Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuesday: September Grocery Shopping and a Pudding

Today, I went grocery shopping in the afternoon.  This was only the second time I did a big grocery shopping trip for this month, because in week 2, I only picked up some milk (9/11) and bread (9/14).

9/18 Groceries

Today, I went to a Kroger-affiliated store and bought:
1 doz. large eggs = $1.49
1/2 gal. regular milk = $1.99
2 cans condensed milk @ $1.59 = $3.18
Red grapes @ $.88/lb = $1.36
Baby bananas @ $1.49/lb = $2.03 (more expensive per lb. than regular bananas, so, a bit of a splurge, but much tastier than regular bananas)
Green beans @ $.99/lb = $.56
Total = $10.61

In addition to my groceries, I also stocked up on cat food!  Two 13 lb. bags at $8.99 each and one bag which was torn, which was discounted to $4.49 (I weighed it when I came home and it still weighed the same!)  The cat food came to $24.60 with tax.  I now have enough cat food to last for several weeks, but I like to stock up when I can, because then, I don't have to remember to buy a bag every week.

9/18 Receipt

My grocery budget (for my food, only; does not include pet food, household/toiletry items) had been $75 per month through June.  In July, because my daughter was coming down for almost 2 weeks in total (5 days at the beginning of the month and 9 days towards the end), I increased it to $100.  I am not quite sure why I kept it at $100 in August!  Maybe because my daughter was coming down for another week, towards the end of the month?  Or, perhaps, because I got used to having a $100 grocery budget?  I noticed that, at the end of my August Week 4 grocery post, I had said I will start September with a $100 grocery budget!  NO!  I will go back to my $75 grocery budget in September!  I know I had been going over budget, rather regularly, for several months and had been considering increasing the budget, but I would like to keep the grocery budget at $75, if possible.

September grocery budget = $75
Spent to date:
8/29 = $3.20 (came from September grocery budget)
9/5 = $12.11 (September grocery shopping week 1)
9/11 = $1.99 (for milk)
9/14 = $3.00 (for bread)
9/18 = $10.61
Total spent to date = $30.91
Balance remaining = $75 - $30.91 = $44.09

I might still do another grocery shopping trip later this week - the Armenian store is having broccoli on sale for $.49/lb., pears for $.49/lb., and iceberg lettuce for $.34 (3 for $1; Thursday special).  Notice that I have not mentioned the digestive biscuits on sale for $.99 (14.1 oz. package) or Nutella for $2.99 (13 oz. jar)!  LOL!

I put out a piece of beef steak I had in the freezer to thaw to cook for dinner, but it hadn't thawed enough to cook, so I had a frozen tamale, instead.  Brunch had been a slice of pizza and I snacked on one of the baby bananas and some grapes in the afternoon and had another baby banana, after dinner.  But I still wanted something more, after dinner, so, I decided to use the wattalappan pudding mix I had bought, last year, in July, at the Sri Lankan store, especially since it was nearing its date of expiration:

Pudding Mix
Wattalappan (also spelled as vatalappan and vatalappam) is a pudding made with coconut milk, eggs, jaggery (palm sugar), spices such as nutmeg and cardamom, and cashews, traditionally steamed, although sometimes baked in a water bath or, increasingly, made in the microwave.  I usually make it from scratch, using a recipe that calls for 10 eggs!  It is a very rich pudding and made for special occasions.

Today, I followed the directions on the box: I added the contents of the package to a 450 ml. can of coconut milk (I used a 400 ml can of coconut cream and added 50 ml of water) and brought it to a boil, while stirring it all the time.  Once it came to a boil, I turned off the heat and then, added the package of treacle that came with the pudding mix and I added a few pieces of cashews to it.  The pudding thickened and set as it cooled

Wattalappan Pudding from a Boxed Mix
 (The picture was taken after I had already tried some of the still-warm pudding before it had set, properly)

This is the first time I've tried making this pudding using a cornstarch based mix, and, it will probably be the last time I make it with a mix!  The texture was that of any other cornstarch pudding, like a boxed chocolate pudding, not at all like the texture of the made-from-scratch pudding.  Taste-wise, it was OK, but not quite how this pudding should taste.  I will not be buying this boxed mix, again!

I didn't go to the knitting group, today.  Instead, I chatted on the phone with aunt T who called to remind me that I haven't visited her, yet (notwithstanding the fact that I gave her a ride to the prayer gathering on Saturday); with neighbor T who called with a special prayer request; with friend R who called to check on me and to say she'd like a ride to the temple on Friday if I go, and aunt C, who I called to check on her and cousin N. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to sleep in this morning
- Good sales at the grocery store
- Phone calls from family and friends
- A relaxed day
- Video chatting with my daughter

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Put away laundry - DONE
- Bring in the trash cans - DONE
- Grocery shop (didn't buy the eggs, yet!) - DONE
- Vacuum the house
- Knitting group in the evening? DIDN'T GO

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Vacuum the house
- Go to the pharmacy
- Cook the beef I put to thaw

How was your Tuesday?  How is your grocery budget coming along this month?


  1. I am not a big fan of puddings made with a cornstarch base either. They are too slick and not as creamy and dense as I like!
    Oh and thanks to you and your blog I found (a recipe) and made a keto roti. Not exactly the same as a real one, but a perfectly delicious substitute

    1. Anne, I'm glad that you were able to make a keto version of a roti! You can add spices - such as chili powder - to the dough to make a more savory version, too.

  2. That pudding looks so good! And the cute little bananas...I've never tasted but always wondered if they were better and now I know! Everything goes up in cost when you have company...food, water, etc! I guess it is the price we pay for joy! Andrea

    1. Thank you, Andrea. The pudding tasted a bit better after chilling. I prefer the taste of the little bananas to the bigger ones, but don't always buy them due to the cost. Yes, costs increase when there are more people around, but, it's worth the pleasure we get from their company. :)

  3. I've never tried pudding mixes. As I was reading your post I was thinking of trying a watalappan mix and changed my mind when I got to the end. :)
    Nothing beats things made from scratch at home.

    1. Actually, it didn't taste too bad, once it had chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours. But, no, I will not be making it from a mix, after this! If I am going to consume the calories, I might as well make the real thing and enjoy it! :D

  4. I can't get over how little you buy each month. You eat like a bird. Your are trying to keep your budget at $75 a month, and I will be lucky to keep mine under $300....for one person. I know you will find reasons for the difference, but nothing takes away from the fact that you eat so little and I in comparison eat enough for 2 men.

    Good find with that third bag of cat food. Well done. Yes you will still have to go to the Armenian store sand pick up those special prices while they are offered.

    Your evening with all those phone calls resembled my weekend with me being on the phone for hours. Good that you tried the pudding mix. It satisfied a craving and it answered an important question about whether or not it was worth buying again. If it had worked out, it would save a lot of time in future when requested to bring a potluck dessert somewhere. Now you know.

    1. Ha, ha, the only bird I resemble is an ostrich, I assure you! I have regained half the weight I lost during treatments and that is not a good thing!

      Besides, you are on a special diet that doesn't allow for "fillers" such as rice or pasta, starchy vegetables, etc. I probably should be on such a diet, myself, but I am not! I do try to keep my portion sizes close to what is recommended, although I don't measure things anymore and probably eat fewer servings of vegetables than recommended and more of rice and bread!

      But, this month, I seem to be eating mostly from the freezer and pantry, even if I didn't plan to do that. So, that might have something to do with the amount of food I am buying.

      Today, I am going to a different grocery store to buy strawberries that are being advertised at $1.99/2 lb. I need to go to the pharmacy, anyway, and this grocery store is in the same shopping mall as the pharmacy.

      Hope your day is going well, Susan. Take care.


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