Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekly grocery shop

The baby's been sick all week, hence the lack of posting. He's needed to be held upright for all his naps and half the night, too. The level of sleep deprivation around here would probably qualify as torture. But things are much better now.

I doubt I'll make a habit of this, but I thought it would be nice to post the receipt from my trip to Aldi today. I now go every week, because going every other week was leaving us with wilty produce half the time. I have to remember, though, to buy less on each trip.

You'll notice we're no longer grain-free. John experienced a return of symptoms even when grain-free, and after that bout we reintroduced grains without trouble. So, the problem is still a mystery. Diet does seem to be a factor, but I don't think it's the only one. I've considered vitamin deficiency, metal poisoning (he has a pin in his foot), fructose malabsorption, and many other things.

Flour 1.69
I'm getting really into baking lately. Plus it's cheaper than buying bread. Unfortunately Aldi didn't have any yeast this time like they did last time, so I'll have to get it at Shoppers. That and whole wheat flour.
Ramen noodles 1.79
John's guilty pleasure. He loves these.
Canned beets .59
Canned apricots .99
These two are my "guilty" pleasures. Luckily they're decently good for me.
Salt .35
Butter (1 lb.) 2.39
Swiss cheese (sale!) 1.69 each for 2 half pounds
Bologna .99
Fresh carrots 1.69
Bananas 1.13 (39 cents a pound)
Lettuce (1 head) 1.49
Tomatoes (6 Romas) 1.29
Fresh mushrooms .69 (a steal! usually they're over a dollar)
Green peppers (2) 1.69
Chocolate baking chunks .99
Another guilty pleasure. I want to bake cookies, and John doesn't like my other favorites (molasses cookies, peanut butter cookies, and snickerdoodles).
Sardines in mustard .79 each for 3
John likes these. I prefer to be out of the house when he is eating them.
Pork chops 5.39 (2.85 lbs at 1.89/lb)
I don't really like pork, but it was awfully cheap.
Flour tortillas .99
I have tried making them, but they just won't fold around a burrito.
Paper plates 1.19
For a friend's party.
Eggs (1 doz) 1.25
Penne pasta .89
White bread .79
I prefer wheat, but John likes white, and it's probably easier on his gut anyway.
Taxes .88
Total 34.89

I didn't buy many vegetables because we have a lot of canned and frozen vegetables already. I just restocked the fresh ones. Tomatoes, lettuce, and green peppers are for John's beloved baloney sandwiches. He's missed them. Other things I didn't buy because we have plenty of them include milk, potatoes, and meat, except for the pork chops. And I no longer buy yogurt, because I make it myself regularly now. I've finally found a good way to incubate it -- in my multi-cooker pot, on the "warm" setting. I put the jars in and fill the pot up with water, and it keeps the milk at a constant temperature.

I usually buy ground beef and whole chickens at Aldi (chicken is only .85/lb), but other meat is not particularly cheap there. I found a corner of the meat department at Shoppers, our "other" store, that sells cheaper cuts of meat, so I've been relying on that more. Shoppers caters to immigrants, so I am able to find cheaper (and often more healthful) cuts of meat like neck bones, liver, pigs' feet (okay, haven't tried those yet) and so forth. I also find beans much cheaper there -- I can get a 4-lb bag for less than $4, and Aldi never sells them for under a dollar a pound. That's good, because we rely on beans a lot.

Overall, it was a success -- topped us off from last week, and spent only half of what I do at a biweekly trip ($70 is my usual goal). Eating grains again has been a big help. We eat a lot, and it's helpful to have such a cheap source of calories. Ideally I'd like to keep our grain intake low permanently, but for now we're eating some grains at about half our meals. Once we've moved (knock on wood) I hope to buy some meat in bulk because the house has an additional freezer. I may be able to get a half or whole sheep, which would be a nice change. And once our garden is producing, that can be a money saver as well.


Sarah Faith said...

Wait, are you saying you spend under $200/month on groceries? Or do you mean $70/week? That is so low! You don't even want to know what we spend on food in a month!

Sheila said...

Yes, we do spend around $150-175 a month when we're being really good. Keep in mind we only have 2 1/2 eaters, and we don't eat all that healthfully. We spend about $35-40 a week at Aldi, and then another $20 every couple of weeks at Shoppers to get meat, beans, and other miscellaneous things Aldi doesn't have.

I make a package of meat last for 3-5 dinners by including a lot of potatoes and rice. During the week, John has no breakfast and leftovers for lunch. While he's gone, I eat PBJ's, eggs, and yogurt, or homemade bread. Our meal plan is rather monotonous, but we never go hungry.

I'm already watching our food go faster the more the baby eats, though, and once he's weaned I imagine he'll be eating a ton. And then when we have more kids ... yeah, it won't stay that low forever.

But I do heartily recommend Aldi for saving money, particularly on canned food and dry goods. They have huge deals on processed food, but we try to avoid that, so it doesn't save us anything. Milk and meat prices are generally comparable to the regular stores, and produce a little cheaper.

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