Grocery Geek Presents: Shopping for Freezer Cooking and Fresh Produce

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This past week’s shopping has revolved around freezer cooking. My pantry and freezer were starting to look a little bare. So, once I made my detailed plan for once-a-month cooking, I started scanning the sales to see what changes I needed to make. Turns out I had few changes to make. The grocery stores cooperated with my hopes for lots of chicken meals in the next month.

Not only was boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale for the typical $1.98, but I found legs and thighs for $0.59/lb. I also cashed in a rain check to get bone-in breast for $0.87/lb. The rest of my freezer cooking shopping involved a few odds and ends that I didn’t already have in the cupboard.

Health Food Stores Have Great Prices on Produce

I also took advantage of some great produce prices. If you live in So Cal, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with Henry’s Markets. It’s a health food store which means expensive on most things. But, they rock on produce. The same goes for Sprouts. Here are the prices I paid this week:

pineapples $0.88 each
artichokes $0.88 each
corn on the cob $0.25 each
apples $0.88/lb
broccoli $0.88/lb
eggs $1.29/doz

A Word About Club Warehouse Stores

I also headed to Costco for the best prices on high quality ziptop bags as well as cheese and artisan breads. I used to buy all my milk and chicken there, but have found that the sale prices are better at the grocery store. So, if I can wait for a sale, I do. (Also, their milk recently reverted back to hormone milk. I was disappointed about that, but consoled that my grocery stores only carry hormone-free milk, so it’s all good.)

For some, paying the Costco membership is not worth it. We’ve been members for over 15 years and we love it. Their food court is a super cheap and fun place for feeding a family of 8, and many of the gourmet items that I prefer are available at their lowest price at Costco. I know that I make back my $50 every year, but am also pretty sure that it does save us money on stuff we would buy anyway.

That said, please exercise caution at Costco, just like at Walmart. There are way too many “fun” items that you don’t need at very decent prices. It’s easy to get swayed.

How did your shopping go this week?

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  1. My local Food World had chicken legs for 0.37/# this week. Too bad nobody in my fam will eat them! I actually thought about all the women who would cringe at me walking away from them. 😛

  2. Wow I didn’t realize you could get such great prices on produce at health store. I am going to have to check it out!

    I had a great shopping trip this week between albertsons and cvs! I got $83 worth of produce for $1.99!

  3. Oh, I am bummed about Costco’s milk, too. I hadn’t realized the change. I had checked before and hadn’t checked again. I guess I’ll be going back to Fresh & Easy for milk.

    I’m guessing the produce you get at Sprouts and Henry’s isn’t organic for those prices? I am rarely able to buy organic b/c of the cost. I’m just curious.

    Thanks for such an encouraging blog!

    PS- Off topic, I’d love a post on what you did with busy toddlers while homeschooling. I’ll be homeschooling my twins next year for first grade next year with a one year old. (and a 4 year old) I’m a bit nervous about it!

    1. Sometimes the prices for that low ARE organic. I’ve gotten apples and broccoli that were organic.

      And, yes, that kind of post is in the works. Probably closer to summertime.

  4. Ok, I totally didn’t know that Costco went back to hormone milk. That makes me so mad, as I didn’t even see the difference on labeling. Sneaky! Now I’m going to have to get my milk at Henry’s. We go through 2-4 gallons a week & there’s no way I’m putting that in my or my son’s bodies. Argh. Off to write a disappointed letter to Costco.

    1. Well, check your Costco. At least the ones in North County have moved back to hormone milk. Major bummer. My label said something like, “our farmers pledge quality” instead of the hormone-free pledge. I haven’t checked Henry’s prices on milk, but Albertsons has hormone-free for $2.29 a gallon which is comparable to Costco’s price.

  5. Henry’s Markets and Sprouts for produce…I’m making notes for when we move out there this fall! I can’t believe that you bought whole pineapples for 88 cents each! The best price that I have ever gotten (and this was only once, I usually pay more) was $1.97 each. We love putting fresh pineapple chunks in kabobs–it’s like eating candy after the pineapple is grilled.

  6. We just moved from Southern CA where we lived for the almost 11 years we have been married to the pacific northwest.

    This weekend was the first weekend of actual grocery shopping and without Henry’s I was at a loss as to where to begin! Forget missing specific restaurants, I miss my grocery store! 🙂 Not only the fresh stuff, but also the great prices on bulk!

    I checked my Costco milk that I bought up here and it IS hormone free. Also the containers are slightly different. Wonder if that is a regional change?

  7. Actually I just got back from our Costco (so cal, too- Orange County) and it’s still hormone free. You have to read the box to see it- it’s not on the gallon itself. Hopefully, they won’t change it! It’s a good reminder to check periodically.

    I’ll be looking forward to your future post!

  8. My tortillas dry out on my cheese enchildas when I freeze them.I use corn tortillas.Could that be my problem? I put the sauce on them too..Thanks!

    1. I use corn tortillas, but I don’t have that problem. Do you soften them in oil, first?

  9. I just bought milk at Costco and it still says hormone free – hoping ours stays that way – we are near Chicago…. 🙂

  10. Thanks for answering my question ,Jessica.I soften my tortillas in a skillet in hot water right beforeI roll them. Next time I will try oil.