Monday, July 6, 2020

Getting back to regular grocery shopping

Since the pandemic started, I've only been grocery shopping (our budget includes food, HBA & cleaning) every fortnite, to limit the amount of time spent at the stores. This has resulted in us spending far less than our usual grocery budget. I've also been able to stockpile little bits at a time.

With the huge increase in recent infections, I've decided to switch gears. I plan on using our regular weekly grocery budget and stockpiling whatever I think we might need. I want to be as well or even better stocked than we were, when this whole mess started. So I need to make a list of things that I think we'll need and check what we already have stockpiled.

I've been keeping an eye out for any Bonus & Deluxe size items. I found these Pretzels at Dollar Tree. They are $1 for 9-10 oz. A 16 oz bag costs $2.89 at Walmart. So 2 bags (18-20 oz), still cost less than a bag at Walmart or other grocery stores. You bet I'm buying these whenever I'm at The sticks don't expire until August 2021. Occasionally they'll have Deluxe size grocery items, so be sure to check your store whenever you're there. You never know what you might find.

I've also found these bonus size Rotel cans at Walmart. I have to admit that I was not too crazy about the Walmart brand canned tomatoes. So when I saw the bonus size Rotel, I grabbed 4 cans. I should've bought more, but I'm not a shelf clearer. I'll be checking whatever grocery stores I'm at, to see if they carry these. They still cost $0.95 - $1.00 (price may vary by store).

I definitely need to replenish my baking supplies, especially yeast. I was blessed to have lots of flour & yeast left over from the holidays. I had purchased 10 x 5lb bags to do holiday baking for a party. Turns out I didn't need as much, but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. So sugar, flour & yeast it is. I still have lots of oil left too. I love Meijer's holiday baking sale. However, we don't know if we'll see any of those sales this year. I need to find some airtight storage containers for the flour & rice.

I've been grabbing bleach & vinegar whenever I'm at the store. I use both for cleaning. I used to clean with a water/vinegar/dawn mix, before Rona. Now it's water/bleach/dawn mix. Sometimes the bleach is too strong and burns my eyes, so I switch to the vinegar mix. I have it in spray bottles, so it's easy to use.

Disinfectant wipes are still as scarce as chicken teeth. I did manage to grab 4 tubs at WAGS online, when someone posted about it recently. The item showed as OOS, but when you clicked on the pic, it showed stock. After receiving my first order, I tried to place another one, but now WAGS seem to be completely out. I do check every store whenever I'm out shopping. We still have a few tubs, but who knows how long the shortage will last. We only use the wipes when we go out. I keep one in my purse, because half the stores don't even have cart wipes. I don't want to touch that spray bottle (that everyone & their mother have touched) that they leave at the entrance to sanitize your cart.

I've been doing well stocking up on laundry detergent. I'm keeping an eye out for those babies at the drugstores, so I don't have to pay an arm & a leg. I can't believe those tiny bottles cost $7.49 at the drugstores! Now I know that there's folks who pay full price for it, but I'm not one of them. I pay no more than $3 per bottle (not including rewards I use to pay). It used to be $2, but I haven't seen that sale price since the pandemic started.

We have plenty t/p. I have 2 x 45ct Sams packs and a few more Scotts ones. That's enough t/p for a year. I will grab more at Sams when I see it in store. I see many of my fellow couponers go crazy stoking up at t/p at the drugstores. I've done the math & Sams paper are hands down the cheapest & the quality is of the best. So if you have a Sams/Costco/BJs membership, be sure to check their store brand t/p price.

I definitely have to stock up on Kleenex. I had a bit of a panic when I went to grab 2 boxes from the stockpile last week. Our stockpile looked low and after counting, I realised we still have 20 We do keep a box in every bedroom and at each desk. Then one in each of our vehicles. So it all adds up. I'm hoping there will be a good tissue sale in the near future. I need Vicks too (another thing I can't live without). I saw that Sams has the bigger jars, so I'll buy it there.

I've read that some people can't find dishwasher tabs. It makes me thankful that I bought all those Cascade bottles years ago. We are good for at least another 7 years. So if you need to buy dishwasher tabs/liquid, be sure to grab the liquid. It lasts 3 -4 times longer than the tabs (I've tracked how long it lasts and we can use one bottle for 6 months. That's by running the dishwasher once every day).

We still have plenty HBA items. The only things I'd need to replenish are bar soap & body wash for me.

I've been using some rewards to pay for groceries the past few weeks. I cashed out $75 Walmart gcs ($50 Ibotta, $25 Swagbucks) and went shopping at Sams last week. I was very happy to see no more meat limits, but they didn't have any non GMO chicken breasts. Their Jennie O ground turkey (80 oz) were $10 (usually $13.xx), so I grabbed 2 packs. I divided that into 10 bags, so it will last for quite some time. We eat one meal at least 2-3 times. It becomes so big, when you add produce to it.

I took most of our pop cans to Meijer and got back $17.xx that I used on a few groceries. Good thing I didn't haul all the cans, because they had a $25 limit per person.

I still have a $12 MPerks reward ($10 Tide/Bounce deal and $2 for spending $100 - this tracks with every shopping trip) that I'll use this week. They have Buy 5, save $5 and the Kraft salad dressing is 79c each. So I'll get those and some blueberries with my reward.

I love not having to spend much of our own money to shop. I told DH I'm gonna be bummed when all the rewards are gone.

Is anyone else stocking up on groceries (just in case) or am I the only one crazy enough to do this?

Please feel free to share any good items/deals you've found, so the rest of us can cash in on the deals too. We need to help each other prepare, in case things get bad again.


  1. Yes, I am going to do double-time because the next close-down will see more items out of stock. No, I won't buy so much I cause the You are wise to make sure you have things you will need.

  2. That's what I'm thinking too Linda. There's already shortages on some items, so it's best to stock up now. I'd rather be prepared, than wait until things get worse.


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