Monday, November 05, 2007

A Monthly Shopping List

This post is only because Julieann asked if I'd mind sharing what I buy on our once-a-month shopping sprees down to the US. Please feel free to just slide right on by this one! It won't offend me in the least if you're not interested. Also, y'all keep in mind that I shop for groceries in the US only at Wal Mart Supercenter. This would not work at all if I shopped at "regular" grocery stores, because their prices are higher than WM's, closer to prices here - with the cost of gas, those grocery stores would not be cheaper.

Before I make my list, I make a calendar for one month on which I write each day's main meal. Our breakfasts are pretty much standard - oatmeal, cereal, eggs, English muffins, bagels - and our lunches are usually leftovers or snacks, so I buy mostly around our main meals. Some of the things we buy are not particularly healthy, and we do buy some snack foods, but when those are gone for the month, they're gone. We don't go and buy them here too. This list represents what I buy on an average trip. I fill in with fresh produce here each week, plus any milk or meat I need (I buy ground beef and roasts here, and occasionally a pork roast or some stew meat). I also buy bread here.

Canned goods
Beans - Ranch style, black beans, baked beans, pork & beans, kidney beans - usually around a dozen cans of various beans
Peas - blackeyed peas - couple of cans
Green beans - 2-4 cans
Tomato products - tomato sauce, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Ro-Tel tomatoes - maybe 6-8 of these, total
Pizza sauce - 4-6 jars of WM brand
Parmesan cheese - 2 cans of WM brand
Spaghetti sauce - Hunt's large can - 2-3 cans
Alfredo sauce - 2-3 jars of WM brand
Salad dressing - 1 Kraft
Soups - creamed chicken, creamed mushroom - couple of cans of each, maybe 4 of chicken
Mayonnaise - 1 jar
Ketchup - 1 every 2-3 months
Peanut butter - 1-2 jars of WM brand creamy
Jelly, jams - 1 jar of apple butter, occasionally a jar of grape or strawberry jelly
Chocolate syrup - sugar free, WM brand, for me - 2 bottles
Tuna - 2-4 cans (maybe - not big tuna eaters)
Salmon - 2 cans
Applesauce - 2 large jars

Baking Supplies

Brown sugar - 1-2, 2-lb bags
Artificial sweetener - Splenda - large bag (I found the WM 2 months ago - cheaper)
Baking powder - 2 small can, WM brand
Baking soda - 1 box every couple of months
Canola oil - 2 bottles
Olive oil - 1 bottle
Shortening - WM brand - 2 cans
Baking chocolate - 2 boxes
Chocolate chips - 2 bags
Salt, if needed - even salt is three times more expensive up here!
Pepper, if needed
Any spices we need, hopefully the 50-cent bottles of the more common ones

Dry Goods

Cereal - about 6 boxes, various brands
Pancake syrup - large jug lasts us several months, sugar-free for me - 1-2 bottles
Mac & cheese - WM brand - 2-4 boxes for snacks
Croutons - 1 bag
Tea - 3 small boxes or 2 large boxes family-size bags of Luzianne
Coffee - one can every couple of months
Tortillas - store brand, 2 bags
Pasta - lasagna, egg noodles, manicotti, macaroni - 1 of each
Jello pudding - 1-3 boxes, depending (sugar free)
Cake mix - occasionally 1-2 boxes


Little Debbie cakes - Nutty Bars, coffee cakes - 4 boxes
Crackers - grahams, saltines, vanilla wafers - 1-2 boxes of each, as needed
Chips - Pringles - 4 cans
Popcorn - Act III, snack size bags - 1-2 boxes
Snack crackers - variety pack, 1 box every couple of months
Ice cream - 2-3 half-gallons (use the thermal bags to transport)
Cool Whip - 2-3 containers

Eggs - 4 dozen (these we do buy up here when we run out, but it's usually the last week of the month)
Milk - 2 gallons if it's cheaper there - they don't last the whole month, but it stretches what we have to buy here
Creamers - 1-2 bottles, depending on flavors available
Butter - 4-6 lbs. - much cheaper there, stock up and freeze when possible
Margarine - 1 large tub, 4 packs sticks
Cheese - mozzarella - 4 large bags shredded or 4 blocks, depending on price; 2-3 blocks cheddar; 1 pack deluxe American slices every couple of months


Pepperoni - 2 large bags
Ham - cubes - 1 pack
Chicken - frozen chicken breasts - 4-6, 3-lb bags
Breaded chicken patties - 1 small bag - our grocery day "treat" for supper that night, or maybe a box of flautas - something quick to fix and out of our ordinary meals
Frozen tortellini - 1 large bag
Hot dogs - 2-4 packs Oscar Meyer, Wes's favorite - stock up when they're on sale

Toiletries and Cleaners

Formula 409 - 2-3 every 3 months or so (this is my favorite all-purpose cleaner and I haven't found it here)
Toilet cleaner - 1
Tub cleaner - 1
Toothpaste - 2 tubes
Shower gel - 1 bottle each for Beth and me, one for the boys
Soap - 1 multi-bar pack
Toilet paper - 1 12-pack Scott
Paper towels - 1 6-pack Mardi Gras


  1. It's fascinating to me to see what other people like to buy at the grocery store! I'm glad you're able to get down to a Walmart

  2. Wow, now that's a shopping list!


  3. Sounds like you have a good plan. I go right by Walmart everyday and take it for granted. I need to be more thankful for everything! Thanks for the stocking up ideas.

  4. Hi Susan,
    No wonder you are tired after that trip.LOL Great job.

  5. FABULOUS!!!! Thank you Susan--that was a great list--I like the idea of getting a calendar out and writing out all the meals.

    I soooooo wish we had a Wal-Mart Supercenter. We had one in Georgia and it was wonderful and an Aldi too--here in Cali they opened up a K-mart Suprecenter--and they picketed that store until it went out of business because it was not union--ugh--that store was great while it lasted, just like Wal-mart's.

    Thank you so much for writing all that out--I feel bad, it must have taken awhile, but I sure do appreciate it!!!

    I am going to link to it, if that is okay?



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