Brett and I did part of our monthly food shopping yesterday, or I should say he took me to do the shopping. I go into the store while Brett stays outside with Kai and walks him around. We’ve tried leaving him at home a couple of times but there have been less than ideal results, even when he’s left in his crate (he tears his beds to shreds). Anyway, yesterday we did our monthly stop at Costco and a bi-monthly one at Trader Joe’s.
Food shopping is once again a pleasure compared to the struggle it became in Hawaii to not go over our budget. Our current monthly food allotment is $500, $100 less per month than we budgeted in Hawaii, although so far we have been spending less. We do one Big Shop in the middle of the month, and another at the end.
I was a bit concerned about the Costco trip yesterday because we were out of several things that I knew would drive the total up, including two cans of coffee (regular and decaf), a case of oat milk, and three bottles of wine. We were also out of a couple of snack items we keep on hand: peanut butter filled pretzels that Brett enjoys, and fig bars that we all like (K loves them). I also wanted to buy a Halloween House kit for K to decorate when she’s with us today or Friday.
I found four items not on my list: Pacific Foods organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup (our favorite), two bags Cretor’s Chicago mix popcorn (which I adore), almond thins with papaya and passionfruit, and box of beer batter cod for fish & chips. This is the absolute maximum of bulk shopping we can do now because we don’t have room to store any more.
The total for everything at Costco was $206.51, including tax. The same items would have cost us somewhere closer to $300 at the Kaua’i Costco, maybe more. I didn’t buy meat (we buy that at Trader Joe’s or ALDI now), bread items, desserts, pre-made casseroles, nor any giant bags of produce, all things we pretty much had to purchase at Costco on Kaua’i. The only produce we buy at Costco now are organic apples and bananas, and an occasional bag of frozen blueberries. It’s very nice to have other options these days.
After Costco it was on to Trader Joe’s. I accidentally left my list at home so I knew I had to be on my best behavior there. I picked up the apple cider doughnuts and pumpkin ravioli Brett had asked for, and a couple more boxes of the pumpkin pancake mix to get us through the winter. Otherwise I couldn’t remember much of anything else on the list and did my best to not go crazy. TJ’s has so many pumpkin items out right now, but I was able to pass most of them except for one box of the pumpkin sticky toffee cakes – Meiling told us they were very good. The only splurge item was a chicken pot pie. I didn’t buy much produce because we still have plenty on hand.
Total spent at Trader Joe’s was $75.89, There’s no way to compare that with costs in Hawaii because there are no Trader Joe’s there! I know though we would have paid a whole lot more for the same or similar items versus what we pay here.
Total spent for this October Big Shop trip was $282.40, which means we have $217.60 left to spend at the end of the month. I plan to go to ALDI and may visit TJ’s again, but if all goes well we’ll probably end up with somewhere around $100 left over we can put into savings. For now though our cupboards are full.