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Penny Pinching Epicure: Confessions of a Frugal Shopper

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Confessions of a Frugal Shopper

Some people have asked how I spend so little on food; the truth is, it's a combination of things:
  1. I shop on sale. If I see staples I use regularly are on sale, I'll stock up.
  2. I'm not picky. I buy similar items each week (assortment of fruit, veggies, leafy greens, dairy), but it can vary based on what I see on sale. In fact, I frequently shop without a list and build my week's menu as I go along.
  3. I allow myself to splurge on occasion. If you deprive yourself, it makes it more likely you'll "binge" the next time you have the chance. I try and allow myself one indulgence every other shopping trip (this summer, my dirty little secret was pomello, quite expensive at $3 a piece).
In case people are interested in exactly how I shop, I've decided to "publish" my receipts every once in a while. Here is last week's (if you take a look at my previous blog posts you'll see how I used some of these items--pumpkin muffins, lentil stew, corn salad ):

Staples:
1 jar applesauce (on sale 2 for $4): 2.00
3 cans diced tomatoes (on sale 10 for $10): 3.00
2 cans white beans (on sale .79 each): 1.58
2 cans chickpeas (on sale .79 each): 1.58
1 bag green split peas: 1.19
1 bag yellow split peas: 1.19
1 bag red lentils: 1.69

Weekly Buys:
3.43 lb jazz apples (on sale 1.29/lb): 4.42
5 bananas (on sale .59/lb): 1.24
1 bunch scallions: .67
4 corn on the cob (on sale .59 each): 2.36
5 sweet potatoes (on sale .79/lb): 1.79
1 bunch each mustard & turnip greens (on sale 2 lb for $1): .88
1 bunch vine ripened tomatoes: 1.77
6 medium onions (on sale 10 for $10): 2.32
1 red bell pepper (on sale $1 each): 1.00
1 avocado (on sale): 1.49
1 large bag fresh spinach (on sale 3 for $5): 1.67
1 large container cottage cheese (on sale): 3.39
1 quart Lactaid (on sale): 4.19

Grand Total: $39.42 (no splurge this time)

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