Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Shopping for one – two

Showing grocery hauls and savings seems to be very trendy these days.  As you may remember I had a power outage that lasted several days.  That meant the food in the freezer thawed.  What I couldn’t eat quickly had to be trashed.  It was just way too hot and not enough volume for canning.  Other items in the fridge like mayo, cheeses, juices, and so forth had to be tossed as well.  Thankfully we (my sister in law and I) hadn’t done the monthly shopping yet so there wasn’t a whole lot to loose.  I looked on the bright side and thought of it as starting with a clean slate.

Friday, the 15th, was monthly shopping day for my sister-in-law.  Its her car so she chooses the day and I do the driving.  My plan was to limit myself to just $150 for everything.  More than I would normally spend on food because the fridge needed restocking.  I needed paint for a project so I knew I’d be spending extra for some non-edibles.  All together the food was $68.84 and the non-food came to $62.19 when I added in a couple of unplanned purchases.  I still came in under budget.

Something I forgot to mention in my shopping strategy is that I also carry a pen and paper with me.  I write down every item that goes into my cart and the shelf price.  I do this because way too many mistakes are made at the register.  I try to catch the error as items are scanned but can’t always watch close enough.  Before I leave the store I step aside and check the receipt against my written list.  If something doesn’t match I ask for a correction at the service desk.  I was surprised the first time I did this.  I found three mistakes totaling almost $4.  In the war of the haves against the have nots;  I am a have not person.  I spend enough money without donating extra into the pockets of the haves people.  I’ve added this to the post about my shopping strategy so its there if I need to review.

In meat I bought one family pack of chicken thighs for .69 a pound.  There were 8 thighs which will make 8 meals.  I prefer chicken breast meat but its more expensive right now.  I’ll make do with the thighs.  I bought two-two pack beef patties and one pound of ground beef from the discount bin.  I bought a pack of salad shrimp and one package of five Italian sausage.  My brother also gifted me a package of fresh caught cat fish.  So I’m pretty well stocked on meat for awhile.

In dairy I bought cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepper jack cheese, and some crescent rolls. These were all on sale as loss leaders.  Have you seen the high price of dairy products lately?  Outrageous!

Another purchase was some quick mix items for Ladybug and I to do a bit of experimenting with mug meals.  A bag of roasted almonds because she loves them.  The veggie pasta and Italian dressing is to make a big batch of pasta salad to keep in the fridge.  It always tastes better after a couple of days.  The only reason I bought two bottles of the dressing is because the double pack was the same price as a single bottle.  I prefer to make my own and will again.

Fresh veggies and fruits I bought corn, grapes, cabbage, broccoli with stem, tomatoes, peaches, cantaloupe, and a couple of discounted cut fruit cups for dinner since I would not feel like cooking after the shopping day.  The corn and grapes were for my daughter’s holiday cookout as my contribution.  The cantaloupe was put into the freezer.

In the non-edibles I bought a tiny pan, a tiny colander, paint, pencils, two discounted note books, a pencil holder, and two juice containers.  Looking at it all together its hard to realize it cost $62.19.  The juice jugs are a tall thin size suitable for a tiny fridge when I get one. The primer and paint were the most expensive but are for a project I have planned.

I did buy a packet of the single serve brownie mix and icing.  Those were for Ladybug when she’s here and wants a snack.    She’s not allowed to use the stove so these will work until I come up with a couple simple recipes she can follow.  I think she’s loving mug meals.

I bought enough food to last for two weeks or longer.  Now, I need to practice measuring and cooking in tiny batches.  Its not that I HAVE to cook this way.  I do have diabetes but other than that I’m not on a special diet.  I do plan to write down what I eat and figure out how many calories for my doctor to read.  My doctor will like that alot.  I only want to re-train my brain to cook in small amounts for one person.  To train myself to stop buying and cooking as if I’m still feeding a whole family or a whole neighborhood.

9 comments on “Shopping for one – two

  1. Cath young
    June 28, 2018

    Local Dollar Tree has these Mug mixes which for a dollar apiece are great. You can also look up the recipes on the internet. I find an overripe banana or other fruit and decide to make s single treat for me.

    I always have flour, sugars, baking powder, egg, oil on hand so it’s just a matter of the flavorings. Can make several mugs of cake actually if need to in matter of minutes. Not as good as oven baked but 10 min banana bread in a mug in the summer from the microwave just fine for me

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    • Anita
      June 29, 2018

      I had no idea Dollar Tree had the mug mixes. I’ll check it out. I’m more of a scratch cook too but I’m also a “show me” type person. I look at manufactured products to understand how they are made and then make the scratch version. I’ll look on the internet, thanks. Do you have a favorite site?

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  2. Nicole Alderman
    June 27, 2018

    We also used to write all the prices down as we shopped (we stopped when we had kids because it was way too taxing on our tired brains to watch the kids, keep them happy and well-behaved, find affordable food AND write down and add up the prices).

    The main advantage for us was just seeing the numbers as we shopped. We found we’re a WHOLE lot less likely to stick something in our cart if we notice that it cost $30 or that 6 packages of something is $15.We realize that maybe we don’t need all those chocolate bars or t-shirts. Seeing the numbers is a great tool to keep us from spending too much!

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    • Anita
      June 28, 2018

      Sure, I understand about the kids and shopping. Been there myself. I started to write things on a list in the store to catch errors, not as a running total. My concern is with a price difference between what I believe I’m going to pay and what the scanner tells me I must pay. Most people put items in the cart based on shelf price and never question if it is the real price. My opinion is that the differences are deliberate and work because no one seems to question the accuracy.

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  3. T
    June 26, 2018

    I was in Kroger today where they were promoting fresh baked pies. The family size is $5.99 the single size ( about a fifth ) is $3.50! Needless to say I didn’t buy any, though I did enjoy the 2 free samples : )

    Like

    • Anita
      June 26, 2018

      Hmm… I would have taken the samples and maybe waited a few minutes and gone back for a couple more. Maybe even another time too. (grinning here) My excuse for the multiple tastes? My taste buds are old and my memory not so good. I need at least a couple or three tastes to see if I like the pie.

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      • T
        June 28, 2018

        !

        I don’t think anyone would care here, it was a little girl ‘helping my mother’ served me…but I do avoid most sugar now, determined not to need diabetes meds if possible.

        I am finding like you storing most foods is pointless too- I don’t want to eat them, prefer to pick up small amounts of fresh stuff daily on my way in now.

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  4. silveryew
    June 26, 2018

    We have had this discussion at home, everything seems to be geared towards couples or families. With holidays if you go alone, you have to pay a supplement if you are single to get a room to yourself (if you go on a package holiday), and supermarkets just seem to promote these family packs that someone living alone would struggle with getting through.

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    • Anita
      June 26, 2018

      True. Many singles and many older couples are struggling with “super sized” and “family sized” everything. I’m fed up with living the way the haves want to control our lives. I keep telling myself “there is only me” don’t do it or eat it or buy it. Whatever the case may be.

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2018 by in COOKING FOR ONE OR TWO, FRUGAL DIABETIC.

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