Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grocery Store Confessional - 5th ed.

Here's the truth of the matter: My week really has not felt complete without a long-winded discourse on my trip to the supermarket.

I shuffled out of the store Monday evening, head hung low, with my $68.93 receipt stuffed in my plastic envelopes/pocketbook and I thanked my lucky stars that none of you would be wise to my sins. It all seemed so...simple, so covert.

The week progressed and I said to myself, "Girl, you dodged a bullet this week. You'd better thank your lucky stars that you promised to never again publicly catalog your woeful grocery receipts."

Then, *someone* left me a comment urging and imploring me to put my shopping cart on paper. I saw it as a reckoning, of sorts.

I'm sure you don't see what all the fuss is about, with my ridiculously predictable $70ish grocery bill, but what you don't know is this:

I went back again today. Unannounced and without a great deal of purpose. That's all I'll say about that right now.

So, the menu.

Monday: Out (Cory working late, Calvin with Pawpaw, Ruby and I at Panera before grocery shopping)
Tuesday: Sarah's Chicken Picatta, Lemony Brussels Sprouts, couscous
Wednesday: Chicken and Black Bean Burritos
Thursday: Orzo with Chicken and Feta
Friday: Steak, roasted potato wedges, cucumber and tomato salad
Saturday: Sarah's birthday party
Sunday: Dinner with Cory's family

I'll state the obvious here: I had exactly 4 meals to plan for the week, and I still went well, well over $50 and then I went back today and did additional, untold the tune of $9.50.

Trip Number One:
4 Yoplait yogurts - $2.40
Meijer pasta - $1.19
Can of black olives - $1.49
Meijer paper towels - $1.49
Welch's frozen juice - $1.51
Bread - $1.59
1 lonely Jalapeno - $0.14
1 lonely lime - $.40
2 lemons - $1.34
Santitas chips - $2.00
Minute Rice brown rice - $1.20 (with coupon)
Meijer milk - $2.29
Whole wheat tortillas - $2.39
Whipping cream - $1.50
Cinnamon Chex - $3.39 (ouch)
4 Steaks - $8.18 ($4 off per pound, but still -Holy Moley)
Bag of frozen chicken breasts - $6.99 (not on SIL is dying right now...)
2 cans of tomato soup - $1.00
1 can of black beans - $0.89
Chi Chis salsa - $0.99
4 Pinata apples - $2.38 (never heard of 'em...they'd better be darn good)
Green grapes - $1.65 (FINALLY on sale!)
Smoked sausage - $1.79
Meijer old fashioned oats - $1.79
Granola bars - $2.09
Frozen raspberries - $2.79
Grape tomatoes - $2.99
Jack's Special fresh salsa (2 of 'em, BOGO) - $3.99
Greek Hummus (2 again, BOGO) - $3.99
3 avocados - $3.00

Trip Number Two:
Cilantro - $0.89
Gingeroot - $0.12 (tiniest piece on the face of the earth)
Bag of oranges - $2.50
Here's where things really fall apart....
Rotisserie chicken - $5.99

Combined Total: $78.43 (Maybe if I type it small enough, ya'll won't even notice...)

I bought the blasted Rotisserie chicken for no good reason. I already had my frozen chicken breasts thawing at home. I confess! I got lazy. I was lured in by the aroma.

"The greasy doorknob, the constant licking of the fingers. He's hooked on this chicken, isn't he?" Name that quote for a free, pretend Rotisserie chicken of your own.

What's worse, it wasn't even more convenient, since I spent a ridiculous amount of time skinning the poor bird and picking her bones clean.

This is what weeks of intensive penny-pinching and almost no real spending money will get you - A $6 carry-out bird.

On the bright side, there's enough meat for two meals and our burritos were really good. (Some recipes to follow at some point this week.) There was also enough stuff left-over to bump Orzo with Chicken and Feta and declare tomorrow an official Left-Over night.

So, as you can plainly see, I'm in the hole already for the month. Hallelujah, it's a short month. I'm hoping that some of this will just come out in the wash. Steaks will likely be bumped to next week and Cory will be serving his specialty - frozen pizza - to the kids on Friday since I just found out I won't be home for dinner.

In closing, I'd like to thank you for your time, once again. You all really are too kind. (And look where your kindness gets you!) I know I promised I wouldn't do this again and I broke my word, but my *fan* simply could not be left in the lurch. I'm not that kinda girl.

It won't happen again. This time, I really, really mean it.

Forever and ever, Amen.

ps - Stay tuned to see how the rest of the month shakes out. I have a feeling the last week of Feb. could be...interesting.


  1. This month, I have vowed to ONLY shop at Sav A Lot. (except for my milk and oj.. we're milk and oj snobs). I'm doing it to see how much we will save.. and because I don't know if I could do it for a whole 30 days... 28 seems so much more reasonable to me.
    After reading this, I also vow to try to use fewer ... in my posts, comments, emails... I'm not doing well already...

  2. I too am *addicted* to those rotisserie chickens - LOVE them and have a few greasy doorknobs of my own. Thanks Seinfeld. -amy

    PS I make chicken noodle soup one night and quesadillas the next. Blogger says I don't know how to spell quesadillas. They're right.

  3. Those grocers are so tricky with the way they put those yummy and warm ready-to-eat chicks right by the check out. It get's me at least once a month.

  4. thank you for another one of my favorite reads! and very helpful, I might add. I got talked into Mcdonalds by small children because hubby is gone and the guilt is overwhelming! you help keep me on the straight and narrow!

  5. That chicken and black bean burrito sounds delish. I can't wait for the recipe. And a girl date at Panera? Perfect.

  6. seriously! what is to be upset about how smart you are with your grocery shopping. I think your grocery store is cheaper than mine- that HAS to be it! Plus you prepare wonderful meals for your family and it truly inspires me to do the same. And truth be told, I am seriously ready to start the cash thing tomorrow after my husband gets paid. SEE! You're a good influence on all of us!

  7. Pure inspiration! Don't ever be sorry for that.

  8. Oh come on! I love hearin' about your shopping trips! Meanwhile here is Australia a charcoal chicken costs.....$10.99!! Poor us! :(

  9. You are a joy to visit. My hubby would be in heaven if I only spent $78.43 for a week of groceries (yep I could read the fine print).
    Obivously i could learn a few things about my shopping habits and lack of planning :)
    Thanks for sharing

  10. if it makes you feel any better, i shop for just one person and it isn't uncommon for me to spend $60.00 for groceries. granted, that's every 2 or 3 weeks, but the same thing would happen if i went every week! i can't resist those deals they pretend to give me.

    ps- your menu-planning makes me feel disorganized. i'd like to eat at your house for a week!

  11. Thanks for linking to the Orzo recipe. I hope you like it! You have me thinking a lot about my grocery budget. I was just telling my husband how little you spend on food while we were shopping for our own groceries last week. You've inspired me to plan more carefully and put more thought into what I'm buying.

  12. Okay, I'm gonna guess (shot in the dark here)... the "Seinfeld" Kenny Roger's Roasters episode? I'm talking about the quote...

  13. Did you say feta? sure it is 5:00 am but feta makes my heart pitter pat a little more anytime. I love your recipes and my family completely loved your tortellini soup and green enchiladas. You haven't failed me yet, girl!

  14. Your kids must not be snackers. My snackers kill my grocery list. That and packing 8 school lunches every week....
    Also, 4 apples would last 2 days in my house. How were the pinata? Never heard of those either.

  15. Ohhh...a cliffhanger.

    I love, love, love seeing your grocery bill and menus. I'm not sure why. I just do. Plus I'm still struggling with groceries. I'm doing much better on my budget but I still have room for improvement plus I seem incapable of going and buying one weeks groceries the first week of payday. I'm a work in progress.

    P.S. Really? Vienna? I need that girl to go home.

  16. I've never commented before, but I LOVE your blog!! I really do look forward to your grocery posts and your weekly menus are a huge inspiration to my own family dinners. My husband loves your cooking, but sshh, don't tell him. He thinks it's all me!

  17. i am trying the "buy only what's on the menu" program, but it's hard not to buy those great weekly specials when i know i'm going to need them anyway!

  18. I was just at Meijer last night. I'm pretty sure you and I got a lot of the same stuff. Am I correct in that you bought the Chi Chi tortillas for $2.39. Those are THE BEST in my opinion, and my children love them for chicken tacos. The avocados would be great for a cobb salad too! You're a very savvy shopper. Your lists are inspirational. $100 for me a week is awfully hard! Coupons baby!

  19. Oh girl - you do so much better than me - you should be proud of yourself! We even buy our own beef from my Dad so we never buy beef ever & I go way over that amount - it's sad. However, you have inspired me to work on my shopping budget & meal planning - I'm terrible about meal planning! I think that's why my grocery bill is so high. I keep 4 cans of everything always on hand - like my own grocery store so I can make anything on a whim. It's maddness!

  20. I find it fascinating to find out what "deals" other moms can find during their grocery shopping (I know, I obviously don't get out much). Plus, being from Canada it is interesting to compare the prices at my regular grocery store to yourself; for example I just spent almost $7 on red grapes the other day!! Crazy I know but by the time I realized the price there was a huge line up behind me and I was already running late so I took my lumps and left. Discouraged. Again.

    Anyway, I just stumbled across your blog through a friend last week so spent the last several days saturating my life with yours. Creepy and stalker-ish isn't it? Thanks for sharing your craft and recipe ideas. We are definitely going to try the scratch and sniff painting. Becki

  21. i need to pay more attention to what i buy, and i should never shop on an empty stomach. your menu sounds yummy! thank you for visiting today :) susan

  22. Shopping cheaply for groceries can cause me sleepless nights and head pain. I don't enjoy it. I enjoy the dream of buying whatever I want and having it be organic. ;-)

    You're good with your shopping! Maybe we just eat too much.

  23. The goofy thing is Shannan, I will sit and read anything you have to say. I don't know why, I just find it riveting. You could go into a long discourse about anything....I'll be here....reading...commenting.

    And about Jen's Vienna comment....SERIOUSLY! I can't wait til next week to see the hometown visits.

  24. rotisserie chicken has a way of making me feel guilty about the plight of poultry. i'm thinking of giving up meat for Lent. wesleyans aren't necessarily observers of Lent, but anyway...

    my husband came home with SANTITAS chips recently, and i've been dying to break open the bag--but we had to finish others first, and i need to get STUFF to make the meal, whatever it may be...

    thanks for your transparency

  25. you gotta keep these posts comin! I love them!

  26. No time to read and only 2 things caught my eye as I quickly glance through... 1. Cinnamon Chex? They make Cinnamon Chex? Sign me up...Are they as good as Cinnamon Life?
    2. Seinfeld. Ahhhh how I miss good sitcoms.
    Thanks for the pretend Rotis Chick.

  27. Ok, that sounded terrible. You know I love GSC...It's about one of my fave posts, I would normally not glance through but it's midnight.

  28. Ok, now wait a minute!! Before I start feeling too guilty--What about the maxi pads and paper towels, laundry detergent, shampoo, toothpaste, multi-vitamins, kleenex, dish soap, etc., etc? Are you leaving that off the tally?
    I have to agree with thedomesticfringe re: the organic issue. That's the factor that sends my bill up about 20% each week on produce, dairy, some snacks. . .
    but I love the menu. Everything sounds delish!
    Fascinating stuff :)

  29. Like your grocery posts!!! Very helpful to me. I will never admit how much I spend at the store. I feel sick after reading this. I need some reformation in the aisles. ;0
    Please keep it up!
    Girls like me need your help!!!


  30. I think I asked this before but can you please go grocery shopping with me? Think of the business you could have teaching all us moms to shop frugally and make great recipes, lots of money in it for you, lol!

    Anyway I am trying my hardest to cook. I made chicken noodle soup this week and it about killed me to boil the bird and then take all the meat off of it, ughh! Soup turned out a winner. Then the next day I made chicken enchiladas. My husband has been happy which makes for a happy house! I am going to try your pasta recipe, I'll let you know.

    Have a great weekend!


  31. me too with the pinata apples! i am a sucker for fun names, apparently. it's like a party in an apple! i didn't stand a chance.

    (i have decided that grocery shopping is one grand conspiracy to part me from my cash. why can't they call them pinkish-red apples and let me walk by in peace?)

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