Friday, December 6, 2013
If you follow grocery store sales, you will have noticed that autumn is the best season for stocking the fridge, freezer and pantry. November, in particular, stands out as the month with the most sales on a wide variety of basic groceries, from baking supplies, to canned veggies and autumn long-keeping fresh vegetables, and to turkey and cheese. I buy more groceries during this month, than any other month of the year, more groceries than we can consume in a month.
While November has some of the best deals, just around the corner January, February and early March will have some of the fewest great deals on groceries. I use this info to my advantage, and really stock-up now, enough to carry us through the leaner months to come.
I'm a bit nervous about this month. I do have a bit of a surplus entering the month, plus the usual $170. I will hopefully find great deals on turkey, ham, cheese, butter, potatoes, celery, yams, and canned vegetables. I have a surplus of $64.05 to add to this month's budget of $170, for a total of $234.05 to spend this month on groceries.
Nov.1 Dollar Tree for soy milk (1 qt.) and peanut butter (10 small jars). Spent $11
Country Farms produce stand for the last bit of clearance. Squash, pumpkins, oranges, limes, grapefruit, avocado and apples. Spent $22.76
Safeway to use coupons. Milk (1.89/gal, bought 2), cheese (2-lb block for 3.99), spent $7.77 for a total month to date of $41.53
Nov. 6 Walgreen's has eggs for 99 cents/dozen. I pick up 7 dozen eggs. The sell-by date is in mid-December, about how long this amount of eggs will last for us. spent $6.93, for a total $48.46
Nov. 8 Dollar Tree, need soy milk, spent $1, for a total of $49.46
Nov. 11 Fred Meyer, 1/2 gallons of milk for 99 cents, limit 4. also find autumn mix candy for 32 cents. I buy 1 bag to add to the Thanksgiving dessert buffet. spent $4.28, for a total of $53.74
Nov. 15 Albertson's to buy turkeys. the deal is spend $35, then buy one turkey for 99 cents/lb and get another turkey free. I buy shortening for pies ($5.79/3 lbs), marked down quarts of half and half creamer (50 cents each, I buy 2, I'll freeze most of this), milk for $2.19/gal (limit 2 w/coupon), 8 oz cream cheese ( 88 cents, limit 6), and two 22-lb turkeys. I spent $40.83, for a total of $94.57.
Nov. 20 Albertson's again. I wasn't planning on buying anything but the potatoes on sale, then thought to spend another $35, and buy one turkey, get another free. So, I find 8 packages of our favorite brand of breakfast sausage on markdown for $1.99 each, regularly $3.99, a family pack of ground beef for $1.99/lb, Italian sausage marked down for $2.99/19 ounces (I buy 2 packs, will divide and freeze when I get home), and two 2-lb packages of powdered sugar, celery (89cents/lb), yams (99 cents/lb) and 1 10-lb bag of potatoes (97 cents, limit 1 per transaction), plus my 2 turkeys. Spent $53.73, for a total of $148.30 for the month so far.
Nov. 21 Albertson's, this time with my coffee and butter coupons. I buy 2 cans of coffee (34 oz, $5.99 ea), 2 pounds of butter (1.99, limit 2 w/ coupon), and my 10-lb bag of potatoes (97 cents), for $16.93, for a total of $165.23
Nov. 23 Albertson's, this time I take my two daughters with me, and all three of us buy 10-lb bags of potatoes, for a total of $2.91
Fred Meyer, we buy 16 cans of pumpkin ($1 ea), 2 lbs of butter (1.67/lb), 10 jars natural peanut butter (1.88/16 oz), 1 gal skim milk (marked down, $1.50), 1 package choc chip for 1.79, 6 cans of corn (50 cents ea w/coupon), 1 can of decaf coffee (5.99), can cream of mushroom soup (75 cents), for a total of $51.17, bringing spending for month up to $219.31
Nov. 24 Albertson's again w/ family members to buy potatoes. we buy 3 10-lb bags, for a total of $2.91, total month to date, $222.22
Nov. 29 Bartells for canned nuts and sparkling cider, on sale. Tins of nuts are 30 oz for $4.99 each. I buy 3 tins and get rainchecks for more, and 6 bottles of cider (1.99 ea), spent $26.91
Fred Meyer while shopping for socks, etc, I find 5 half gallons of milk for 89 cents each, spent $4.45, for a total of $253.58 spent for November.
I went over budget plus surplus by $19.53. This amount will be deducted from December's budget of $170. I think we'll be okay, though.
What I stocked up on this month: 80 pounds of potatoes, 4 frozen whole turkeys, 5 1/2 lbs of nuts (and hope to buy more when stock comes in), sparkling cider (we'll use this throughout the winter and early spring, for special occasions), an assortment of meat, cream cheese, the winter's supply of coffee, peanut butter, winter squash, fresh and canned pumpkin, and a couple month's supply of butter.
Ending the month I can get a glimpse of how we'll do year round, with our grocery spending. Looking into my pantry, fridge and freezer, I can see that we are very well stocked. We have enough here that we really could go months without shopping. We'd run out of eggs and milk, but otherwise be okay. So, that's reassuring. I even had the thought that we could cut our grocery spending further. But I don't need to, so I won't. It's nice to have a bit of extra money in this category, so we can have some luxury foods, like cheese, cocoa, nuts, cream and plenty of meat.
This month, I'll be looking for good prices on ham, onions, butter and cheese.