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What I spent on groceries in May (A Grocery Geek report)

It has been a crazy month. Two birthdays, Mother’s Day, an anniversary, two visits with grandparents, and car trouble that stranded us in the dessert — all these added up to cra-zy! Thankfully, though, our grocery budget was able to weather the storms, despite more than a few splurges.

I think a lot of that was due to my baking. While I did pick up a few loaves of bread on clearance and such, I did most of our baking myself, using the sourdough starter my friend Kate sent me from Canada.

I also found some really good meat sales. Between the sale chicken and eating more beans, I think we got our protein costs down.

But, again, meal planning and ALDI prices have really helped keeping us in the black. As well as spending time with a Nanna who spoils you. What can I say?

The Grocery Geek report

For those of you new here, Grocery Geek is my regular report of how I shopped for groceries, what deals I found, and my running total of how we’re sticking to a budget for groceries.

Here’s the rundown on my shopping this week. As you read, keep in mind who and how I’m shopping:

My grocery shopping profile

To update you on my grocery geekiness:Grocery Geek: What We Spent in March | Good Cheap Eats

  • I’m feeding eight people, ages 55, 46, 20, 17, 15, 14, 11, and 9. Five of those people are males. They eat A LOT!
  • I’m shooting for a budget of $1100 this year, trying to beat what the feds think it will cost. Per the USDA food cost reports it should cost our family $1336.20 to eat all meals at home under the “thrifty plan” for people of our demographics.
  • We live in Southern California where produce is cheap, but meat and dairy are not.
  • I’m trying to feed us mostly unprocessed foods, with a few “healthier” convenience items thrown in and a junk food splurge* here and there.
  • I work at home and teach five of our kids, so I don’t have as much time for fiddling in the kitchen as I would like.
  • I no longer use coupons on a regular basis, though I do love the coupons that Ralphs offers.
  • I have at least ten grocery stores within 5.5 miles of my house. It is easy (for better or for worse) to stop at several stores to get the best deals.
  • We mostly eat at home. My husband and college age son often pack lunch and breakfast to work, but sometime have lunch out. My husband and I enjoy a date once a week. FishPapa takes one child out to “dinner with dad” once a week. We eat out as a family on average once a week.
  • BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME FOR EXTRAVAGANCE, please read this post.

What we spent on groceries in May

ALDI

  • milk $2.10
  • whole milk half gallon $1.55
  • tomato sauce $0.29
  • sardines $0.99
  • eggs $0.94
  • sparkling water $0.69 after CRV

Total spent $29

Ralphs

  • flatbread $2.49
  • mushrooms $1.55
  • organic bagels on clearance $1.79
  • organic hot dogs on clearance $0.99
  • ground chicken $4.99
  • bone-in chicken breast $0.88/lb
  • bacon $3.24 after coupon
  • pepperoni $4.59

Total spent $28

Sprouts

  • 5# bag potatoes $2.94
  • 1# bag lemons $1.99
  • 2# bag clementines $2.50
  • eggplant $0.50 each
  • jalapeños $0.10 each
  • 3# organic apples $2.98
  • organic broccolette $0.98/bunch
  • red onions $0.89/lb
  • grapes $0.98/ln
  • roma tomatoes $0.50/lb
  • shishito peppers $1.98
  • sweet onion $0.98/lb
  • tortilla chips $3.99

Total spent $30

Costco

  • potstickers $6.89
  • tomato sauce $7.99
  • olive oil $14.69
  • chips multi-pack $8.89
  • diced tomatoes $9.99
  • butter $11.39
  • turkey breast $16.24
  • pita bread $3.39
  • shredded cheddar $11.99
  • organic brown rice $11.99
  • cheerios $3.99
  • greek yogurt $4.69
  • cucumbers $3.99
  • sliced sourdough $3.69
  • heavy cream $9.59
  • hummus singles $6.49
  • sharp Tillamook cheddar $8.99
  • avocado oil $9.69
  • English muffins $6.79
  • organic spinach $3.99
  • organic brown mushrooms $5.99
  • organic frozen berries $7.99
  • tortillas $3.69
  • organic cherries $7.99
  • pork tenderloin $2.99/lb
  • ground beef $3.99/lb

Total spent $270

Ralphs

  • organic sandwich bread $1.29 to $1.49 on clearance
  • bone-in chicken breast $0.88/lb

Total spent $11

Albertsons

  • eggs $2.49
  • organic celery $1.99
  • red leaf lettuce $1.69

Total spent $6

ALDI

  • crushed tomatoes $0.99
  • organic diced tomatoes $1.65
  • taco shells $0.99
  • milk $2.10
  • chips $1.99
  • lettuce $0.69
  • eggs $1.44
  • salt $0.49
  • coconut oil $3.99
  • sparkling water $0.69 after CRV

Total spent $40

Trader Joe’s (aka Vacation food)

  • bottled water $6.96
  • chocolate milk $3.99
  • sour cream $1.79
  • drinking yogurts $1.79
  • flavored yogurts $2.99
  • frozen chicken tenders $7.49
  • mocha $3.49
  • string cheese $2.99
  • gruyere $7.00
  • brie $4.40
  • salami $4.49
  • organic celery $1.99
  • baby carrots $1.49
  • organic ketchup $1.99
  • garbanzo beans $0.79
  • red wine vinegar $1.99
  • cornichons $2.69
  • hot sauce $2.99
  • ak-mak $1.99
  • almond butter $5.99
  • hatch valley salsa $2.99
  • corn tortillas $0.99
  • dried mango slices $2.99
  • cashews $7.99
  • hibiscus tea $2.49
  • raw almonds $5.99
  • pasta $0.99 to $1.49
  • Larabars $0.99
  • plantain chips $1.69
  • chips $1.99 to $2.99
  • 2# bag organic apples $2.99
  • sundried tomatoes $1.99
  • red bell peppers $0.99
  • organic banana chips $3.49

Total spent $152

Trader Joe’s (more vacation food)

  • mochi $3.49
  • ice cream $3.99
  • red bell peppers $0.99
  • zucchini $3.29
  • almond toffee $1.49
  • red onion $0.89
  • sausage $4.49
  • boneless skinless chicken breast $2.99/lb
  • chopped salad $2.99
  • seasoning $1.99
  • naan $3.69
  • kefir $2.99

Total spent $45

Ralphs

  • romaine $1.29
  • avocado $2.99
  • power greens $1.49 on clearance
  • cilantro $0.50
  • bananas $0.59/lb
  • jalapeños $0.99/lb
  • watermelon $1.50
  • melon $1.50
  • organic mushrooms $2.49
  • carrots $1.59
  • strawberries $2.50
  • organic white bread $1.29 on clearance
  • face $2.50
  • boneless skinless chicken breast $1.49
  • salmon $6.99/lb

Total spent $43

Sprouts

  • strawberries $2.50
  • mushrooms $3.49
  • 3# bag onions $1.99
  • grape tomatoes $0.99
  • blueberries $1.25
  • zucchini $1.29/lb
  • jumbo avocado $1.66
  • organic broccoli $1.48/lb
  • opal apples $0.88/lb
  • organic celery $1.49
  • red bell peppers $0.88 each
  • red yams $0.88/lb
  • shishito peppers $1.98
  • teas $4.99 to $6.49
  • organic spreadable honey $5.99
  • canned beans $0.89
  • cage free eggs $3.99
  • Crio Bru $4.99 on clearance
  • peas $1.99
  • organic hashbrowns $2.99

Total spent $77

Ralphs

  • boneless chicken breast $1.49/lb
  • water chestnuts $0.99
  • green onions 2/$0.99
  • baby carrots $1.99
  • baby carrots FREE
  • organic baby spinach $4.99
  • Nappa cabbage $1.92
  • pepperoni $2.99

Total spent $30

ALDI

  • eggs $0.94
  • cilantro $0.29
  • iceberg $0.95
  • chicken breast $1.89
  • frozen veggies $0.79 to $1.59
  • pepperoni $2.19
  • cottage cheese $1.99
  • sour cream $1.29
  • milk $2.10
  • chips $1.99
  • jalapeños $0.99
  • diced tomatoes $0.65
  • tomato paste $0.39

Total spent $51

Ralphs

  • sodas $1.35
  • chips $3.99
  • cheerios free after coupon
  • buttermilk $2.99
  • sugar $2.99
  • larabar free after coupon
  • truffle bar free after coupon

Total spent $18

Sprouts

  • 2# strawberries $1.98
  • hot house cucumber $1.50
  • jumbo avocado $1.88
  • opal apples $0.98/lb
  • organic baby spinach $4.99
  • organic broccoli $1.99/lb
  • whole mushrooms $3.49
  • red bell peppers $0.33
  • shishito peppers $1.98
  • bananas $0.59/lb
  • xtra lean ground beef $3.99/lb

Total spent $50

Ralphs

  • milk $2.39

Total spent $5

Trader Joe’s

  • strong cheese $2.99
  • frozen chicken tenders $7.49
  • ice cream $3.79
  • bacon $4.99
  • gruyere $8.81
  • salsa $2.99
  • cashews $6.99
  • almonds $5.99
  • frozen mango $2.99
  • frozen strawberries $1.99
  • coconut milk $1.29
  • black beans $0.79
  • cereal $2.49

Total spent $73

ALDI

  • eggs $0.94
  • bottled water $3.19 after CRV
  • milk $2.10
  • strawberries $0.85
  • diced green chiles $0.59
  • mini cucumbers $1.95
  • cauliflower $2.29
  • dried black beans $2.49
  • flour tortillas $1.59
  • 10# potatoes $0.88
  • sour cream $1.29
  • ciabatta rolls $2.89

Total spent $36

Total spent in May $994

Spent in 2018:

  • January: $490
  • February: $1084
  • March: $1224
  • April: $1009
  • May: $994

Total spent YTD: $4801

That’s an average of $960/month!

So far so good!

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