Stocking Up on Produce (Grocery Geek)

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This week, I made another three grocery stops. I’m trying to cut that down to one, honestly. But, I am not as organized as I want to be — or maybe it’s that I can’t foresee all the needs and wants of the week. Or maybe it’s the sales that beckon me to come get a good deal.

Or it could be that my kids eat so darn much! Yeah, that’s it….

So on Sunday I ran by Walmart for the newspaper and coupons and ended up getting milk and bananas, too. I spent $6.

I popped into Ralphs on Monday night for some field trip snacks. We went on a homeschool field trip on Tuesday and I knew we needed to take food rather than pay high prices at our destination. I found lots of great markdowns. An asterisk * indicates what I think would be a good deal.

bread for $1.89 and $1.99*
herbed cheese $2*
hot cocoa mix $0.75*
apple slices $0.99*
cuties $1.88 after coupons *
gummy snacks $1*
salami $5.49
applesauce $2.50
good coffee — because we “need” it – $7.99* (actually a lower price per pound than if I buy it at the shop)

I spent $36 at Ralphs.

Then on Friday afternoon I cruised by Henry’s for their 72 hour sale. Some of the prices were unbelievable. Again, an asterisk would tell you what’s a stock-up price in my book.

limes $0.10 *
kiwis $0.20 *
apples $0.49 *
lettuce $0.88 *
cuties $1.97 *
swiss chard $2
green onions$0.25 *
cucumbers $0.49 *
zucchini $0.88/lb
blackberries $0.97 *
tomatoes $0.88/lb *
cilantro $0.25 *
broccoli $0.97/lb *
OG celery $2.49
potatoes $2.88/10# bag
yogurt $2.50/32 oz
milk $3.29/gal
sour cream $0.99 *
cinnamon $3.99 – there seems to be a cinnamon shortage — I’m having a hard time finding it these days
wheat germ $2.59
wheat bran $1.69
tortilla chips $1.99
garbanzo beans $0.99
boneless, skinless chicken breast $1.89/lb *

I ended up spending $72 at Henry’s. I am still mad at Costco, so that’s why I spent extra on milk. Well, that and I didn’t want to drive so far.

Prior to this week, my monthly total was about $286. After this week, it’s now at $400. That leaves me about $200 for the rest of the month. It should work out fine.

Especially if I make peace with Costco.

Grocery Geek is a weekly feature on LifeasMOM. It started years ago when we were deep in debt and I was trying to get my grocery budget under control. Through a friend I found out about the beauty of coupons. I became a crazed fanatic, loading my cart with free cereal. That free cereal helped us, in part, get out of debt.

Every week, dork that I am, I posted on my personal blog what I bought because, well, I was so dang proud of myself. Later I found out that there was this blog called MoneySavingMom. She had a link up every Saturday where other geeks like me shared their shopping stories. I was hooked. And by reading all the different posts that were linked each week, I learned even more about how to save money at grocery and drugstores.

So each week I continue to share what good deals I find, so that others can be encouraged to save big money on food costs.

And as Paul Harvey says, “Now you know the rest of the story….”

Stop by Good Cheap Eats on Monday when I share what I’m going to do with all these goodies.

How often do YOU go shopping?

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    1. @Mel, I do. These kind of prices hearken back to when we first got married. Groceries were always that price.

  1. wow, what a haul on the produce!
    i was feeling lucky this week with a half bushel of apples for $5 and 8lbs sweet onions for $3 from the Rochester Public Market. unfortunately they are only open tues, thurs and saturday. usually there is the most selection on saturdays but i don’t like bringing the kids on saturday because its so crowded.

  2. I can totally relate to running into the store for one or two things and then buying much more. It’s like I think, since I’m here, I need this, and this, and this. We eat a lot of produce in our house too, and while I don’t get as good a deal on it as you, it’s totally worth it for our health. And I’m with you on the importance of a good cup of coffee!

  3. With four kids under the age of 5 and the closest affordable (read: not small town) grocery store about 25 minutes away, I can only get out once a week to get groceries. So for me, planning (and lining up a babysitter!) is key. But I usually hit about 4 different stores once I get out!

  4. Awesome produce prices. As an aside, Paul Harvey is dead, but you just brought back some fond memories!

    1. I add the kiwis to fruit salad, in this case, it might be berries and kiwi. Or, the kids just like to eat them with a spoon out of the skin. As for how long it will last…. if I prepare it, they will eat it in a week. I just have to make sure I make it available.

  5. I go about once a week to Ralphs and then twice a month to Costco. I buy a lot of staples at Target as it is cheaper, especially with the extra 5 percent off w/ the target credit card and occasional extra 5 percent off for filling prescriptions.

    Just so you know at Ralphs, they have extra checkers out at 4-8 pm on Monday- through Friday, 12 to 6 pm on Saturday and I think it is 12 to 6 pm on Sunday also, If you notice, during that time they have someone standing out in the aisle most of the time a manager, monitoring the lines and they may greet you when you pass by.

  6. I’m sad to hear about your Costco experience because I’ve never had someone hassle me like that. We’ve had the Exec Membership for a long time, but I never remember being hassled about it and I know I’ve NEVER been asked to get the AmEx card. So interesting how stores differ like that.

    I just got my annual Costco reimbursement and it was $150 – so I got my membership cost back plus an extra $50. We bought a new TV this year so it was a little higher than usual. Also, when doing our taxes, I found out that we could deduct the cost of our membership.

    Awesome produce deals! I can’t believe the berry price. Right now they’d probably be $4 for a container that size.

    Have a great weekend, Jess!

    1. @Katie | GoodLife Eats, I’m sad to hear my Costco experience, too. LOL They do seem to vary by store. We never had these issues in Kansas or across town. But, this particular store is unrelenting — and I’ve spoken with management and customer service as well as emailed corporate. Apparently, they don’t need me as much as I need a good deal on milk. 🙂

  7. I’m doing a lot less grocery store shopping these days after doing some freezer meals and stopping by a produce stand weekly. My husband will grab gallons of milk on the way home, etc. but it’s been nice to not have to be in line!

    1. @robbie, since I’ve been doing my freezer cooking a little differently with recipe testing, I’m looking forward to getting back to the old way. As is, I’m cooking up a storm — every day. Can’t wait for July 1. 🙂

  8. I shop on average twice a month normally. We live at least 30 minutes from any grocery store. In between grocery store trips, I fill in at our local Kwik Trip or Dollar General.

    If neither of those places carry it (or it costs an exhorbitant amount!), we don’t need it THAT bad. Since we moved here about 9 months ago, I have really revamped my shopping habits. It’s taught me a lot about needs and wants. 🙂

    {And for the record, it’s just my husband and me now. I realize my habits may change once we have kids. ;)}

  9. Call me naive, but where do you find coupons for Cuties?? They’re so good but so expensive even at sale price.

    1. @Beth, I had some printables from the cuties site as well as some from the newspaper. I’ve found them in the paper inserts at least 2 or 3 times this year.

  10. I go once a week. I try my very hardest not to go more than that, since I despise having to go more than that. 🙂 Congrats on the great produce prices! You hit the jackpot 🙂

  11. Ahhhh…wish I could find some great deals like that on produce … me? Just spent 69 cents/lb for bananas, $5.99 for 2 lbs peppers, $3.09 for 3 heads of crappy romaine and $3.29 for small bag of spinach. Oh. How could I forget, $3.75 for a gallon of milk (!!!??) Unlike you, I’m NOT mad at Costco but haven’t had the time to get out there for the mad crush shopping. Great deals you have there!