Sunday, November 28, 2021

November Groceries - Part 3

I picked up an order of groceries,  this afternoon.  This particular order included some non-grocery household supplies (aluminum foil) and toiletry items (shampoo and toothpaste).  I know that some people include all their household supplies, toiletry, and pet food, etc. in their grocery budget, but, I like to keep things in separate categories because I like to be able to say exactly how much I am spending on food, versus cleaning products, toiletries, etc.

I tend to stock up on household and toiletry items, more or less quarterly, buying enough, each time, to last at least until the next quarterly stock up, if not longer, depending on sales.  For example, I was down to two tubes of toothpaste and I wanted to stock up on toothpaste when it went on sale.  The last time I ordered groceries, toothpaste was selling at the regular price of $1.59 and I held off on buying any.  This week, it is on sale for $.88 each and I stocked up!  The other toiletry item I stocked up on, today, was shampoo.  3 bottles of the brand my daughter uses (she has extremely dry hair and this is the one shampoo that seems to help, plus there was a store coupon for $5 off on the purchase of 3) and 2 bottles of the brand I use, which was the same price at the grocery store as at the dollar store!  

One household supply item I bought today was definitely not the same price as at the dollar store and that was aluminum foil!  But, I had finished all my aluminum wrap and was already using my last emergency roll!  I ordered two rolls of regular aluminum foil, cringing at the price, and the store sent me a text this morning saying they were out of regular aluminum foil and would I like the heavy duty rolls, instead.  I accepted the substitute; the price was the same but the amount of foil per roll was less.

So, what are the groceries you bought, Bless?

I bought:

1 x 5 lbs. bag all purpose flour = $1.99 (Holiday baking ahead!)
5 x 4 lb. bags sugar; reg. price $2.17, on sale with digital coupon at $.97 @ = $4.85 (Great stock up price!)
1 loaf white bread, 20 oz. (used to be 24 oz!) = $1.50

1/2 gal. milk = $2.19
1/2 gal. half and half = $3.99

2+ lb. bananas (6 bananas) @ $.64/lb = $1.72
1 x 4lb. bag oranges = $1.97
0.9 lb. green beans $.99/lb. = $.89

1 bag (13 oz.) potato chips! (reg. price $5.09) =  $2.77

Total = $21.87

We didn't need a lot of groceries, this week; mostly needed the half and half and milk, and some bananas.  But, the sugar was on sale for a very good price and I wanted to stock up for holiday baking, etc.  The potato chips are something I had been craving for a long time!  I finally gave in!  LOL.

My November grocery spending has amounted to:

$74.98 (on 11/2) + $68.89 (on 11/16) and $21.87 (on 11/28; today) =  $165.74.  

Once again, I managed to stay well under my monthly grocery budget of $250 for two people.  I have been wondering if I should reduce my monthly budget to $200 in January or whether to wait until my daughter goes back to Berkeley and then, reduce the budget to $125 for just myself.  Prior to the pandemic, my monthly grocery budget was $75 for one person.  But, that budget was based on being able to go grocery shopping in person at the ethnic stores, etc., and taking full advantage of clearance items, which I am not doing at present.  

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes monthly reports estimating the costs of a healthy, balanced diet based on four levels of spending: Thrifty Food Plan (used to determine the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP benefits eligible individuals receive), Low, Moderate, and Liberal Food Plans.  According to the latest monthly report (for October 2021), the Thrifty Food Plan for a household of two females, one of whom is aged 20-50 (daughter) and one of whom is aged 50-70 (me!) comes to a little over $400.  Compared to that, I think I am doing very well, keeping my food budget to $250 and under! 

Meanwhile, "turkey week" as a friend of mine has been calling it, is going well!  I made turkey fried rice, yesterday, with leftover rice, some leftover turkey, a few mustard greens from the garden, a handful of coleslaw mix from a bag in the fridge, an egg, plus what was leftover from the egg used to glace the apple pie and the white from the egg daughter used to make the cookies (she only needed the yolk), a little soy sauce, and a handful of peanuts. Daughter had leftover turkey fried rice for her lunch today.  For dinner, I made a turkey curry with the rest of the roast turkey and served it with biriyani rice.  There is more turkey curry leftover for at least another couple of meals for us!

Today, I am grateful for:

- Being able to order groceries online
- Free curb side pick up
- The availability of groceries
- Being blessed with the means with which to pay for the groceries
- Leftovers turned into made-overs!  

Today's joyful activity was chatting online with a friend, even though I was unable to figure out how to switch on my computer camera until much later!

How was your grocery spending for the month?  Were you able to keep to your budget?


  1. You are doing well keeping within and under your budget. I don't have a budget as such but order from my favourites list, things I buy regularly and then look to see what is on offer and I do stock up especially on cleaning items and toiletries. I spend roughly the same amount each week and don't worry if it's a little over or under. What a good idea those monthly reports are.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. I always say that I am a "closet bean counter"! I should have been an accountant! LOL. There was a time when I had to keep to a very strict budget; these days, I can be a little more relaxed about it, but, I hate to spend more money on things than I have to, so I try to keep to a budget! That's very good that you are able to keep your spending to roughly the same amount, each week and don't have to worry about going over or staying under. :)

  2. I'm still recovering from taking a glance at the price of the frozen turkeys and wondering if everyone will be taking out bank loans before Christmas! A neighbour reported a sighting of 20 wild turkeys recently. I think they had better make themselves scarce until January.

    1. Oh, dear! I hope there will be a special sale on turkeys closer to Christmas, Bushlady! Better run for your lives, wild turkeys! LOL.

  3. You are doing so well with your food budget! You are an example of how you can eat very well on a small budget - if you are willing and able to cook the majority of your own food from scratch. I always marveled out your $75 pre-covid single person budget.

    I've increased my budget this year (well - it was mid year since I kept going over) to $300 a month for the two of us. I would typically be under that before covid - around $240 - $250. I could blame prices, and certainly they have increased, but I will admit to loosening the reins a bit. :)
    I don't break out non-food items from my grocery budget so I'm okay with our amount and don't feel like I'm too much of a crazy spender! lol
    I am fortunate to be able to buy the food I want to buy. I know many people are not able to do so. Even though that is the case for us, I do like to monitor the spending and make sure things are in line.

    You got a good price on your sugar and your toothpaste too. And you've had a good turkey week :)

    I love potato chips.

    1. Thank you, Debra. I'm pleased with my grocery spending in November. My daughter used to budget $125 for herself, pre-Covid, because grocery prices were higher in Berkeley. By the way, the majority of what I saved from the grocery budget has gone towards an order of groceries from the Sri Lankan store! They do include some treats to be included in holiday gift packages, but, I am stocking up on my tea, etc.

      I would go over $300/month if I were to add the non-grocery spending, especially cat food! I buy a special indoor cat formula of kibbles for Dancer and regular cat food for the garden cats, Percy the Possum, and any visiting bunnies (although I haven't seen any, the past couple of weeks).

      I'm in the same fortunate position as you when it comes to the need for budgeting, these days. I've come a long way since having had to stretch one chicken leg to last the whole week! :D But, I do like to monitor my spending. :)


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