December 09 Food Spending

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do, but I am trying to reign in my monthly food budget. It has gotten a bit inflated in the last couple of months, and I need to bring it back down to something more manageable.

Here is what I’ve spent in December thus far on grocery shopping: Approximately $238.
That does not include any meals out for the month. Just groceries bought at the store. Below is a list of food I have bought this month and some photos of grocery store trips. I have tried to be as detailed as possible.

I also bought some wine and a liqueur once this month for $30, so it would be $268 if I include that. However, if I subtract the beer purchases, then the food portion is only about $200, which is right about where I want it.

That said; I could play around with numbers all I want. I feel good about the results of this month since it was a “bring it in” month. Reflecting – I ate very well, and am able to see room for improvement.

I thought it would be neat for you to see what I buy.

You might think “Geeze. She buys the cheapest eggs she can.”
It’s true. I go through a lot of eggs – about 6.5 dozen for this month at a total of $7.34. It would be more than double that, around $16.50 at the Co-Op for their Cornell Farms eggs, which I am calculating at $2.75 each. That price may have gone up. The difference overall in what I spent VS what I would have spent in this pricing is $9.16. It will be something to consider in the future.

Grocery shopping is something that reveals some personality, I suppose.

I would love to buy local, conventional everything, but sometimes I cannot. I could compromise by becoming vegan or vegetarian. That would certainly solve my budgetary problems. But there is also part of me that loves meat, hence the factory-farmed chicken and the more ethical ground meat from Cardona’s. I try when I can, but ultimately, sometimes I make less than ideal purchases. I didn’t buy much seafood at all, though. That was a big personal accomplishment. I love seafood.

I also did not purchase much booze this month. So that’s pretty good too. At any rate, here’s the stuff:

12/2 Lee Market: $1.26 $0.76 bean sprouts and $0.50 cliantro

Stewart’s: $1.19 1 dz medium eggs

12/5/09 $8.15 Save-A-Lot: $0.79 3 Cream cheese bricks – same price as Aldi, $3.99 bacalao, $1.99 2 oz vanilla extract – same price at Aldi, but in plastic container at Aldi.

12/5/09 – Hannaford, $16.90 Eggs ($1.99 / 18) , milk ($1.55 1/2 gal 2%), sugar ($2.69 5#), flour ($5.89 10#), apricot preserves ($2.39), raspberry preserves ($2.39)

12/16 $17.70 Asian Supermarket, $1.58 Jalapenos, $3.59 dried shrimp (no dyes), $2.03 Boy Choy Sum (greens on the left), $1.72 Fresh lotus root ($1.79/lb they look like plastic-wrapped potatoes), $1.59 daikon ($0.59/lb), $1.59 Napa cabbage ($0.65/lb), $1.49 1# bag shallots, $1.52 Fuzzy Squash ($1.19/lb), $1.99 easy-to-use chopsticks (gift)

12/15 $1.19 Stewart’s 1 dozen medium eggs

12/14/09 $10.26 Aldi, $3.89 1# medium shrimp, $3.29 6-pack of White Castle Cheeseburgers, $1.99 jalapeno salsa, $1.09 Mushroom pasta sauce. Canned tomatoes were $0.89/can, but smaller than the $1.00 cans at Hannaford.

12/13 $30.18 Hannaford: $16.99 30 pack of Labatt Blue beer, 2 2-ltrs seltzer, 1 2-ltr gingerale, coffee, 1/2 gal milk

12/17 $30.21 All Star Wine and Spirits: $6.99 Ballatore supmante bubbles, $12.99 Praline Liqueur, $7.99 1.5L Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon (ended up giving cab sauv to Sistah)

12/17 $2.97 Target: 3 dozen large eggs @$0.99 each

12/17 $3 Halal Market: 2# Semolina flour
12/17 $10 trip to veggie cart: apples, grapefruit, other produce I can’t remember

12/19 $23.60 Hannaford: 30 pack Labatt beer, 1 tray chicken breast

12/20 $18.18 Roma Food Importing: $15.19 5# meatloaf mix meat ($2.99/lb special, when buying 3+ lbs), Fresh oregano $2.99

12/20 $21.49 Cardona’s Market: $5.99 peeled whole tomatoes, $6.78 smoked mozzarella, $8+ Pecorino Romano (@$9.98/lb)

12/20 $6.50 Aldi: $3.50 meat, $1.99 10# potatoes, bacon

12/21 $45.70 Hannaford: $3.49 Cabot Cottage cheese, $3.96 4 32 oz cans diced tomatoes, $1.98 2 cans crushed tomatoes, $3.96 4 cans whole tomatoes, $1 2 tiny cans tomato paste, $1.98 2 packs frozen spinach, $1.98 2# Orzo, $6.98 10# spaghetti, $3.89 Ricotta, $1.50 2 tropical sparkling waters, $2.69 Minute Maid Low Acid Orange Juice, $3.99 Smart Options grated cheese, $3.49 chipotle Tabasco sauce, floss, $4.44 whole chicken, $1.19 kraut $5 off coupon

12/22 $7 Dollar Tree: 4-3 oz Feta cheeses, Ssips Iced Tea, WestSoy Soy Milk, Dessert Topping

  1. Mr. Dave said:

    Wow, that is a lot of eggs…and Labatts! I picture you and Albany John sitting around eating giant omelets and housing Blue from cans. Probably not the case, but funny mental picture none the less.

  2. Mr. Dave said:

    by the way, I am going to totally steal your idea and keep track of everything I buy in January. I am sure I will be shocked by how much money I spend, and how much healthier that I could be.

  3. Awesome! Yeah, and for us, that was way less beer than normal. But also, guests and stuff too.

  4. i love how you went to Dollar Tree 😀 you can get the best best deals on various food stuffs there.uhhhhhh….. but you already knew that.

    we have the same parm-reg cheese. NOM NOM NOM

  5. Jennifer said:

    That is one interesting array of food. What's the picture with the bottle that says Squid on it? What is that?

    You're lucky, we're a family of 4-5 (depends on the week) and that's our weekly food budget. I think I shop well but I'm a baker so I buy a lot of pricey baking ingredients. I should start going to Aldi.

  6. How much savings would be meaningful? $40 less? You're actually doing pretty well, considering everything (be honest, you knew that).

    But if $40 matters, I believe there are two places to look.

    1. Waste. Things that die of spoilage or freezer death can be moved to the just-in-time roster. Commit to buying them only on the day you'll use them, the day before at most.

    2. Heedless Larder Expansion. Sometimes we buy too-large quantities of stuff that we hope to place in heavy rotation, but really don't. If it feels like your pantry only gets larger and has no program for lean, mean stabilization, see #1. Stuff will die in there, and that stuff costed-ed money. Also, these items tend to be relatively expensive and small (worst example: saffron), and tend to be shot when we reach for them. Honest Weight can help move these to the just-in-time roster. If you only need a pinch, they'll sell you a pinch — seven days a week.


  7. p – cheese buddies! I like Dollar Tree – sometimes they've got some good food deals there.

    Jennifer – the squid bottle is some fish sauce. It came for free with purchase >$15. It's so easy to add up when you start baking! I hear ya there.

    LQ – good points to note. I used to have trouble with waste, but thankfully no more! Haha, but those saffron and quail egg scrambles will prob have to go 😉

  8. Rachel said:

    I like how you explore all the great ethnic markets for cool new food finds. I hope to check them all out too. Lee's is great!

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