Home > Groceries in Bulk and Piecemeal

Groceries in Bulk and Piecemeal

November 2nd, 2022 at 11:42 pm

I know I haven't posted my payday report for last payday yet.  I have it on the agenday.  This is more of a brain dump, rant, food prepping/canning to save money in the long run, sort of thing.

I went through the grocery ads online this morning.  I can't really do them with the paper in my hands anymore, becaues the mail delivery has gotten so bad that for an ad cycle that starts today, I have gotten them as late as next Monday, but it is usually Friday or Saturday.  They should be coming in the mail on Tuesdays.  I guess if they didn't have 20 pounds of straight to the recycle bin politician flyers to deliver for the past few months, not to mention Christmas catalogs no one ordered, maybe we'd get the rest of our stuff on time.

They didn't even deliver the mail on Thursday.  I know because Mom put out a letter to be deliverd on Wednesday night with the little flag up and the flag was still up at 9:00 p.m. and our letter was still in there to be picked up.  Then on Thursday we put the letter back out in the box and when it still hadn't been picked up by 6:30 p.m. took it back out and the mail showed up at 7:00 p.m.  That was annoying.  We didn't get any mail on Friday or Saturday and none picked up, so they are obviously not coming to even look if the flag is up for outgoing mail.

We ended up taking our letter to the post office on Monday, since we can't rely on our carrier.  Our mail is supposed to be delivered by 2:00 p.m. according to the delivery schedule and has been up until September when it started fluctuating wildly.  I put in a polite, but formal complaint, too.  It should not take me that many days to try to mail a letter, it shouldn't take that may days to get the grocery ads, and I'm not sure we're getting all of our regular mail, either.  I haven't got my statements from my one credit union that only does snail mail twice this year and Mom has had the water bill go missing once and the garbage bill twice.  So I mentioned that, too.  You hear about carriers just tossing mail when they don't want to deliver it.  I wish they'd toss the political flyers, not the real mail.

Anyway, back to the grocery ads, there weren't a lot of good sales.  I guess after two good weeks of sales I wasn't expecting much.  There were a couple of buy one get ones where they don't tell you the  price.  I don't pay attention to those, since they are usually full price, they just jack up the price of the first one so it covers the price of the second.  And I'm not going to make an extra trip to the store on the off chance I am wrong for a meat that I am iffy about to begin with.

So while that store did have a good salmon sale, it was for Atlantic salmon, which no, not when I live on the Pacific and that is so much better.  And a decent t-bone steak sale, but not when I have very good sirloin sale steak in my freezer.  There are decent produce items on sale, but I'm not sure it was enough to being me in.  They had good pork items, but since I have half a hog in the freezer we have barely made a dent in, there is no point in that.  So the main 3 stores are just meh this week.  I'll have to buy produce somehwhere, but that's all I need to buy.

Which means I'll be going to Winco.  I've been wanting to make it over there anyway, since I want to stock up on canned green beans and get 40 pounds of Roma tomatoes to make spaghetti sauce to can.  If they don't have 40 pounds available I will take 20.  I can get 20 more from another store if I have to.  I also want to get some fresh peppers to make some chili this week and they have the biggest choice in peppers, and some cilantro.  And they have bulk herbs and spices and wild rice blends.  And everything is just so much cheaper there with that kind of stuff.

I plan to go to TJ's as well, to see if they have turkeys yet.  No one is advertising turkeys and the one place I did see mention of it was with one store saying to order your turkeys now.  This would be a store that normally would be doing one of those things where if you spend $150 you'd get a free turkey by now.  So I'll look this weekend if they don't have turkeys.  I'll probably switch to one of the back up plans, either the Cornish game hen plan or the duck plan.

Yesterday was the last day of the .99/lb sale for chicken thighs.  It'd been selling out every day like crazy so every day we've gone it has already been wiped out by 9:00 a.m.  Mom got there at 7:30 a.m. when they opened yesterday and was finally able to get what I needed, which was 40 pounds or 8 value packs.  I figured I'd lose at least 5 pounds to skinning and deboning.  It filled 3 gallon sized Ziploc baggies, so maybe more than that.  At least I can use that to make bone broth.

It wasn't as bad with the chuck roast last week, which they at least had until 5:30, before they sold out, but .99/lb chicken is way easier to stock up on for some budgets than $3.99/lb chuck roast.  The butcher says people are really worried about the gas shortages and whether or not truckers will even be able to haul food next week the way things are going, so they are stocking up like crazy.  They are worried about even having fuel for their own gas stations over on the east coast by the end of next week for their store brand.  We are more protected here because of the refineries, but even so it'll come here eventually if things don't change soon.  Crazy times.

I spent from 9:30 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. skinning and deboning and cutting up the chicken for canning.  I ended up sleeping in, because I am on day 2 of caffiene withdrawal, but tomorrow I will get started on canning the chicken and getting a bag of bones in each Instant Pot.  I'll have one more bag of bones to do after that, but I will have some beautiful broth when I finish.  It should be 21 quarts or so, but I am not sure how I will actually divvy it up yet.  I know I want some in pints and some in 24 oz and some in quarts, so we'll see how it goes.  I might actually divide the bones up into four batches.  I think there is enough and then I could have 28 quarts' worth, however I do it up.

Pints are great if you just want to pop one, warm it up and drink it.  Doing that was great for me when I was so sick I couldn't eat.  All I could do was drink and barely that.  It got at least a little nutrition and hydration into me.  The 24 oz size is what I use in a batch of homemade enchilada sauce.  1 quart is what I use to make soup or to make skillet lasagna or sometimes 2 if I make a double batch.  Sometimes I will make my pasta in it if I am doing it in the Instant pot. It makes a fantastic macaroni.

I picked that cucumber finally and one green and one yellow zucchini.  The plants aren't dead yet, we haven't had a frost.  There are still a couple veggies growing really slowly.  The green beans did die when it hit 37, but they aren't planted two feet off the ground.  We are still having days in the 50's with a few sunny hours between rain showers, so I guess I won't give up on them until they give up on themselves.

2 Responses to “Groceries in Bulk and Piecemeal”

  1. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    This is going to sound stupid but we've been not eating out and I've been cooking. I can't get over how my groceries have easily doubled in price and I realize part is from lack of eating out, the kids getting bigger, but I can't find stuff at all on "sale" or wait for "doorcrashers" anymore because they don't exist.

    BLSL thighs/breasts used to be $1.99/lb but I haven't seen that in about a year. I have been waiting for 93% ground beef or sirloin for $2.99/lb and haven't seen that in a long time. I'm not sure my husband's favorite coke will come back to 4 - 12 packs for $12. That might be gone as well.

    Eggs are very expensive cheapest I've seen has been walmart for $9 for 60. I'm easily now at $1500/month groceries similar to the beginning of the pandemic when we cooked 100% of the meals. But now the meals are being stretched and not as lavish as then. And my kids eat more hence the stretching.

    I feel like I'm going crazy.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    LAL--We went from $400 every 2 weeks to $500 every two weeks on the grocery budget, but that doesn't include toiletries, we do $75 every two weeks for that, and we have a separate medical budget that includes any OTC meds as well as co-pays and prescription drugs. I don't know what all you include in your groceries.

    You live in such a high cost of living area. Have you tried visiting any of the Asian markets around you? They often have cheaper produce and meats, although some of the meats may be ones you aren't used to or don't know how to prepare. You may not be able to read what is on the canned goods, but the pictures are usually good. We have two Asian markets, one Mexican one, and one European one and the costs have been lower for as long as I can remember, except the European one has gone up of late. I've been youtubing a lot on how to cook unfamiliar cuts of meat.

    I just found out we still have a restaurant supply store in town that is open to the public. It used to be a Cash and Carry a long time ago but now it is called Chef's Store. You might check for one near you. Ours currently has an average 25 pound roll of chuck roast for $3.88/lb (Around $97). And their special is on b/s skinless breasts for a 40# case at $1.90/lb ($76). I don't know how long it will last. If you have something like that it could really cut down your meat costs if you have room to freeze it or can it. You'd of course, have to cut up the roast into appropriate sizes for your family meals, too.

    If you are thinking about a garden next year to grow vegetables and maybe strawberries to save some money, I'd suggest putting down black plastic now in the area you want to grow your garden. You can use a tarp, but tarps don't always block out the sun enough for all the vegetation to die out, so kind of defeats the purpose. Put something heavy down along the edges to keep it from blowing away. You will need it where you live. Bricks or cinder blocks work well, old boards, even small sandbags. The wind around here will rip landscape staples out of the ground. Putting it down wil kill off all the grass and weeds by the time late April gets here and then you should be able to till the soil, add amendments because you are probably on clay like most of Western WA, and hopefully composted steer manure if it is back in stores by then, and start planting the early spring plants. Keep anything covered that won't be planted yet. It will save a lot of backbreaking labor.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]