I’m going to try something different.
With all the stuff going on, prices going up, and so many looking to stock up, I figured I would share a detailed post about what we got during our trip to the city today, and how much things cost. Because we get paid at the end of the month only, we budget to do a major shopping trip in the city (which saves us hundreds of dollars compared to buying many things locally) to stock up for the month, plus a bit extra for our stash. Let me know in the comments if this is something that interests you, and if you’d like me to keep doing these.
Before I get to it, I want to add a few notes about what will not be on the list, or not much of.
Beef: we now buy our beef direct from a local (ish) farmer, and recently got a large freezer pack. We won’t buy beef unless there is a spectacular sale of some kind. Our freezer is pretty full right now, so we didn’t get a lot of meat for the freezer this trip.
Fresh fruits and vegetables: there will be some on the list, but with a few exceptions, we buy fresh produce locally.
Personal hygiene and household items: the girls buy their own, and we’ve already stocked up on a lot of the basics, so we don’t need any on this trip.
Stuff that will have to wait for another trip: because we get so many heavy items, and our van is a delicate old thing, we can no longer do all the city shopping on one trip. We’ve had to split it into at least two trips. Sometimes three, if things are out of stock or we have to go to a different city.
With that said, here is today’s shopping, starting with fuel!
On the way out, I stopped to put $30 gas in the tank, so I wouldn’t go below half a tank before reaching the city. I headed out at about 10am so that I could pick up some parcels at the post office, and didn’t have breakfast before I left. I normally would have picked up some fried chicken at the gas station, but they didn’t have any yet, so I got some drinks (including an extra for the cooler we keep in the van) and some pierogi for the road. I also got a lottery ticket, for a total of $54.93 Before heading home, I filled the tank at Costco, which cost $51.87.
Grand total of fuel and a bit extra: $106.80
Once in the city, we start with where we get the least perishable times first. Today, that was Canadian Tire.
This is where we get our hardwood pellets that we use for cat litter. We still have a couple of unopened bags at home, and these last a LONG time, but I wanted to stock up. They’re only $6.99 per 40 pound bag. I also picked up a case of canning jars. We usually pick up 500ml or 750ml sizes, but this time I got quart jars (1L). I like the wide mouth jars better. I’ve also been picking up extra lids every now and then, but I did that at our last Walmart trip, so for this one, I got more jars. We have lots more seeds to plant, so I got a couple of square fibre pots that fit into the trays we have, and can be planted directly into the soil. I also picked up a BBQ lighter that was on sale; I’ve been picking those up whenever I see a good price, as they are very handy for lighting the burn barrel or fire pit. I also finally found an LED light with a switch. It runs on AAA batteries and can be hung or adhered to a wall with self adhesive Velcro strips. This is what I’ve been wanting to have for the outhouse, but hadn’t found until today. Not that we can get to the outhouse right now to install it, but I grabbed it while I could. They’re a novelty item, and not always in stock.
My major splurge was the syphon pump. That cost $39.99. I got it in case our sump pump has issues again. The last two times this happened, we had to manually empty the reservoir using an old ice cream pail with a wire attached to the handle. I’d drop the bucket alongside the pump, then push it under the water with a broom handle to fill it, lift it out with the wire, then empty it into larger buckets that my daughters would haul outside, assembly line style. With this, I can just stick the syphon pump into the reservoir, have the hose go into the large bucket, and pump it out that way. Much easier! Hopefully, we’ll never need to use it for that, but even if we don’t use it there, I can see using it to, say, get water from the bottom of a rain barrel to fill a watering can or something.
Final tally for this purchase, after taxes, was $103.18
The next stop was an international grocery store we really like.
I forgot to get a picture before I packed it all. 😀 We keep a variety of reusable bags in our van and usually pack our items there, rather than in the store.
Here we have bananas (normally we get those locally, but they looked really good today), Ambrosia apples (they were on sale), Beaver Buzz (a Canadian brand of energy drinks that we like, but few places carry; we got citrus, mango-pineapple and Saskatoon flavours), traditional yeast (I prefer it over the quick acting yeast), frozen udon noodles, a 2 pack of chicken (it had a sale price that made it cheaper than Costco), Maple Latte creamer (my daughters are coffee drinkers and like their creamers), a case of Kraft dinner (it was almost half price, and my daughters like it for a quick meal), instant milk (for our emergency stash), coarse salt (I got 2, because we use it more than we use regular table salt), a brand of soy sauce from the Philippines that my husband likes, a local brand of uncut smoked bacon; one piece plain smoked, one piece Applewood smoked (no difference in price), rooibos tea (for me!) and 2 packages of old fashioned rolled oats (which we prefer over quick oats). They happened to be on a really good sale, so I wanted to stock up on those.
Then, because I’d had such a small “breakfast” on the way out, I picked up from fresh dim sum at the hot food counter for “lunch”.
Grand total for this trip, after my loyalty card discounts and taxes: $135.39
Those were the small trips.
Next was Costco.
It was flat cart time! 😀
I did not get everything on this trip, but I did get most of it.
There are four 9kg bags of cat kibble – less than half what we need for the month – plus a case of wet cat food. The yellow plastic container that looks like laundry soap is dish detergent; not the brand we usually get, but it was a bit cheaper, so I decided it was worth a try. Just one package of toilet paper; we’ll get more on the next trip. Basmati rice (my husband’s preferred type) and a 9 pack of beans. At $10.99 for the case, they’ve gone up in price since our last trip, but are still a lot cheaper than at the regular grocery store. There is 10 pounds of butter (we don’t use margarine or shortening). Butter has also gone up and is now $4.99 a pound at Costco, which is cheaper than the regular grocery store. There is olive oil, but I didn’t get vegetable oil on this trip. We got a gallon sized plastic container of popcorn. Popcorn is our primary snack, plus the containers are very sturdy, food safe plastic, so we keep those. (We’ve got several of them with the bottoms cut off that make great scoops for the outside cat kibble and bird/deer feed.) There’s also mayonnaise, baking powder (a 2 pack; one for the kitchen, one for the stash), vinegar (another 2 pack, both for the stash), peanut butter, a 2 pack of butter chicken sauce, 2 packages of tortilla wraps, one for the freezer, a large block of extra old cheddar, and a smaller block of mozzarella. I normally would have gotten a large block of marble as well, but they were out of stock. There’s a 3 pack of hot dog wieners, plus a couple of bags of hot dog buns, for our next wiener roast. A pork loin, pork chops and a package of tilapia – the fish is for the girls. My husband and I are not fish fans. Frozen wontons, Saskatoon berry jam, canned chicken (the only canned meat we buy; it’s just too expensive!), a couple of containers of sour cream, whipping cream, icing sugar, brown sugar, a package of prosciutto, chocolate chips, a 5 dozen pack of eggs (nowhere near enough for the entire month), yellow flesh potatoes and red potatoes.
Finally, on top of all this was my Costco Executive membership renewal fee of $120. The grand total, including the fee and taxes was $784.29. Minus the fee, $664.29.
Then, because it was getting late and I wanted to treat the family, I swung by a McDonald’s drive through on the way home and picked up 4 double quarter pounders with cheese, plus bacon. Which came out to pennies over $45.
Oh, I almost forgot.
I had another splurge when I got home. This one came out of the “unallocated funds” part of the budget. One of the YouTube channels I follow, Maritime Gardening, mentioned the software he uses to make his videos; Movavi. I got the trial version and was incredibly happy with how quickly I could figure out how to use it and make my first, simple video. However, because it was a trial version, it had a watermark on the final, exported version. When I downloaded the free trial version, the software had been on sale, but when the trial time was done, it offered a steeper discount to purchase. They had several options, including a cheaper yearly subscription version, but I opted for the next level up, one time purchase. After taxes, it cost $114.95
I’ve made a few videos using (much!) older software I have and posted them on YouTube and Rumble, but have been considering making videos of more than just deer, or the occasional video of me walking around the property. Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing Re-Farmer videos on top of blog posts. 🙂
So, including the video editing software, the grand total for the day is: $1244.61
This is higher than typical. It’s not unusual for us to find things we’ll need, like the pump or the case of canning jars, so those “extras” are not out of the ordinary. However, even taking that into account, as well as the extra we’re getting for our stash, and taking out the 1 time software purchase and the annual Costco renewal fee, a total of $1009.66 is higher than typical by at least $100. That would be due directly to increased prices. It would be a lot higher, if we weren’t able to direct-purchase beef, and hadn’t already stocked up on things like laundry detergent or bars of soap.
And we will have to make another trip in a couple of days to get the rest, while still keeping a budget for fresh foods for the rest of the month to buy locally.
I headed out at 10 and didn’t get home until about 5:30.
At least the next trip won’t involve running around the city so much, and will likely be just to one place.
And that’s what our big monthly shopping trip is like. 🙂
7 thoughts on “Cha-ching! … Ouch”
If you guys go through a lot of potatoes, you can buy 50lb bags for $18 at the farm just outside the town your Mom is in. They typically have reds, russets and golds…plus they source other veggies from the Hutterites down the road come garden season. And there’s always farm fresh eggs too. 😉
Also, if you go through a lot of canned beans, seriously consider pulling out your pressure canner.
NCHFP has several recipes that mimic the store bought brands very nicely…and last time I bought the supplies, including the beans, it came out to just under $.75 a pint jar (equivalent to a can).
Now, if you can find someone locally who grows beans and can buy a 50lb bag?
Brings it down even cheaper.
I’m betting someone at the grain elevator or at the feed store in the same town might know a source for beans…
And, of course, if you have enough beans to leave on the plant at the end of your own garden season, then you can dry and can those too.
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That’s good to know, thanks! I think I’ve seen signs on the highway in the summer for them?
We don’t actually eat a lot of canned beans. The ones I’ve been getting are baked beans; I forget the flavour, but Costco only carries the one. We usually eat fresh beans, but I like to have some canned baked beans for a quick meal every now and then. We still have some left over from the 9 pack we bought last month. LOL
On my list is to pick up dry beans and try making our own baked beans. We also plan to grow quite a lot of beans this year, including a variety that is just for dry beans, so yeah; definitely wanting to do pressure canning! I got a hotplate just so we can do that, since we can’t use it on our glass top stove, but haven’t had the space to test it yet. We’re using it to start seeds right now!
50 pound bags, though! Wow!
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Yeah the farm has signs out in the summer, but are open year round. They have a huge storage building and store thousands of pounds to sell all winter.
50lbs of beans sounds like a lot, but if you can find locally grown, you can also use them as seeds to grow.
We were given several 50lbs bags of pintos and we’ve been using them to grow and as baked beans for a few years now. And in winter when the birds need extra protein, I cook up pots for them too…and our spoiled outdoor cats love a hot mash of bone broth ans beans in the freezing cold too…
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I have GOT to find this place!! Unfortunately, every time I drive by and see the signs, it’s because I have someplace I need to be and can’t stop in!
We definitely need to think about growing animal food, too. Especially once we can finally get chickens.
Yes to both! I like seeing the price differences and what you find when you’re out. I would love seeing videos too.
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Thanks! The feedback really helps. I used to make DVDs of photos year after year, making something my parents could enjoy watching on TV rather than printing out and sending photos. specially as it got harder for them to handle heavy things. I had them all set to music, with special effects and chapters they could select from a menu. Then I found out they never watched any of them, because they couldn’t figure out how to use the DVD player and remote. *sigh*
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