How Am I Doing So Far? A Frugal Friday

How Am I Doing So Far? A Frugal Friday

Reviewing the month of food purchases there were some interesting events this month. There are some patterns to food pricing that the dedicated cheapskate can take advantage of if one is aware o the opportunities.

How Am I Doing So FarIf you shop at the discount side of the food markets there are patterns around the first and the fifteenth of each month. You will see discounts in certain foods in the week ahead of these dates. Here at DoodleMom world headquarters we consume a lot of pork and chicken. One factor is that these proteins, together with eggs, are usually fairly inexpensive. The other factor is that Walmart in particular seems to use chicken as a loss leader during these periods. This is the time of the month when you see the two chickens in a bag for $0.97 per pound.

Safeway does something similar with chicken, pork and beef. Note that between Feb 25 and Feb 28 there is a note about bagged chicken for $0.79 per pound. This is the time of month when I find Corned Beef brisket for $2.99 per pound as well as generally good prices on pork and some cuts of beef.

This month I was able to take advantage of what must have been a pork glut at Grocery Outlet when on 2/10 and 2/20 their pork butt had a $2 off coupon which took the price own to under $1.00 per pound. In one case I bought everything they had in the second I should have backed up the truck however thinking that we were out of freezer space I did not to my regret.

Chickens and Eggs

The astute reader will notice that we do not show any purchases of eggs. Given the frequency with which Doodlemom makes what I call processed grain products as well as what a great source of cheap protein that eggs are this is a large gap on the list.

For what it is worth until recently regular eggs from Costco have been $5.99 per five dozen. Recently Costco has been selling the same five dozen eggs for $9.99 per dozen. Costco appears to be trying to capture some additional margin here by now advertising the five dozen egg package as originating from “Cage Free” eggs.

Last year there was a shortage of laying hens and the price of that five dozen eggs varied between $9.99 and $15.99 per dozen depending on the season. The average was about $12.99 per five dozen which makes the above comment about eggs and cheap protein source a falsehood.

Here at Doodlemom’s Urban Farm Experience the residents have fallen under the influence of William S Lind’s thoughts. Approximately a year ago we acquired four chicks which subsequently grew into four laying hens. Originally done because as, DoodleMom explained to me, “all the real Home Schoolers have chickens” we discovered that “chickens are the gateway drug to small scale farming.”

In addition to providing hours of entertainment and serving as convenient garbage disposals our girls provide about two dozen eggs per week of a delightful brown color. This frees us from the dependence on Costco and their merchandising strategies. The plan is to acquire two more of the feathery comedians in the near future to augment the current egg production rate.

How am I doing?

Quite well, thank you for asking.

Oh wait, you meant what are my expenditures per person per week?

Originally my stated goal is a food budget of $100 per week. This month I spent $83 per week on food. This number does not take into account that we consumed some stored food and severely reduced the amount of some purchases in order to support Doodle Red in her quest for the next belt level in Karate. I expect that the weekly food cost will rise somewhat in the next month.

Chicken Picture

Chicken busily turning bugs and worms into human edible protein. Featuring the plant stylings of Matilja Poppy and the Magic Lilac that blooms on our wedding anniversary.


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  • oh…you are doing good staying on budget. Think you’ll be up a bit higher this month like you predicted?

    • The Hub

      So far we are doing OK against the goal. Usually the main way that I reduce the food expenditures involves not buying food for the purpose of emergency storage. Plus the kids are in a mode where they actively prefer home prepared food over commercially prepared food which helps the cause.