judy, I guess there are people who are willing to pay for the convenience. More and more, I am seeing prepared food in the grocery store - packages of broccoli and cauliflower florets, sliced fruit, etc. Costs more, but convenient and, I guess, cheaper than eating out!


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