My grocery shopping trips this week + our menu plan

by Melody on February 11, 2013

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We had the flu this entire week, yet I still managed to make it to the store more times than I’d like to admit.  While it does look like I shop a lot, this really was one trip to Costco and one additional trip spread out over three stores.  Our Winco, Fred Meyer and Rite Aid are all within blocks of each other so it took less than an hour for all three.  I don’t want you to think you need to devote your entire life to grocery shopping just to overhaul your budget.

Trip #1 – Costco
Total spent –
$40

Cottage cheese and eggs for easy protein, broccoli, organic frozen green beans and a HUGE bag of spinach all about $5 each and mushrooms for a great price per pound.  I just make sure we have some recipes ready to incorporate these larger quantities of produce when I buy them.  I can find a home for spinach in just about any recipe, so no problems there.

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Trip #2 – Fred Meyer
Total spent:
$18

Since we were sick and didn’t feel like eating a thing, I picked up a few items to make one of my favorite chicken soups, laced with lots of veggies and sweet potatoes.  Walking by the meat department, I noticed quite a few of their bright orange meat markdown stickers so took a look.  I was able to snag two 5-pound+ fryer chickens for less than $5 each and a 5-pound package of drumsticks for less than $5.

This is one of my favorite ways to save money on our grocery budget.  Just by keeping an eye out while I’m shopping and knowing what a good stock-up price is on most items, I was able to save a few dollars on items that can easily be turned into several meals.

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Trip #3 – Winco
Total spent –
$33

My shopping trips to Winco look just about the same from week to week.  I round out my fresh produce for the week with whatever is on sale (cauliflower $.89/lb!), pick up all my bulk items for Homemade Larabars and lunch meat for another easy protein.

I’m making cupcakes for a baby shower this weekend and needed some “traditional” ingredients.  Instead of buying a big bag of sugar that will just hang out in my pantry, I picked up just what I needed in the bulk department.  While I may have spent a little bit more per pound (not much), I won’t have any that goes to waste.

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Trip #4 – Rite Aid
Total spent –
ZERO!

Several of you have asked me if my toiletries, paper products and other miscellaneous items are included in our grocery budget and they are!  I do very little coupon shopping these days, but I still do get one Sunday newspaper so I can do a few small transactions at Rite Aid.  I was able to pick up the items above for absolutely nothing after combining coupons and Rite Aid’s rewards programs.  With just a little bit of extra effort, this frees up money for all the food we want to buy.

For more information on Rite Aid, read my weekly post here.

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Online purchase – Tropical Traditions
Total spent –
$60

Tropical Traditions has been my absolute favorite place to get organic raw honey and I was poking around their site one night, I found a few other products I wanted to try out.  My friend Dani and I split the order because we both wanted to try the coconut cream concentrate.  Apparently, you can mix this with water and make your own coconut milk for a fraction of the price.  Plus, it can be used in lots of different Paleo sweets.  I’m excited to try it!

I also picked up some unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened coconut, pumpkin puree and a few spices to round out my cabinet.  I was pleasantly surprised with their organic spice collection, some right around $3 per bottle.

Total spent: $150

My total this week was more than usual because of the Tropical Traditions purchase, but they will last me for quite some time and I shouldn’t have to make another purchase for awhile.  My fridge and pantry are really full and will more than get me through the week.  I did place an order for 40 pounds of Zaycon chicken and even though it doesn’t arrive until April, I need to budget that in as well for this month!

Here’s what on the menu for the week:

Main Dishes

:: Garlic Mustard Drumsticks
:: Chipotle Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
:: Sweet Potato and Kale Chicken Patties
:: Tomato Basil Beef Soup

Extras

:: Homemade Larabars
:: Roasted Garlic and Tomato Salsa
:: Strawberry Banana Ice Cream for Valentine’s Day
:: Chocolate Truffle Cookies for Valentine’s Day

Please share something fun from your meal plan this week!  What are you making?  I’d also love to hear if you budget week to week like this.  It’s been an interesting change of pace for me to keep up with the weekly happenings of our money, instead of just tracking at the end of the month.

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