Friday, August 27, 2010

Austerity is not a dirty word

I've begun the program I'm creating to cut costs, save money and still not feel deprived.

Yesterday was payday, which means I finally was able to go to the grocery store again. If you look at my cash register receipt, you might accuse me of shopping hungry and really giving in to pent-up demand. Yes, I was hungry, because I didn't get to the store until well past 7:30 last night after a long day at work. But I made this trip work for me.

Yes, there was added work once I got home, wrapping bundles to restock the freezer in the top part of my refrigerator. For a minute I worried that I had overpurchased and wouldn't have room for everything, but careful arranging made everything fit.

So, I will share with you my purchases and their prices:

Corn meal $1.29
Dry milk powder $7.69 (this one surprised me because I have never bought powdered milk before.)
Butterscotch pudding mix 99 cents (my treat)
Baking powder $1.95
Flour $2.69 for five pounds (unbleached, all purpose)
Yeast $7.05 (jar)
Buttermilk $2.19 (half gallon)
Skim milk $1.91 (half gallon)
Cottage cheese $2.55
1-lb. roll of sausage $2.99
Sliced pepperoni $2.05
Whole chicken $4.45
Boneless pork loin chops $4.21 in saver pack of eight chops
Boneless eye of round roast $7.62
Eye of round steaks $6.28 for a saver pack of six steaks
Ground beef $8.64 in a family pack
Pork sirloin roast $3.42
Smoked ham hocks $3.56
Mini Babybel cheese $3.99 for six
Dozen large brown eggs $1.79
Butter $3.39
Diet Coke $5.00 for four 2-litre bottles; my vice
American singles cheese slices $3.29 for 24 slices
Shredded taco cheese $2.59
Two loaves of whole wheat bread $4
Broccoli crowns $1.12
Peaches $.77
Plums $1.45
10-pound bag of potatoes $3.79
Strawberries $2.59
sweet onions $1.32
Tomatoes $1.43

And then for the dog:
Two bags of Bil-Jac food $6.65 each for $13.30
Cool Jac treats $3.71
Milkbones $4.15
A toy $5.75.

With tax, my total was $146.79.

For supper last night and tonight, I was pressed for time and needed something mindless and fast so I broiled hamburger patties and topped them with a slice of cheese.

Instead of spending 60 cents on a can of Diet Coke, two of my 2-litre bottles have gone to work with me and are living temporarily in the employee fridge. The company provides bagged ice, so I can fill up my travel mug. I calculate I can get at least five drinks for the price of two from the machine. Yeah, I'm not perfect enough to give it up completely, but I am drinking more water in between, hoping someday that maybe I just won't want it. But not yet. As vices go, I don't feel too bad about this one.

So over the next few days, as time allows, I'm planning to do a major cooking and baking day, all from scratch. Stay tuned as I share how many meals I get from this shopping trip. I'll let you know what works and what flops, and what I find out about how these prices at my regular store compare to the other stores in my area.

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