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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A minimalist vegan outting at Costco

Remember about a month ago I took a membership at Costco....  as suggested by a few vegans I know, it is suppose to be worthwhile... so I snooped in and you can read about that here but I ended up taking a membership.

Today was visit #2 at Costco...  I got all the items in the above picture (plus 1.5kg of frozen raspberries) for 64$!!!

I was thrilled...
I had planned a 50$ budget...
Somehow, both times, I went over budget but it's only because I forget it's large quantities....  so prices to pay are higher! But so are quantities...

In order to help myself out, I have created an Excel file to keep track of prices... and how often I buy stuff...  I want to make sure it is worth it... 

For example, last time I also bought raspberries...  I was planning on having enough for a month but I ran out in 2 weeks!  Why you may say? Because I did not properly seal the bag and ended up throwing almost half of it on the floor!!!

It's a good thing I did that Excel file because it has allow me to see that the prices of frozen raspberries increased by 1$ for same quantity... same brand!

I know, years ago, I would have made fun of someone keeping their groceries on an Excel file... shame on me... I apologize for that...
But at this stage in my life, where we are trying to know exactly where money goes... to cut on spending and allow us more freedom... it's the only thing left to do...  And because I have an objective...  I am willing to take the extra 15 minutes, twice a month, after my Costco visit to fill the Excel file and make sure I am not wasting money!

Because food you buy and do not eat... is wasted money!

Here's a summary of my vegan and/or organic finds... and price per portion...

Frozen raspberries 0.66$ per 100g (was 0.60$ per 100g 2 weeks ago)
Organic cane sugar 0.26$ per 100g
Stuffed olives 0.24$ per 100ml
Whole wheat large tortillas 0.27$ each
Pecans 1.54$ per 100g
Chick peas dry 0.15$ per 100g
Hummus 0.65$ per 100g
Organic salsa 0.42$ per 100ml

What is amazing is that I actually have 4.54 kg of chick peas and organic cane sugar... that will last me a while!!! Got these need covered!

Doing this exercise is allowing me to see exactly where the money goes when grocery shopping...
And if I need or want to cut down, I know where...

The most expensive items are nuts... not a surprise....

And next ones are pre-made stuff... of course I could make my own salsa and hummus... I do sometimes... but it can be convenient to have already made salsa...  it's always ready to use and can be stored for a while (next fall I will attempt making a huge batch of salsa and put it in Mason jar for the winter)...  As for hummus, there really is NO reason to justify buying it... it is cheap and easy to make... but my blender died on me a few months ago and I am saving to buy a really really good one.... but it is expensive...  It will be worthwhile because I have gone thru 2 blenders since I started cooking more extensively 3 years ago...

Frozen fruits can be expensive too....

But there is no cutting down on my nuts and fruits... they are an essential staple in a vegan diet!

Did you see how ridiculously cheap chick peas are???  0.15$ per 100g!!! That is one portion...  Throw in some veggies, rice and you have a complete meal... a complete cheap meal!

Chick peas as per Wikipedia:" One hundred grams of mature boiled chickpeas contain 164 calories, 2.6 grams of fat (of which only 0.27 grams is saturated), 7.6 grams of dietary fiber and 8.9 grams of protein." They also have vitamins and minerals.... no surprises they are the ingredient of choice in Arabic and Indian cuisine...

So this was my experience at Costco so far.... I have to get better at planning my budget... but I am pretty good at not getting stuff I do not need!!!  I did not buy one single item that is not food! Even thus I stopped by the book section and I could have easily got one... but it was not on my list, not budgeted for!  I am improving my ways with $! Yay!

It seems like this might work out for me after all!


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