I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Grocery Game

A while back I wrote a post about how much we really spent on Groceries. Then that month and the next I didn't do anything with the idea due to "busyness."

Today I sat down with receipts and a calculator, receipts and a bank statement - just to make sure everything has been covered. I did not count toiletries, alcohol or pet food thus there was some subtracting involved. I did include meals from the traveling for work last week and from our district meeting 3 weeks ago. Not included are 2 Sunday lunches with my husband as he paid and I really don't want to bother him at work for an estimate. Those are a "gift." :)

This is how it broke down:

Meals - traveling for work      $ 80.00

Plants for Garden                    $  2.50

Health Food Store (GF)         $ 71.00  

Grocery Stores                      $208.00    

Sam's Club                             $ 77.00

Total                                      $438.50

Reimbursement from work     $  80.00

Adjusted Total                      $ 358.50

Admittedly, it was more than expected. When we travel we are allotted a set amount of money per day for meals. Many times it is not enough to cover everything if you are in a major city with no transportation. This time I was lucky as there was a fridge where I stayed enabling me to bring in food to save money. I did eat out several times as I really enjoy spending time with my coworkers that I do not get to see often. The reimbursement is more than the $80 spent, however, I don't have a credit every month and did not feel it was realistic to do so for this month.      

We did buy a full pork loin at Sam's that we cut and froze, a bulk pack of 3 large ketchup bottles as well as a case of diced tomatoes since we use them a lot in cooking.  There were a few good "buy one get one" specials at the grocery store and from those we purchased enough tomato sauce for a couple months and some cereal.

With food allergies being a major player in our diet $71.00 were spent at the health food store for gluten free items as well as a few snacks to take with me on my trip. Those are all included in the grocery total.

The garden has been producing all of our salad greens, tons of herbs, a few tomatoes, collards and mustard greens as well as more green beans than we can eat.  We have collards frozen and will be freezing mustard greens this weekend. This has saved us considerably on produce.

The final total is $358.50. That figures out to $80.95 per week for 2 people or $5.78 per person per day. Without the pantry this would be a much larger total. Other months are more and many are less. With some effort than can come down a bit more and that won't happen for a few months as I am travelling a lot for work.

So that is how our month broke down. How does yours look??  



  1. I'd have to track mine for a whole year and then divide by twelve, because some months we spend a lot and others, hardly anything. So I have no clue.

    They keep changing the strategies at the grocery store and things I used to do to save money don't work now, in many cases, like buying in bulk always used to. I do still buy potatoes by the 50# bag, and if I don't think they'll store till we can eat them, I'll make some of them into mashed potatoes or hash browns and store them in the freezer. I buy whole pork tenderloins when they go on sale at the grocery store. Part of it is sliced for frying, like a pork chop. Some is cubed for meals like sweet and sour pork. I grind some of it and make my own lean sausage. If there's much fat on the loin, I trim that off and render it out to use as lard.

    People in parts of the country that don't get much winter weather have the jump on those of us who do, you can grow stuff almost year 'round. If I had a greenhouse I'd try doing like Elliot Coleman does. He lives in Maine, I think, and that's a couple of zones colder than I am, if he can grow greens year round in his unheated greenhouse I'd think anyone could!

    Spring is finally coming here in NE Oklahoma, the plum and apricot trees and cherry bushes are beginning to bloom, and the buds on the lilacs are starting to swell. It sure seems like it's been a long winter this year.

  2. Hey Ilene-
    I am so glad that you are finally getting better weather after such a rough winter. Lilacs have always been one of my favorite plants!!!

    The grocery stores have people who's only job is to figure out how to get us to spend more than we planned. That is why stores frequently "re-set" the items on the shelves and then you can't find anything. It is also why they play music and have samples.

    Quite honestly this month is merely a snapshot as there have been other months that my plant cost has been $20.00 or $30.00. Travel for work can take up a great deal of time and if it is a time to plant and I haven't been able to get the seeds started I will break down and buy. Most months are closer to this month.

    Gardening in Florida is very different from gardening N. of the frost line. We can garden roughly 9 months of the year and rarely can we grow anything like pears or apples. We can grow tropical fruits and vegetables and it is learning about them that is a chore. There is no asparagus here yet I can grow yard long beans
    (asparagus beans) into June and July. We usually let the garden go fro the hottest months as 90 plus temperatures at high humidity can wear on a person and on the plants. We have had big stuff happening at work lately and my garden has been neglected.

    I was going to read Elliot Coleman's book but a Greenhouse where I live would bake plants. My equivalent would be shade cloth or partial shading of plants.

    The climate here also does not allow for long term storage of potatoes or I would mimic you on the 50 lb. bag. I do buy 20 lb.bags of basmati rice and 25 lb bags of sugar and order gluten free flours online once every 6 mos. or so.

    Today will be a weeding day :)
    HUGS to you!!!


Your comments are always appreciated and I love to hear what you think. Especially my overseas reader! Have a great day!