Every Day

2023 Grocery Budget and How We Will Do It (Continued)

For those who have not read my prior post, read it before you read this. This is a continuation.

As I mentioned yesterday, our 2023 grocery budget will be $300. a month or $3600. annually.

I want to go back and talk about meat, poultry and fish purchases. These groceries are the most expensive you will buy. We used to be able to buy NY strip steaks, filet mignon, prime rib roasts, and ribeye steaks. Not any longer! I refuse to pay $25.00 – $35.00 per pound and up for these steaks. The roasts or tenderloins for filet mignon are $40.00 per pound and up in my area. That isn’t going to happen. The last time I purchased a tenderloin and had it cut into filet mignon was when the price had reached $18.99 per pound. The quality was horrible. I have not paid for these things since.

On a $300. a month budget, I will buy sirloin tip steaks when they are on sale for $ 4.99- $ 6.99 a pound. I still have some in the freezer from a sale this summer. But they will now get used for stew beef or cut up for beef barley soup. We do not eat steak unless we can grill it outside. Our grill is in the shed for the winter.

I will buy sirloin tip beef roasts at a good price like I did last week. They were $4.99 a lb. One was cut up into stew beef and the other was ground for hamburger. I buy like this a lot when the price is lower than buying the ground sirloin or the stew beef. If you have a butcher shop in your market, grab one or two roasts when they are on sale and ask your butcher to grind it for you. Most of them will. That is what I did when I didn’t have the grinder.

When ground beef is too high, I will buy ground turkey when it is a better price. Right now, I can get a pound at Walmart for $ 2.54 to $3.98 a lb. I use it just like I would beef. I make taco meat with it for our taco salads, Italian meatballs, meatloaf and throw it in casseroles.

We both love lamb chops from Australia or New Zealand. The price is $9.99 per pound and I won’t pay it.

Boneless chicken breasts in my area are now $ 2.88 – $ 3.49 a pound. I will pick up a large package or two at those prices and either can it or freeze it. But my preference for chicken is to buy either whole ones, drumsticks, or thighs. Thigh meat is so much more flavorful than the breasts. I can usually get them for $ .99 – $ 1.39 a lb. We love the drumsticks done in our air fryer. Most of the time, I can get them for $.89 – $.99 a lb. However, Aldi’s has a 5 lb. bag of them on sale starting Wednesday for $ .69 a lb. You can bet I will be there when the store opens. These will go fast. Hubby used to love wings. But they have gotten too expensive and he loves the drumsticks better with wing sauce. If I am very busy out of the house, I will pick up a rotisserie chicken for $ 4.98 at Sam’s Club or $ 6.99 at Top’s. I make sure to pick every bit of that meat off the carcass and use it up. Then I save the carcass in the freezer until I have enough of them to make chicken bone broth.

Fish except for canned tuna and some frozen shrimp has not been purchased in quite a while in our household. I bought a whole salmon earlier in this year for $ 8.49 a lb. and many whole haddock at $12.99 a lb. I love the salmon and Hubby loves the haddock. I cut them up into 3-4 oz. portions and froze them. We still have some left. When you food saver them they keep at least a year if not longer. I continue to buy canned tuna when I see a sale because Hubby loves tuna salad. When I was a kid, I had tuna salad for lunch more days than I can remember. I hated it and do to this day. I love shrimp but will not pay more than $9.99 a lb. which is what I pay now. If it goes higher, we will not buy it. I can get two meals out of a pound.

I do buy bacon, sausage, or ham for our family Sunday breakfasts. Bacon is so expensive that I have started buying the pound sausage rolls because they are much cheaper. My family likes sausage better than bacon anyhow. I do have a number of pounds of bacon in the freezer right now so we will finish them up. We like ham too fried up for breakfast. I am hoping that the hams go on sale for Christmas. The cheapest price I have seen is $ 2.54 a pound at Walmart. I am hoping they go cheaper. But if they don’t, I will buy one or two. My son and granddaughter are coming the day after Christmas for a few days. I want to cook one that day. I like to slice up the leftovers with my meat slicer for other meals and for cold cuts. Cold cuts are so expensive that I have stopped buying them. I slice my own from hams, turkey tenderloins, and chickens.

If I find a good price on hot dogs I will buy those too. But it is not something that we eat a lot of.

So as you can see most of our meat and poultry will be ground beef, sausage, bacon, ham, hot dogs, ground turkey, the whole turkeys I have in the freezer and chicken this coming year. If the prices continue to rise, we will cut back on those by either using less meat or by going without. There are other options for protein like cheese, eggs, lentils, or beans.

We are still buying eggs but if the price gets much higher I will not buy them. I have many dozen frozen in the freezer and I also have powdered whole eggs. Instead of eating eggs everyday, we have been making pancakes and waffles every few days. I like oatmeal too and that certainly is the cheaper choice.

I watch the Niagara Produce specials every 10 days or so that the prices last. When they have produce or meat on sale, it usually beats everyone else’s price. They also mark down soon to expire meat early in the day which is when I am usually there. So I watch for those stickers. I never seem to hit the markdowns at Top’s or Walmart. I will have to find out when they mark them down.

I compare the prices of all Top’s sale items that I am interested in to the Walmart prices online to see if the Top’s deal is really a good price. Many times it is not. I do the same for the Aldi’s sale items. I actually will try to go to Aldi’s first to see how their prices compare to Top’s and Walmart’s.

The first Tuesday of the month that Top’s has their senior citizen discount of 6% is when I go there that week. Saving 6% is a big deal in this economy.

We do have a Sam’s Club membership but it is 45 minutes away from me. I usually just get items shipped to me from there that are cheaper than anyplace else. I can check their website for those prices. Perhaps when the weather gets better in the spring, we will go there for a quarterly shop.

I have a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime. I only signed up for it so that we could see the Buffalo Bills game last Thursday night. Twitch is quirky which is where Hubby has been watching the games on Thursdays. However after I signed up, the local station said it was going to be carried here. I plan on cancelling it before I have to pay for it. I check their prices against Walmart’s but most of the time Walmart is the cheapest. Meanwhile I am taking full advantage of the trial.

Ibotta and Fetch are my favorite grocery rebate apps. I use Fetch faithfully to get Walmart giftcards. I also have a cash back credit card that I use to get groceries. Those points add up to get me cash to buy more groceries or to just deposit it in our savings.

We do not get a newspaper but I do get some ads in the mail on Thursdays. The other ads that I don’t get I look at on Flipp and decide if it is worth a trip to the next town to get anything. This week I will be in that town for something else so I will definitely be looking at their ads.

Sometimes I get a coupon flyer with the ads. Most of the coupons I throw out because they are not things we use. Occasionally I get one that we can use. I also use the online coupon sites for coupons. I do clip e-coupons on the Top’s website.

Feel free to add things that you do to keep your grocery prices down or to ask a question by leaving a comment. We all learn from each other.