We had only done a little shopping when I shared my goals for the Food Stamp Challenge. I did a little more shopping on Friday, so I thought I would post those trips. For the rest of the June Food Stamp Challenge I will post all of my shopping trips together in a single post on Saturdays.
We still have plenty of greens from the garden. I also have broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and asparagus on hand, so I didn’t have to buy any vegetables. I still had fruit from our earlier shopping trips, as well as apples and watermelon leftover from last week’s trip.
Because I am still recovering from a monster virus, I bought some convenience items to make my life a little easier. I also had to purchase some items to use in gluten-free baking.
June 4th – Raley’s $27.70.
Savings Tip – Check the expiration date to make sure you can finish the item before it expires. This is obvious with dairy products, but also applies to packaged goods. The xanthan gum was $12.99. It is what I use to bind gluten-free flours together. Fortunately, a little goes a long way; that 8 oz. package will last me 12 – 18 months. I could have bought it at Wal-Mart and saved a $1.50, but when I looked at the use by date on the package at Wal-Mart it was set to expire in 6 months, so any savings would have been negated by tossing out half of the package. The package I bought at Raley's will expire in 18 months, so none will go to waste.
The nitrate free bacon ($3.99) and chips ($1.69) were impulse buys.
June 4th – Trader Joe’s $31.01. I checked and Trader Joe’s does except food stamps (I didn’t want to shop at a store that wouldn’t accept them during the challenge, even though I am paying cash). They also accept coupons, so I was able to use a $1.00 off coupon on my Puffins cereal. I like shopping at Trader Joe's because I can find organic gluten free items for much less than at other stores, (Their organic brown rice pasta is $1.99 for a 16 oz. package; most of our local stores charge $3.00+ for a 12 oz. package) but I have to be careful because I can easily succumb to temptation and go crazy buying specialty foods. When I shop at TJ's, I make sure that I am full, bring a list, and NEVER try their free samples!
Saving Tip – Bring a calculator and compare prices ounce per ounce. Most of the local grocery stores charge the same amount for their boxes of Puffins as the Trader Joe’s price. The difference is that the box of Puffins at TJ’s is 18 oz. and the other stores carry a 12 oz. package of Puffins. Even when the local stores put the puffins on sale 2 for $5, the TJ’s price is still better per ounce.
Total to date for June groceries – $104.98. I had hoped to keep it under 100.00, but had 137.25 to spend per week if I needed, as part of the challenge. Hopefully next week I will not need to rely on so much convenience food and will be able to use more coupons.
What are your favorite tips for saving on groceries?