$25/Week Grocery Challenge: Week 3

I am now five weeks into my $25/week grocery challenge. I have been photographing what I buy each week. I’ll try to recall what I made each week, but my memory won’t be perfect.

Week 3:
Week 3

Note: You can click on the photo to enlarge it.
Pictured: small bottle of fish sauce, 2 lbs steamed thin egg noodles, 1 head green cabbage, cilantro, star anise, whipped butter, scallions, lemongrass stalk, potato rolls, bean sprouts
Not pictured: 10 lbs onions, 10 lbs carrots, 5 celery hearts, 3 lbs almonds, 2 limes

What I spent: $24.26.
Super 88 (Asian grocery) – $12.47
Stop & Shop – $7.67
Costco – $4.12

What made this week unusual: I didn’t shop at my regular grocery store at all. I wanted to make beef pho and that required a trip to the Asian grocery. One major score there was that I was able to communicate my need for a lone lemongrass stalk. Usually, they’re sold by the bunch at ~$2-4/bunch but I only needed one. Because I took the initiative to ask, I paid $0.76 for the one stalk and I had no waste. The Asian grocery was out of cilantro and their limes were oddly priced (8 for $2 or $0.80/each – I only needed two limes) so I stopped at a convenient-yet-overly-expensive grocery, Stop & Shop. Since I was so under budget, I also picked up some whipped butter and rolls.

This week’s cheat:We had gotten a LivingSocial deal for a Costco membership that came with a $25 Costco cash card. I bought 10 lbs onions, 10 lbs organic carrots, 5 celery hearts and 3 lbs almonds totaling $29.12, or $4.12 over the “free money.” An extra cheat here is that because I used the $5 to stock up on the kitchen workhorses of onions, carrots and celery, I got to skip a couple weeks of factoring them into my budget.

What I made: Beef pho in a slow cooker, turkey soup with rice, kielbasa and cabbage stew

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