The Lifestyle Digs

The Vegetarian Cowgirl’s March 2021 Grocery Bill

Are you curious to see what food a single woman who’s watching her pennies is buying? If so – you’re in the right place today! It’s the Vegetarian Cowgirl’s March 2021 grocery bill!

Why am I a Vegetarian Cowgirl instead of calling myself Pescatarian Cowgirl, which is more accurate? Not everyone is familiar with the term pescatarian. Basically, it’s a vegetarian who eats seafood, but no other meat products. If it has claws or hooves and walks on the land, a pescatarian doesn’t eat it!

To break it down further, although I will eat seafood, I don’t eat it often. Too expensive is the main reason. Generally I follow a plant based diet, but it doesn’t bother me if foods contain eggs or dairy products.

I’m also an Urban Cowgirl. Kind of a play on words on an old John Travolta flick, Urban Cowboy. Generally these are people who like to dress up for the part, but not active participants.

The Vegetarian Cowgirl’s January 2021 Grocery Bill

Wannabe Cowgirl? Sometimes I think I’m a fake because I’m not a working cowgirl on a big cattle ranch somewhere.

When I track my spending on a spreadsheet, the grocery category includes all expenses I made at grocery stores and drug stores. That doesn’t mean everything is edible. I buy cleaning products, food wrap, dog treats and more that all get allotted to my “grocery” spending.

These tallies below only include the groceries I eat.

MARCH 5, 2021 GROCERY BILL

Today I headed to Fruiticana, a convenient produce store that has about half the store dedicated to grocery items, with an emphasis on ethnic foods.

They usually have lower prices on fruits and vegetables than the larger grocery stores. They also have a good supply of ethnic items not found in grocery stores.

Roma Tomatoes.73 lb. @ .59/lb.43¢
Spinach1 bag$2.99
Baby Carrots1 bag$1.59
Dry Mango Slices1 bag – 200 grams$3.99
Cassava Chips 1 bag$3.99
Mushrooms.36 lb. @ $2.99/lb$1.08
Bananas2.76 lb. @ .79/lb$2.18
Tax (5% gst on chips).20¢
Total$16.45

Kind of regretting buying the chili lemon cassava chips, but they’re pretty good. I’ll resist in the future.

MARCH 7 2021 GROCERY BILL

Today I went to my usual Walmart in the Grandview Corners area of Surrey. I needed to pick up a few things including dog treats – not that I’m planning to eat them!

As is occasionally the problem at Walmart I got ripped off on my Silk non-dairy milk. The price is 2 for $7. If you buy them singly, they’re a little over $4 each. The problem with Walmart is the regular price rings up while you’re at the self check out, and somewhere near the bottom when you’re done and ready to pay, the cash register receipt shows the discount for multi items. Sometimes these milks don’t calculate properly.

Today I had other multi item “deals”. I bought 2 bags of Beggin’ dog treats that are normally $9.98, but if you buy 2 it’s $16. Same with shredded cheese. They ring through at $5.67 each but they’re 2 for $10. Both of those showed up correctly on my receipt.

It’s not worth a Walmart battle for a couple of bucks. Besides when it comes to Walmart, I’m ahead thanks to some buffoons at their head office who refunded me a weird amount of money. I like to think of it as apology money.

Silk Chocolate Milk1$4.64
Silk Cashew Milk1$4.17
Dr Oetker Pizza2 @ $2.97$5.94
Frozen veggies1 bag$3.98
Shredded cheese2 bags @ $5$10
Cocoa Rice Crispies1$2.97
Heart of Palm2 cans @ $2.67$5.34
Mushrooms2 cans @ .97¢$1.94
Lipton tea bags1 box$5.98
Frozen strawberries1 bag$3.77
Bananas1.116 kg @ $1.46/kg$1.63
Plantain chips2 bags @ $1.27$2.54
Ratlami Sev1 bag$1.27
Tax5% GST on chips.19¢
Total$54.36

MARCH 11, 2021 GROCERY BILL

Today I needed salad fixings, so just a quick stop at the Fruiticana in Cloverdale.

Spinach1 bag$2.99
Baby carrots1 bag$1.59
Total$4.58

MARCH 14, 2021 GROCERY BILL

Today I stopped at London Drugs in Cloverdale to pick up a few things. Sometimes London Drugs has good deals on food and snack items so I usually cruise the grocery and snack aisles. I was hoping the Ryvita flatbread were at two boxes for $5. I was getting low on Tic Tacs that I keep in the car. Unfortunately, not on sale, but I got them anyway.

I was hoping to get tortilla chips, but the ones I like weren’t on sale, and I didn’t like the “sale” prices on the brands that were. I got cassava chips and crackers instead that were on sale!

Tic Tacs1$4.79
Ryvita Crispbread2 @ $2.50$5.00
Fitbite Cassava Chips1 bag$2.69
Plant Snacks – Cassava1 bag$3.99
Tax 5% GST on Tic Tacs and chips.57¢
Total$17.04

The Ryvita Crispbread is a good substitute for bread. Do I really need those expensive cassava chips? Not really. I should stick to the plantain chips that are a buck at the dollar store.

MARCH 17, 2021

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Today I stopped in at Dollarama in Cloverdale to pick up parchment paper. I suddenly ran out a few days ago when I was baking oven fries. The last time I was in the dollar store I noticed they had Betty Crocker brand of parchment paper. I headed up the aisle to get plantain chips, and noticed a big bag of pretzels, so I added it to my basket. See how it tastes. In addition to being a snack, I use pretzels in my No-Bake Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Pretzel Granola Bars, and currently I’m out at home. And craving these granola bars!

Pretzels1 bag$1.50
Plantain Chips2 bags @ $1.00$2.00
Veggie Chips1 bag $1.25
Tax5% GST on all the above.24¢
Total$4.99

MARCH 21, 2021 GROCERY BILL

Today I stopped by the Real Canadian Superstore in Grandview Corners, Surrey. It’s near where I keep my horse and today it’s raining. Not a whole lot else to do. I have a few things to stock up that are convenient to get at this store. Normally I don’t buy my nut milk at the Superstore because it costs more than Walmart. But seeing as how Walmart ripped me off at the cash register the last time I bought milk, it ended up being cheaper at the Real Canadian Superstore!

Crisco Vegetable Oil1$3.97
Veggie Straws1$2.00
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips1$7.97
Artichoke Hearts2 cans @ $2.98$5.96
Raspberry Vinaigrette1$1.97
Peanut Butter1$4.98
Coconut Whipped Cream1$3.48
Frozen Pineapple1$3.77
Frozen Citrus 1$3.77
Frozen Cherries1$3.77
Frozen Green Beans1$2.00
Dark Chocolate Almond Milk1$3.98
Cashew Milk1$3.98
Krema Vanilla Greek Yogurt1$3.98
Blue Corn Tortilla Chips1$2.88
Veggie Straws1$2.48
Apples – Ambrosia1 x 5 lb bag$4.90
Bananas1.325 kg @ $1.46/kg$1.93
Just Like Round1$11.00
Tax5% GST on chips.37¢
Total$79.14

Today I had a few impulse buys at the grocery store. Chips weren’t on my list, but the Que Pasa blue corn tortilla chips were on sale for $2.88, normally $4.48 here and higher priced at other shops. Same with the veggie straws, marked down a bit and I bought the sour cream and onion flavor because I don’t remember seeing it before. Or it’s just been so long since I purchased that I forgot!

Oil wasn’t on today’s grocery list, but I spotted the Crisco vegetable oil marked down from $5.48 to $3.97 and I’m nearly out of oil at home.

Apples weren’t on my list either, but I always swing by them at the Real Canadian Superstore to see if any bags are on sale and got lucky with the ambrosia today.

The whipped cream was on my shopping list, and it was marked down a little today. I plan to make this low calorie mocha frappuccino from the Hungry Girl website. I also had light chocolate syrup on my list, but there wasn’t any on the shelf. However, I do have fat free caramel syrup in my fridge, so I’ll swap that in. Yummy!

I thought I put rice paper on my shopping list a couple of weeks ago – but apparently not. Annoying. Need some at home! Sandwich substitute.

MARCH 24, 2021 GROCERY BILL

I keep meaning to stop at the Honeybee Centre to buy a jar of honey, but my Honeybee customer loyalty card is always sitting in a wallet at home. Today I made the effort to get the card into the purse I’m currently carrying. Yay! I’m now two stamps away from getting a free kilogram jar of honey!

I want to make some of my no bake peanut butter, chocolate chip &pretzel granola bars. Also, the last time I made chocolate peanut butter crunchies, I used maple syrup, because I was nearly out of honey, and they didn’t set up as nicely as they usually do. So I’m set to make some goodies!

I like to buy right from the source and support local businesses if I can. The Honeybee Centre has all kinds of honey depending on what crop the bees were pollinating. I like the cranberry and raspberry, but unfortunately so do a lot of people and they’re rarely available. If neither is there, like today, I buy the Honeybee Blend which is an assortment of various blossoms that the bees pollinated, and mixed together and then bottled. Every bottle of the Honeybee Blend will be different. Live a little!

Honey1 kg jar$13.99
Total$13.99

MARCH 30, 2021 GROCERY BILL

A quick stop at Fruiticana because I just ran out of bananas, and I’ve been out of spinach for awhile, and using up frozen veggies this past week.

Spinach1 bag$2.99
Baby Carrots1 bag$1.59
Bananas2.18 lb @ .79¢/lb$1.72
Total$6.30

RATLAMI SEV

OK you might be wondering what is ratlami sev that I bought at Walmart on March 7.

Or maybe you just glossed right over that!

I noticed it in the international foods aisle and they look like shoestring potato chips. I checked the bag and they’re made with chickpea flour and spices. It’s an Indian treat. For $1.27 I can make it a Cheryl treat.

I do like me some shoestring potato chips!

I used to buy Picnic shoestring potato chips at the grocery store in Blaine, Washington, but they started showing up on the shelves at London Drugs about ten years ago, so I can buy them locally now.

Good thing too cause that border is still closed!

OK, so what’s the scoop on Ratlami Sev? How do they compare in a taste test with shoestring chips?

The Ratlami Sev are more like chow mein noodles with lots of Indian spices. They’re OK, but I probably won’t buy them again. Main reason? 290 calories per quarter cup! Yikes! Loser in the low-calorie healthy snacks department. So who’s going to ream me out that I missed the calorie count before I tossed a bag into my shopping cart?

For comparison’s sake, those veggie straws I bought at the Superstore on March 21 are 190 calories for 55 straws but I wouldn’t eat that many at a time. Maybe half! The veggie straws taste a lot better and are more filling. Winner in the healthy snacks department!

BANANAS

Do you notice when it comes to banana prices that some stores charge by the pound and others by the kilogram? Most stores have signs that show the price by the pound and by the kilogram. It’s a toss up which way it shows on the cash register receipt!

Most stores around here charge 69¢ or 79¢ a pound for bananas.

I find measurements easier in the imperial rather than metric. Notice I’m clueless on what bananas cost by the kilo!

WEIRD PURCHASES?

If you’re wondering what’s up with the cans of artichoke hearts and hearts of palm, these are not items I normally buy. And they’re kind of pricey! I found some recipes for vegan crab cakes and lobster that I plan to try.

TALLY IT UP

And the final amount for my groceries in March, 2021 is … ta da!

$196.85

And eight times I went inside stores to do grocery shopping. Although most of them were very quick trips, and all but Fruiticana have self-check outs, I still thought that was kind of a high number of shopping trips for groceries during Covid and trying to self-isolate.

Wow! I’m still wrapping my head around that. Eight shopping trips! And yet, it seems like I hardly did any shopping. Well, not quite true. I had to stock up a few things like frozen foods and Just Like Round which ended up in the freezer anyway.

It’s pretty much about the same number of trips I hit the stores during normal times!

I’m not fearful of shopping. I wear face coverings and I don’t spend a lot of time inside the stores. As soon as I get in the car I use hand sanitizer, and I wash my hands when I get home. And I wash my hands again after I unpack the groceries.

I feel like I’m staying safe. It’s hard to justify paying extra money to have someone else do the shopping and either deliver to my house or for me to pick up at the grocery store. It’s kind of inconvenient. It also prevents me from noticing a special on at the store that I might want to stock up on.

How are you doing with you grocery shopping? Do you still shop or have you switched to deliver or pick up service? Do you find you’re spending more money or less money on groceries?

LAST MONTH’S COWGIRL’S GROCERY BILL

Click the banner below for how much I spent on my grocery shopping.

The Vegetarian Cowgirl's February 2021 Grocery Bill

OLDER GROCERY BILLS

To check out previous monthly grocery bills, click on the links below. This is a new feature on The Lifestyle Digs starting in 2021, so not too many to click yet!

The Vegetarian Cowgirl’s January 2021 Grocery Bill

2021 MONTHLY TOTALS

Here’s how much I’ve been spending on groceries in 2021.

January$173.86
February$122.38
March$196.85
2021 Total$493.09

Published by Cheryl @ The Lifestyle Digs on April 1, 2021.

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