Let me begin thus: I don't like chicken. I don't like to eat it, and I sure don't like to cook it. Those of you who are willing to buy a lovely raw chicken and roast it yourownself have my blessing and admiration and probably three or more additional dollars in your pocket.
For me, a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket is a gift from the universe. There it is, already cooked, smelling nice, in its own little plastic capsule, ready for liftoff from the shelf, transport through the space-time continuum, landing on the dinner table to be consumed by ravenous aliens over an extended period of time.
The first night is chicken and veggies. The next night, a vegetarian meal. Another night incorporates some big-ish chunks of chicken, another vegetarian meal, then small bits of meat, then stew, then soup. Presto! Week of meals. This works for me, and we did it a lot when the kids and I kept ourselves to $21 a week, but I'm trying to demonstrate as much variety as possible. Also, I don't really like chicken.
And now I don't need to buy Spaetzel again. Nobody loved it.
All the other 'non-list' items I purchased were on the 'wish' list.
Oh, and when we went to Big Lots! for toilet tissue, there was a jar of Not-Tella (fake Nutella) for $1.00, so I bought it, even though we weren't out of it.
I haven't done pretend shopping yet, though. Maybe I should wait and post all my pricings together?
And now I have done pretend shopping. The Shoppers in my neighborhood has had a facelift, and it looks nicer, and it has a lovely assortment of international food staples, but it's still in the same crappy neighborhood (mine) with the same trailerpark patrons, so not really much of an upgrade, in my opinion.
Item, Estimate Aldi Costco Shoppers
chicken, $5 4.99 6.49
milk, $3 2.99 3.99
cheese, $3.80(16oz) 5.60 (32oz) 8.99
eggs, $4 4.69 (3doz) 6.78
fruit 2.49(bag of clementines) 3.99
cocoa 1.20 1.49
white beans 1.18 1.54
chili beans3.60 3.60 6.00
green beans x3 1.50 2.10
corn x3 1.50 2.10
cream of chix soup 1.18 1.78
frozen veg$2.30 2.20 5.00
sour cream, $1.50 1.29 1.59
taco seasoning x2 .70 1.80
Saturday cereal, $2 1.89 (frosted flakes) 2.50
buttery crackers, $1.80 1.80 2.39
biscuit mix, $3 2.00 2.79
Spaetzle (impulse buy) 1.99 2.49
bread, $1.50 1.30 1.89
tortillas, $2 2.00 Big Lots! 3.20
Hazelnut Spread 1.00 3.79(Nutella)
Aldi, Costc & Big Lots!: $47.11 Shoppers Total: $72.69*
Stupid Lunch Date: $ 3.00
Total Food Spending: $50.11
Stupid Lunch Date is Gomez and me going to the 'restaurant' area of Costco after we've shopped and buying a hot dog & soda combo for $1.50 each. The sodas include free refills, the dogs are all beef, and you can get sauerkraut with them if you ask for it.
* I'm not sure it's fair to include the real Nutella in the Shoppers' total, as I'd never have bought it if it hadn't been only $1. If we disallow it, the Shoppers Total becomes $68.90. That's a $21 difference, but ~$70 is still pretty good for a week of groceries that feeds teenagers & a truck driver.
Dinner on Wednesday evening was lovely: I used 1 1/2 bags of the frozen California Medley, 1/2 bag of Spaetzel and some of the chicken. We will count the whole prices of All The Things, and the rest of the week, those things count as Free! Chicken, $5. Pasta, $2. Vegetables, $2.40. All told, $9.40 for a meal that gave dinner to 4 of us, and lunch to 2, which breaks down to ~$1.60 per serving.
And we still have chicken for the rest of the week.