July Food Stamp Challenge — Day 21, Big Ol’ Grocery Shopping

by Katy on July 21, 2011 · 16 comments

Today is day twenty-one of the July Food Stamp Challenge and I’ve done one more big grocery shopping trip. I worked today, and after a short nap in front of Netflix’s American Pickers, I gathered up my coupons and pointed the mini-van in the direction of Safeway. Lately I’ve been mostly shopping Fred Meyer (Kroger) and New Seasons as they’re walking distance from my house, but I had another $10-off-$50 Safeway coupon that was too good to go to waste. (The Safeway near my house was demolished and they’ve been sending me these coupons to ensure that I don’t elope with the mailman turn my loyalty to another store)

Here’s what I bought:

  • 5 pounds of sugar*
  • 2 boxes of Kix cereal*
  • 1 box of Raisin Bran*
  • Baking powder
  • Box of 100 tea bags
  • Canola oil
  • Adams peanut butter
  • 1 box of pasta*
  • Smoked oysters
  • 1 box of brownie mix
  • 2 containers of ice cream*
  • Frozen turkey breast (I had a rain check)*
  • Bananas
  • Red plums
  • 1 Avocado
  • Kale
  • 2 pounds of blueberries
  • 1 pound bag of yogurt pretzels

* = Used a coupon

The grand total was $43.30, which was 47% off the regular prices. (Of course, I would never have paid those “regular prices,” so this savings is illusionary.)

Yesterday I also bought a $2 head of gem-like red lettuce at Pastworks, as well as a half-pound of grass-fed hamburger for $2.25 at New Seasons and $1.87 for garlic and an avocado at Fred Meyer. (All a quick walk from my house.)

This brings my monthly total to $290.40 for the month of July. This leaves us $113.60 for the rest of the month, which is plenty, considering that our fridge and cupboards are chock full o’ staples.

I think we should have a nice healthy donation for our food bank at the end of the month!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Pollyanna July 21, 2011 at 5:45 am

It looks like you just made it over the $50 purchase threshold to get the $10 off and bring it down to just over $40 — good job!


Reese July 21, 2011 at 7:25 am

Oh my word. Those yogurt-covered pretzels look positively sinful. Can’t keep them in the house though, because I eat the entire bag. Go figure!


Roberta July 21, 2011 at 8:08 am

Way to go! I’m enjoying keeping up with your food stamp challenge this month, and it has inspired me to pay even more attention than usual to my grocery buying habits. For example, I’m missing only two ingredients for dinner tonight (fresh ginger and a jalapeno pepper for a curry) and instead of using it as an excuse to head to the grocery store and buy all sorts of who-knows-what, I’m walking to a nearby Indian market to buy just the two ingredients I need. Thanks for the inspiration!


jana July 21, 2011 at 8:51 am

Your self-control at walking into the supermarket and only buying the one thing on your list is inspiring. I can only shop 1x/week because I’m weak. If there’s something missing, I have to send my husband. He knows better than to stray from the list!


Marisa H July 21, 2011 at 9:06 am

Great job on the savings and the grass fed hamburger, but commercial white sugar is almost just as bad of an industry (only they abuse people rather than animals).


mairsydoats July 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

I don’t know about distribution in your area, but we’re only getting 4 lb bags rather than the 5 lb bags there used to be. I find the shrinking of the goods just about as annoying as the inflation of the prices.

Changing to happier sugar is on my list, but it’s after the upgrading of the eggs, milk, meat, and minimizing my plastics consumption. 🙂 Babysteps!


mairsydoats July 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

Bags of sugar. Leave it to me to leave out the subject of the sentence!


Katy July 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

People, I want to make jam!



Elaine July 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

I never criticize anyone for using/buying sugar. Or anything else, for that matter. What people put in their mouths is their own business, not mine.

mairsydoats July 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Not criticizing – I was saddened and amazed by the shrinking of the sugar bag, and jam is waaaay up on my list, and upgrading sugar relatively low on the list of ways-to-improve-my-being-in-the-world.

Jam makes me happy. Really happy.

Megg July 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Food stamp challenge or not, it’s very difficult to make sure everything you buy is “happy” or ethically grown and raised. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. I like to cook from scratch…so I buy white sugar. On my budget there’s no way I could afford all organic meat, produce, and happy sugar. We all have to pick our battles, and not everyone’s going to pick the same one.

Also, I don’t see any grass fed hamburger in that picture…(or any hamburger, for that matter)


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl July 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

What Megg said. Not everyone can afford to eat a diet composed solely of ethically-produced products.

And I personally think it’s better to buy a bag of sugar to make your own jam than it is to buy jars of corn-syrup-sweetened commercial jam. It’s not as good as making honey-sweetened jam with honey from your own hive and fruit from your own bushes, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be progress.

And if we beat ourselves up about anything that’s less than perfect, we will be quite unlikely to make progress.


Amanda July 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I buy my sugar at Cash & Carry, for 25 pounds, it’s only $17, a lot cheaper than buying in the now 4# bag, since you go thru so much of it when canning. I can a lot and I feed my bees, so I buy LOTS of it! They must think I’ve got a crazy sweet tooth, lol.


Auntie Karen July 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Now, if you only had honey, instead of sugar, you could make a great Spicy Port Wine Jam from the jug of That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named wine your sister abandoned before heading East. Well, it wouldn’t be “great” jam but it would save you from waiting until it turned to vinegar and having to put it in salad dressing. Bring to a boil a couple cups of wine, about 3 cups of honey, a dash of cinnamon, a pinch of cloves, half a bottle of liquid pectin and continue to boil for a couple minutes. Skim off the foamy stuff. Put in sterilized glasses, and Bob’s your uncle (which in your case he really is). This is also a good way to use that old, stiffened-up honey in the bottom two inches of jars lurking in the back of the pantry shelves.


Stephanie July 22, 2011 at 8:08 am

I drool over those $10 off $50 coupons. My local store is taking all coupons at $1 and will accept them from just about anywhere. That combined with store sales….well let’s just say I haven’t paid for a box of pasta in months! 🙂


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