Sunday, January 8, 2012

Two more shopping trips and thoughts on food

Last night, after Mass*, we went to do our regular grocery shopping.

Total bill $160.95 (bold items are store brands)
  • big bag of shredded cheese $6.48
  • huge block of Romano cheese (used for shredding/grating instead of buying packaged Parmesan) $11.46
  • small personal sized desserts (a treat since we rarely have dessert in the house and didn't have a lot of "junk" around during the holiday nor did we attend any parties; 4 @ $1.68 on sale) $6.72
  • box of ditalini (pasta used in pasta fagioli, good to have on hand--quick & easy soup to make with ingredients that are non-perishable!) $1.53
  • box of orzo (pasta used in mushroom soup) $1.53
  • diced tomatoes (4 cans @ .99) $3.96
  • canned mushrooms 4/$3.00
  • tomato sauce (4 cans @ .69) $2.76
  • chicken broth (10 cans @ .40) $4.00
  • beef broth (big cans, needed for mushroom soup, no store brand beef broth available. 2 @ $3.43) $6.86
  • can of hominy (for green chili later this week) .99
  • canned soup, 8/$10.00
  • cream of chicken soup 5/$5.00
  • cream of mushroom soup 5/$5.00
  • low fat microwave popcorn $2.19
  • tortilla chips 2/$4.00
  • potato chips $4.99
  • "regular" microwave popcorn $3.19
  • crackers $3.99
  • snack crackers 2/$5.00
  • chicken boullion packets (2 @ $1.29) $2.58
  • Jane's Krazy Salt--my new favorite "spice" $2.83
  • ground chipotle pepper $8.69
  • cranberry juice (4 big bottles @ $1.88 each) $7.52
  • soda (3 12-packs @ $2.00 each) $6.00
  • seltzer (5 1-liter bottles @ .77 each) $3.85
  • herbal tea 2/$4.00
  • 8 oz pkg sliced mushrooms (2 @ 1.28 each on sale, cheaper than the non-sliced! Will be used in mushroom soup I'm making today) $2.56
  • pint of grape tomatoes $3.99
  • 2# bag of carrots $1.99
  • dried mushrooms (for soup, 2 @ $4.99) $9.98
  • 2# pollock loin $12.26
  • bottle deposits $2.05
The receipt said we saved $44.15, between sales and using our store card. Looking back, there were more than a few things that we didn't have to get--or we could have gotten less than we had of certain items. I know we could have spent less had store brands been available in the pasta shapes needed for the recipes, as well as the beef broth.

Sometimes, it's hard to say no to a spouse, especially when it's something like food. Also, when a spouse is a foodie and loves to cook, there's the desire to experiment or the need to restock items that have been used. The tea is for me for my desk at work; I realized on Friday that all I have left is caffeinated and I can't be drinking that all day, I'll never sleep!

When we got home, I realized that the mushroom soup also calls for fresh dill and parsley, which I had on my list, but thought was for another soup and decided to pick those up next week. FAIL. I had to go back to the store today, but this time I brought back 4 big bags of empty bottles and cans that I hadn't gotten around to taking back.

I ended up paying ONLY .68 for a bunch of parsley and a bunch of dill, as well as a few more onions that I thought to grab. How? My bill was originally $7.33, but I "made" $6.65 at the bottle return room. I felt funny when the cashier told me my final total, as I didn't have anything smaller than a $10 bill on me, so I decided to put it on my debit card. (I used to work retail, I know what a pain it is when someone "robs" your drawer of all your change!)

Originally, when I made up our budget for January, I thought it would be good to try and spend $350 on groceries. I don't know if this is going to happen. One week into the month and we're already at $265.16. Granted, we have a LOT of non-perishables, and many of these things will last for a long time, especially those 10 cans of chicken broth! Even most of the produce we bought will last for some time. We also have a good amount of salad stuff in the fridge, which I can use for lunches this week, with maybe a half can of soup, which is really one serving. We also have a lot of things in the freezer, including bread, so even if we go over the $350, it won't be too bad. (I don't think.)

Besides having a problem with spending too much (at least to me, it's too much), I know we also have a problem with not using things up before they go bad. I've stuck my hand in the veggie drawer to be met by a slimy cucumber. I hope that we can avoid that as well.

A note about this soup I'm making. While it doesn't call for meat, these mushroom are PRICEY! I haven't cooked too many things with mushrooms before, and if I have, they've been the fresh white button type. Not these fancy dried ones. I think this pot of soup costs $21.61 (not counting ingredients I already had on hand, like flour and sour cream) but the recipe says it serve 8 to 12. When you figure out the cost per serving, it's not so bad: more like $1.80-$2.70 a serving. Oh, I hope this isn't one of those "so gross, we can't make it better and we end up tossing it" dishes!!

*Yup, we went Roman this weekend. Friday night was Theophany (Epiphany); after serving in the almost 2 hour liturgy, plus the 40 minute drive each way to our "old church," C was happy to stay local, instead of driving another 40 minutes one way in the opposite direction to our "new, regular church" that has a divine liturgy on Saturday nights. If you're confused: for a few years we attended one church and got really involved--C served on the altar, I sang in the choir. When he started his new job in November, we had to give up going to that church because he had to work Sundays and they didn't have a Saturday night DL. The one we attend now is the church C grew up in and while they are seriously lacking many things, they do have a Saturday night DL and we can see C's grandmother each week. Our goal is to go back to the "old church" for holy days and if C ever has a need to take a Sunday off. Thank God we're Catholic and have this choice. I don't know what Protestants would do.

1 comment:

  1. If you like the how the soup turns out, please share the recipe with me. :)


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