Monday, April 13, 2009

Bargain Huntress Faves: Groceries

1. Offering great prices on most everything, Costco is where most of our grocery budget goes. Buying in bulk works well for our family of 7 (on the cusp of feeding growing teenagers).

2. I still don't know how they do it, but they beat the competition hands down when it comes to produce. Since I think my kids are part rabbit, this keeps my grocery bill down as well. We eat through a basket full of fruits and vegetables weekly.

3. I can go to this website (a database of over 200,000 recipes from all over the world), do a search for a couple of food items in my fridge/pantry, and the website will almost always find me a recipe. This way I don't need to waste foods I already have in my fridge. (Illustrated below)

4. Their weekly sales generally include good prices on meat.

5. If I need unusual items that can't be found at the regular grocery store, this is where I go.

Here's how we did Easter dinner this year without blowing the budget:
Easter Dinner Menu:
Ham with Mango glaze
Maple Mustard sauce
Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes
Cabbage and Green Bean Slaw
Rolls with Homemade Strawberry Jam (Thanks Chelsea!)
Strawberry Shortcake (thanks, Jamie!

Ham from Tom Thumb (on sale this week for $0.97/lb).
Mango Glaze recipe at The actual recipe is for Apricot glaze, but I had mango jam in my fridge, so I used that instead. It was yummy!

The recipe for the glaze also includes the recipe for this Maple Mustard sauce.

I had green beans from Sprouts ($0.88/lb) already, but it wouldn't feed the 6 adults and 5 kids at our house for easter dinner. I had some cabbage, too, though (also bought at Sprouts for $0.33/lb) So, I went to Food Down Under, typed in "green bean and cabbage," and eventually decided on this recipe:


3 slices bacon
1/2 c. vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. chopped onion
3 c. shredded cabbage
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can green beans

Cook bacon and tear into 1 inch pieces. Remove bacon. Add vinegar, salt, sugar, onion, cabbage, and pepper to fat in skillet. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in drained green beans and cook for 5 minutes. Pour into serving dish and top with bacon pieces.
It received good reviews from my family. And since I used turkey bacon (from Costco), it was pretty healthy, too!

Similar story with the potatoes. I had some left over from a bag I bought at Sprouts (about $2.88 for 5 lb), but not enough to feed everyone. I found a recipe for Crockpot Creamy Scalloped Potatoes, then added carrots (from Costco) to it.

Here's the spread just before we sat down to eat:

This meal cost about $20.
  • Scan the local ads. It took me about 1 minute to look through the grocery store ads to decide that Tom Thumb was the best place to buy a ham this year.


  1. Your table looks great--are the chargers new? And I like how you used the mango instead--I like unusual. You're good at showing how being resourceful can mean raising the 'customized' quotient.

  2. I, too, scan my weekly ads (that are now available online) before I do my weekly shopping. Do you do meal planning at all? I just started and it has saved me GOBS of money.