Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly groceries-04/23/2011

Another good week. Grocery total was $38.13, though I realized after we left that I forgot bread, so I may be baking bread later today. Necessities were only about $12.

We went to a third grocery store, one we rarely shop at because it's way more expensive for most things. But they had ham, limit one, for $.99 a pound, which, of course, they didn't actually have in stock, sigh. But that's not uncommon with this store, and I'd made sure there were enough other things to make the trip worthwhile. We spent $10.49 on meat, $9.97 on dairy, $9.22 for produce, and the rest on some odds and ends.

We mostly picked up a few sales items. Our best buys were boneless chicken breasts for $1.69 a pound, BBQ sauce (name brand) for $.79 a bottle, some canned vegetables for $.49 a can, canned pears and apricots at $.79 a can, and pineapple for $.69 a can. Oh, ice cream was $2.98, a local Texas brand (famous in the area) that normally sells for close to twice that, and worth it, so of course we got one.

The canned fruits bring to mind a major problem with stores: price labeling. The little shelf labels are hard enough to read, but this particular store uses very abbreviated sales labels, making it very hard to tell whether what you are getting is the same thing as the label. In this instance, there were canned pears, in heavy syrup and in water but virtually identical labels, next to each other. They both appeared to be, as far as I could tell, $.79 a can. However, at the register one of the two turned out to be $10/10 rather than $.79 a can.

And the advertised pineapple was a name brand, while every can on the shelf above the name brand stickers was a store brand (slightly larger size). I took a chance and got two, watching closely at the checkout, and yes, they ran through for $.69. Had I known for certain that was the price, I would have gotten 8 or 10 cans because we haven't seen it below $1 a can recently. I could have gone back for more (and should have) but we were irritated over the pears, tired, and the line was piling up behind us because of the pears.

If you've followed these weekly posts over the last couple of months, you know that I had several weeks of totals that ranged from about $64 to about $84, but the last 3 weeks have been between $34 and $40. It's averaged out to less than $60 a week for two people over the last 7 weeks. And that's the point I've tried to make about stocking up on sale. The extra you pay now will balance with what you save over a period of months. That assumes, of course, that you stock up on things you actually use. I intentionally started at a time when I knew I was going to be laying in several weeks worth of extra staple foods so you would see the high totals before the low ones and know my low totals weren't just from previous buying.


Portia said...

We just spent $200 on groceries yesterday. This was a good week for it financially. I have to expect to feed extra people every weekend and we all like our food so finding good sales was awesome. Another whole chicken, a whole chuck roast that we cut into three big roasts and surprised at one store with boneless chicken breasts for $1.89 lb which is good for my area. Frozen veggies were on sale so we bought a lot of those as well as fresh veggies on sale.

My freezers are full and we can pretty much get away with only buying perishable stuff for a while.

While $200 sounds like a huge amount, we will eat from this for a long time. Well the three of us, plus the daughter for lunches, plus EVERYONE for weekend dinners.

Dawnfire said...

Since you're feeding 7 or 8 people on the weekends, I think $200 sounds impressive to me, especially since you don't need to pinch pennies nearly to the extent we do (and do a much better job of eating produce). I know couples who spend close to $200 a week for two people.

If we had a freezer, I'd have spent a lot stocking up on the chicken breasts yesterday, our best price normally is more like $1.99.

Ami said...

I know we overspend on groceries. For me personally, I'd be content with much less than we buy and eat. Because Eric was deprived of food often as a child after the divorce and because he often went hungry for days, he tends to overdo. And I guess I enable it because I don't comment or try too hard to dissuade him from his purchases.

I like to think I help make up for it by buying things like shirts for a buck at Goodwill.

Amara said...

We spend about 100 a week, but that includes energy drinks for 2 for a week at work, a lot of produce and things like nuts for the partner to snack on. The energy drinks are the price we pay for a job that let's us wear jeans and tshirts, and buying them at the store is cheaper then a gas station. The partner has been weaning himself off junk food and fast food very successfully, so I consider the rest an investment.