Did I yet mention that we now have a couple of Aldi supermarkets closer than 90 miles? Very exciting! Last week we went to one of them - next month we'll go to the other.

Of course the timing wasn't right. I needed things but couldn't get to either of the closer (one is 55 miles, one is 70 miles) Aldi during the first week of the month so had to buy some things locally. Small, local trips are more expensive, which I don't like...but for what it's worth, here's what we've spent so far this month.

The first couple of days included a trip to Dollar General for an 11.5 oz can of coffee for $3.50 (!) and a trip to Walmart for assorted things: produce, tomato sauce, olive oil, tuna, half'n'half, dreamfield's spaghetti, etc. for $38.42.

A couple of trips to Sav-a-Lot added $15.81 and $4.97 for some pork rinds, peanuts for hubby ($1.99 for 12 oz - yikes!), eggs, mushrooms, cheese, and so forth.

I finally got a chance to get to Aldi on Saturday and spent $106.88 stocking up on dairy - yogurts (haven't had time to make any), cheeses, butter ($2.25/lb), canned goods, half'n'half ($1.49/qt), cottage cheese, frozen shrimp, snacks for my 3YO grandson that he likes, frozen sausage links, 11.3 oz decaf coffee ($2.79 ea), two of their lovely dark chocolate bars, peanuts for hubby ($1.49 for 16 oz - more like it! bought 5 bags) etc...and I bought about a month's worth of these kinds of food.

Then down the street to GFS for frozen vegetables: (9) 2# packages, plus a 2# bag of cut romaine for $3.99 - not much more than I'd pay for half that amount, but not cut up, locally. My GFS total was $43.18. This also included a tray of sliced cheeses for church fellowship @ $7.99. Normally I'd buy the bricks @ $1.79/8oz and slice it myself, but I knew I wouldn't be able to do it that night, and needed it for the next morning; this is a purchase I wouldn't have typically made. (If you are curious about the frozen vegetables, I bought cauliflower, broccoli, chopped spinach, whole green beans, brussel sprouts, and california blend to add to the half-dozen partial packages I still had from the last trip to GFS.)

So my total for February so far is $191.98.
Turns out we couldn't get to the city for a big shopping this month after all, due to illness (mine). So we have to make do, yet again, with local buying. Plus, since I was too sick to shop, hubby did some of it, which means he bought differently than I do, so the bill is a little higher...but I'm not complaining, he has been taking over a lot of things around the house while I've been sick or otherwise unable to do some things these last couple of weeks - he's a heck of a wonderful husband!

So, here are the receipts from the last week or so.

From Walmart, $36.46, which included olive oil, half'n'half, 2# of mozzarella, cabbages, onions, shrimp, and peanuts. (Hubby loves peanuts, and goes through a pound or 2 per week. At $2/lb that's pricey. Need to find cheaper source soon!)

From Sav-a-Lot, $38.33 for food, which included coffee, salad dressing, mayo, dairy, frozen dinners (hubby buys for his lunches for work sometimes), pop, and more peanuts.

I did make it to our meat market last week at least! Spent a total of $71.44 for 29.5# of meat (pork roast, pork steaks, bacon, chuck roasts, ground beef, frozen fish) plus a couple of acorn squash and a couple of sweet potatoes, @2.69 for granulated garlic from the bulk section, and some cough drops for a buck. Meat alone was right around $65, or about $2.20/lb. Pretty good for this day and age, especially for really fresh tasty meat - Steve's is the best meat! (Although Ebel's is great too but harder to get to than Steve's so I rarely go.)

So when I add these receipts onto the $138.74 balance, this month's total grocery bill is $283.97 - which is almost exactly my monthly average for groceries this time last year! In spite of the fact that the cost of food has risen so much, and that my husband did some of the shopping :), it remained the same, that's pretty darned good!

Meanwhile, hubby still needs radiographs done down in Saginaw (home of Aldi's and Meijer and Kroger!) so next month I'll be able to stock up on some things anyway. What we have now will last into March, mostly, but I can't ask him to wait for his Xrays just so I can time my shopping trip...oh if only I hadn't gotten sick! But, it is what it is...

I don't really like these months when I can't do a big shopping, and have to go to the store so often for little things. I always end up spending more! But we will be going to Saginaw (hubby has doctor stuff down there) later this week, and I can go to Aldi's, Meijer, and/or GFS while there if I want to. Will see what we need when the day comes. We do have enough meat for a couple more weeks, so will probably make a trip to my favorite meat place, Steve's, after the 1st of the month. This month I've been buying meats here in town, when I see them with the big red clearance stickers on them, and that's gotten us through just fine - but I still like to open my freezer and see stacks of meat (and vegetables!) in it, just waiting to be used :).

Anyway - I spent $43.35 at Sav-a-Lot on the 17th which included some half'n'half, some cheese, almost 16# of meat and fish, and some frozen foods. It was a good shopping trip!

This brought my food grocery receipts for the month to $138.74.
Last year I kept track of every penny I spent on groceries throughout the first 6 months of the year. This year I will do the same, although I probably won't go into as much detail about each receipt since that is time-consuming and I am busier this year than I was last year. But I will highlight special deals, and at least describe what I bought.

The first receipt of the year was on 1/2, and I bought (3) guarts of half'n'half from Walmart for $1.68 each, or $5.04 total.

At Sav-a-Lot also on the 2nd of the month I spent $23.38, of which about $11 was meat (bacon, pork steak, hamburger) that was on sale or marked down...3.88# in all.

One evening we had a half hour to kill, so hubby and I went to Merchandise Mart; I often find marinades or sauces, and snack foods to pack in his lunchbox for work for a good price there. We spent $4.03 there.

Today we went to Walmart for some miscellaneous things. The total bill was $32.19; highlights were (4) quarts of Half'n'Half, 250 packets of saccharin, popcorn, 2# of butter, a big bag of shredded cheese, and a couple boxes of Dreamfield's spaghetti with a can of Hunt's sauce.

So far this month I've spent $64.64 on food. We are fairly well stocked right now, but within the next week or 2 we will be making a trip to Saginaw, where there is an Aldi's. So I will definitely be buying more of anything I can get cheaper there, even if we don't need it yet. We don't get near an Aldi's very often.