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.
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.