Grocery Challenge – Day 3

This entry is part of a series, AllYou 2010 Grocery Challenge»

Today is our normal grocery shopping day. Tuesdays are when the grocery store sales for the week begin and seem to be the best day to buy produce at Rancho Markets. Because the sales on produce are so good and the quality varies dramatically at Rancho, we treat it much like a farmer’s market – we buy what looks good and is inexpensive.

So, today at Rancho, there were a few sale items I wanted to look at.

  • Cucumbers – 7 for $1
  • Cauliflower – 2 for $1
  • Eggplant – 2 lbs for $1
  • Pasilla Peppers – 2 lbs for $1
  • White Onions – 2 lbs for $1
  • Cabbage – 6 lbs for $1

Just because it’s on sale does not mean it’s good. Like anywhere else, you have to be careful about quality. Today, I found they hadn’t stocked the eggplant yet, and neither the cucumbers nor the pasilla peppers were very good since they’re probably blowing out last week’s stock. The cauliflower, cabbage and onions were fantastic, so I bought some of each. Actually, I overbought on onions as usual because we go through so damn many every week, but they’ll keep in the fridge for more than a week.

This is why shopping at ethnic markets can save so much money. I bought two heads of cauliflower at Rancho for $0.99 total. Winco had the exact same cauliflower for $1.28 each or $2.56 for two: more than two and a half times what I paid!

The rest of the list, which we picked up at Winco, consisted of a few basics: all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, milk, some beef that was on sale, and fresh strawberries. We like to freeze strawberries when they’re in season because it’s much cheaper than buying a bag of frozen. I’ve already put up the strawberry preserves for the year, so these will mostly be frozen for smoothies. I also picked up some salad ingredients.

We Spent: $28.85
Budget Remaining: $20.35

We try never to shop on an empty stomach. Since we like to go to Rancho in the late mornings when it’s quiet, we usually stop for lunch before heading on to Winco. Eating out is deducted from our weekly food budget, so we had to be careful! Luckily, there was a taco truck we’d been wanting to try and those are usually inexpensive.

We stopped at Taqueria el Primo and bought $4 worth of tacos: adobada (spicy pork), carnitas (shredded pork), cabeza (cow head) and pollo (chicken). Boy, was that ever good! What’s interesting: Only half of the taco menu items are translated into English – the half that Americans will generally eat and/or expect, like steak, chicken and pork.

We Spent: $4
Budget Remaining: $16.35

Today’s Menu
Breakfast: extra fluffy Rauga Pankūkas (yeast pancakes) and an omelet.
Lunch: Taqueria el Primo tacos
Dinner: Cauliflower tabbouleh with bulgur-lentil pilaf

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