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!
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 will only include the groceries I eat.
FEBRUARY 3, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Today I went to the Real Canadian Superstore in Pitt Meadows, which is my preferred store in this grocery chain. It’s a little out of my way, but I balance shopping here by first going for a walk along the Fraser River dyke. The same place I used to ride my horses when I lived next to this trail system.
I mostly needed a bag of apples so I could make my spicy apple blackberry green tea smoothie. I had a couple of other items on my list, but the Superstore either didn’t have them or I didn’t like the price.
|Nestle Chocolate Mix||1||$4.48|
|Clam Chowder Soup||1 can||$1.98|
|Gala apples||6 lb bag||$5.80|
FEBRUARY 7, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Today wasn’t really groceries. I needed to go to Dollarama and get more suet for the birds. As soon as I walked in I spotted the Cadbury Eggs. Yes! It’s that time of the year. There weren’t any Creme eggs but there were the Oreo (that I love) and Caramel (that’s good too). I bought one of each. Yikes! I bought them even though I knew I’d fess up to it here. I also bought plantain chips, but I usually buy two or three bags when I’m there. We’re not talking big bags here. They’re 85 grams, about 3 ounces.
|Cadbury Egg||2 @ $1.00||$2.00|
|Plantain Chips||2 bags @ $1||$2.00|
FEBRUARY 9, 2021 GROCERY BILL
I’ve needed to get my hair cut for the past couple of weeks. I go to Great Clips in Cloverdale and usually the same stylist, Nancy, for about 10 years now. Once a week she works at the Grandview Corners location across the street from Walmart. That’s where she was today and I got there around 9:30am so she’d get my bob looking normal again.
Seeing as how I was already practically there, I ran into Walmart for a few items.
|Dark Chocolate Almond Milk||1||$3.50|
|Baby Dill Pickles||1||$2.47|
|Krema Vanilla Yogurt||1||$4.67|
|Bananas||1.590 kg @ $1.46/kg||$2.32|
Just for fun, check out my YouTube video Lifestyle Pandemic Vlog #10: The Great Clips Edition.
FEBRUARY 20, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Today I went to Save On Foods. When this grocery chain opened in the 1980s, it was one of the best places to shop because they had better prices than Safeway, Buy Low, and other grocery stores in the Greater Vancouver Area.
These days Save On Foods is more expensive than other grocery stores and has become “that store” where I just stop in to pick up one or two items.
Save On Foods is worth watching for groceries that go on sale and this week they’re having their case lot sale. I buy Campbell’s soup by the case, and as it turns out, I opened my last can of vegetable soup at the beginning of February. A case of vegetable soup was on my grocery list, but I like to wait to see it on sale before buying. When it’s on sale for under $10 – stock up!
Let’s do a little cost comparison shopping here. A case (12 cans) of Campbell’s soup is normally $11.98 at the Real Canadian Superstore and $9.97 at Walmart. In case you haven’t guessed, if it’s not on sale anywhere, and I need to restock the pantry, I buy at Walmart.
Regular price for a case of Campbell’s soup at Save On Foods? $17.49! Yikes! That’s why it’s important for us to be good comparison shoppers and know the approximate price of groceries we regularly buy in order to recognize a good deal.
At Dollarama, the dollar store in Cloverdale, single Campbell’s soups sell for $1 each. I mean Campbell’s soup tastes pretty much the same no matter where you buy it or how much you spend.
I didn’t buy anything else on this visit to Save On Foods.
|Vegetable Soup||1 case (12 cans)||$7.99|
FEBRUARY 21, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Today I decided to stop by Walmart when I was finished at the farm with my horse, Cajun.
I pretty much stuck with my grocery list, except while I was at the store I remembered I’d used up my last banana while making a smoothie for breakfast, so I grabbed a bunch.
I noticed pasta on sale and got a 2 pound bag of rigatoni for .87¢. Same with the sardines, they were on sale. I always cruise past the tinned fish looking for deals.
I had mints on my shopping list. When I walked in the store there was a display of marked down Valentine’s Day candy. I didn’t buy any cinnamon hearts this year, though I was chatting about them with a friend a week ago. So I made a pass around the Valentine candy, and there they were at half off, so I put one in my cart. And didn’t buy Scotch mints! So the substitute worked out.
|Krema vanilla yogurt||1||$4.67|
|Chocolate almond milk||1||$3.50|
|Dill pickles||2 @ $2.47||$4.94|
|Lime drink mix||1||$2.57|
|Lemonade drink mix||1||$2.57|
|White Sugar 4kg||1||$2.97|
|Bananas||1.01 kg @ $1.46/kg||$1.47|
|Plantain chips||2 bags @ $1.27||$2.54|
|GST (5% Tax)||chips & candy taxable||.50¢|
FEBRUARY 22, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Today I went shopping at Fruiticana, a produce shop that also stocks groceries.
Wow it really seems like I’m hitting the grocery stores a few days in a row!
I ran out of spinach some time ago and decided on making soup instead of salads due to the below freezing temperatures, snow, rain, and general damp cold this month. My frozen veggies were fine for that. I’ve been wanting to get back on track with my salads, so I stopped in today.
Got lucky on a couple of sales. A 10 pound sack of potatoes was $2.99 and Roma tomatoes at 59¢ a pound. Even though I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, I buy a sack every now and then, and they’re quite often on sale at Fruiticana for $2.99.
For comparison’s sake, a 10 pound bag of Russet potatoes is on sale at Save On Foods this week for $4.99, marked down from $6.99. This week a 10 pound bag of Russet potatoes are also on sale at the Real Canadian Superstore for $3.98. I’ve said it many times around here. Smaller produce stores often have better prices than the grocery chains.
And then I did something I rarely do at Fruiticana. I made an impulse buy! I spotted a bag of lemon chili cassava chips. Cassava is a root vegetable, similar to a potato, that is grown in the tropics.
|Baby carrots||1 bag||$1.59|
|Popeye Spinach||1 bag||$2.99|
|Roma Tomatoes||.91 lb @ 59¢/lb||.54¢|
|Russet Potatoes||10 lb bag||$2.99|
|GST||tax on darned chips!||.20¢|
FEBRUARY 24, 2021 GROCERY BILL
Another day, another grocery store!
Today, I decided to go to Costco in Langley. About a 15 minute drive from my house seeing as how mid-day traffic on a Wednesday was pretty good.
I used to have a Costco card years ago when they first opened in Langley. They had a sign up special at my company. Annual membership cost $50 and if you signed up, you got a $25 Costco gift card right away, so a decent deal. I kept the card active for a few years. Now I’m a secondary on my landlord’s Costco account. Nice of them!
You know how it is at Costco. You run in for a couple of things and end up buying five or six things and the bill is over $100. I’m not saying it’s not good value for the large packs, I’m just saying it’s not a cost effective way to shop.
I decided to try Costco dog food again. Their Kirkland brand. Shadow is such a fussy eater that if I can find something she likes, I try to keep with it as long as she’ll eat it. Lately she doesn’t seem too keen on HIll’s Science Diet. She was on their light dog food for years, and then last year I switched her to the senior formula. Sometimes she eats it. Other time it’s still in her bowl over 24 hours later.
Hill’s Science Diet costs over $70, Costco doesn’t have senior dog food, though they used to years ago when I bought it for my other dogs. I got their Kirkland Adult dog food that’s supposedly good for all life stages. Cost $41.99. At that price I hope Shadow will like it!
Bought a couple of other things while I was there.
|Orville Redenbacher popcorn||8 lb jar!||$8.99|
|Pizza kit (4 pizzas & 4 pizza sauces)||1 package||$8.99|
On the drive home from Costco, I stopped at Monika’s Wildlife Shelter and bought a dozen eggs for $5.
I know I could buy a dozen at Walmart for half the price, but this way I feel like I’m helping out with a small donation plus free range brown eggs are good for you. The price was $4 a year ago, so it’s gone up a bit.
TALLY IT UP!
And the final amount for my groceries in February, 2021 is … ta da!
And seven times I went inside stores to do grocery shopping including the farm visit for eggs. 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.
It’s pretty much about the same number of trips I hit the stories 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 them 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?
GROCERY BILL FOR PRIOR MONTHS
This post was published on The Lifestyle Digs on March 1, 2021.