Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Groceries and Menu - January, Week 1

Hi, all,

I'm going to be helping with a program geared toward financial freedom that is being offered at the church I attend.  For the next little while, I'll be posting our grocery shopping and menus, to help those who are interested with ideas for saving on groceries.  I hope it's helpful for you!

To be fair, this is like starting in the middle, because we keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer, and a lot of what I'll list on the menu comes from those two places.  Additionally, I forgot to take a picture after I went to the bread outlet - sorry!  I'll try to do a better job representing our purchases in the weeks to come.

Bread Outlet.  Daughter and I picked up Sara Lee bagels (plain) that were $1 per 6-pack.  We had buy one, get one free coupons that I am able to print from a saver's card, so they were .50 each.  I also got two loaves of the Sara Lee 45 calories & delightful 100% whole wheat bread.  It was 1.99 per loaf, but since Daughter was with me and the bogo coupons are one per person, I was able to use another coupon and got both loaves for 1.99.  Finally, I picked up a loaf of Oroweat Russian Rye for 1.25.  Total spent:  $4.24.  Most of the bread went into the chest freezer, and we will use it as we need it.

Wal-Mart.  The sale items I wanted to purchase were at two different stores, one of which is about 13 miles from home.  There is a Wal-Mart about 2 1/2 miles from home, so I price-matched, which saved me time and fuel.  Here's what we bought (Items with a * were price-matched):

Wal-Mart - $9.69 for everything pictured.
chicken-tomato cubes (for Mex. rice) .72
pumpkin-crème cake mix .75 on clearance
jalapenos .12
2lb. carrots 1.44
*celery .88
*head of romaine lettuce .88
*2 avocadoes .96
*fresh pineapple 1.00
*apples .82
*green onions .48
*broccoli .66
*calabasa squash .58
*roma tomatoes .40
Total:  $9.69

Price matching saved about $6.  If you are shopping at Wal-Mart and you are not price-matching, you are likely spending more than you have to.  I find it to be very worthwhile!

Menu.  You'll see all sorts of things on the menu that we didn't buy up above.  They are items we have on hand from previous sale weeks, the freezer and the pantry. 

cereal, fruit, rice milk
bagels w/cream cheese, fruit
eggs with cheese, salsa and corn tortillas
peanut butter toast, applesauce, cocoa

leftovers from previous suppers
big green salads with cheese, nuts, fruit, dressing, etc.
homemade soup from the freezer
pbj, carrots and celery, oranges

smoked salmon, parslied potatoes, mixed steamed vegetables, pineapple
chili w/rice, shredded cheese, chopped onion, orange wedges
shoyu turkey, rice, kimchee, cabbage-carrot stir fry, pineapple
pizza magherita/pepperoni pizza, green salad, fruit kabobs
beef tacos, Mexican rice, frijoles w/cheese, guacamole & chips, oranges
minestrone, focaccia, cheese and apple wedges
oven chicken strips, potato wedges, steamed broccoli, pineapple sorbet

frozen fruit smoothies
cheese and crackers
peanut butter and celery
peanuts and raisins
bean dip and fritos
fresh fruit

I haven't decided yet about the pumpkin cake - whether to make it this week or put it back for later.  We'll see how the week goes.  I hope you have a great week!  If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.  Happy New Year!


momma-lana said...

Great prices on the produce and your menu sounds great!

I sat down and got my menus made for all of January. If I just write it down we eat well otherwise it is hit or miss and I hate living like that. We need very little this month other than produce and milk. In fact we were planning to meet friends for breakfast on Saturday and then I started thinking about all the food left from our kids being here and called them and just asked them to come here and help us get through some of this food. We will save probably $15 by eating what we have on hand.

Laura said...

Lana, that's what happens here too - we still eat, but not as well, and things that ought to get used get missed. Even if we don't follow a menu perfectly, it helps me a lot to have a plan and not hit 4pm wondering what I'll do that day for supper.

Husband's work gave each family a ham for Christmas, and they were really good ones. We ate ham Christmas day, had sandwiches, had some at breakfast a time or two, and then I wrapped 7 packages of ham and froze them for future use. That way it gets used with purpose, and we don't burn out on it. :)

momma-lana said...

We had a freebie ham from work, too! I chopped and froze 13 half cup packages for things like omelettes in the coming months. That was what was left on the bone after the spiral slices were taken off! It was a really delicious ham and I am missing it now that the slices are gone from the fridge!

We have a local grocery store that will clearance spiral hams for 99 cents a pound if I can just catch them at the right time. I have broken those down and frozen in packages and we have had delicious ham for 6 months or more. We'll see.

Sheila said...

I'm excited for this series! I spend quite a bit on food, and know I could do better with some focus/effort. One of my favorite series ever was several years ago when some bloggers blogged what their families ate every day for a month. I made muffins this morning with a recipe I got during that series. :) I think you are really amazing in this area, Laura!

Jennifer said...

You'll have to let us know if the tomato bouillon cubes are the secret to restaurant-style Mexican rice. I've always wanted to be able to make something similar, but all the recipes I try seem to have too many ingredients that result in a tomato-saucy rice with vegetable chunks, not the dry, lightly seasoned rice that I'm expecting.

Kelli said...


Over at she is having another pantry challenge this month. She blogs everyday on what they ate. I hope that you can get some money saving ideas from her :)

Another one of my favorite frugal blogs is Brandy over at

Laura said...

Several people have sent me recipes for Mexican rice, and I have those saved too....but this box of cubes was a way for me to try something simple and see if it works. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I know you were talking to Shelia, but I'll have to check out Good Cheap Eats - I haven't read that one. I love Prudent Homemaker! :)

Sheila said...

Kelli, I read both Good Cheap Eats and The Prudent Homemaker! :) I like reading about food, I think! Thank you!

Laura, Good Cheap Eats is by the same author as Life As Mom, if you are familiar with her. Jessica Fischer (maybe Fisher, not sure). She has written a couple of freezer cooking cookbooks, but I don't have them. Another site where I have gotten several recipes I like is Pennies and Pancakes.


Related Posts with Thumbnails