The $25 Shopping Cart, version 8.0

Pin It

This particular edition of the $25 Shopping Cartamuses me because it’s not someplace I ever expected to go for this feature. I had mentioned in the last edition that I was heading either to Raley’s or the 99-cent store, but a recent trip to get cheap cat stuff ended up with me wandering around and finding more food than I would have ever expected from this store. So where did I end up? My favorite place to get great stuff for less money: Target. (Which, in Kimberland, is pronounced en français: “tar-zhay”)
Now, I’m quite aware of the fact that there are Super Targets out there that have a full spread of groceries and produce, and there is one in the greater Sacramento area. Only problem is, it’s too far off the light rail or bus routes for me to get to it (and I’m not a big fan of Natomas anyway). So when I go to Target, I visit my friendly neighborhood Targhetto – as the locals have lovingly dubbed it – on Broadway & Riverside. It’s close enough for me to get to, but far enough for me to get in a pretty good workout on the walk over. Back when I still had a car I used to go there quite frequently for all sorts of things, but I haven’t been by that much due to the evil 78-month winter we’ve been dealing with (I like to round up). So when I headed in to pick up said cat provisions a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but take a quick tour of the rest of the store to see what new stuff was available. This included the food section, and I have to admit I was pretty surprised with what I found.

I usually skip the food section of Target because it’s usually just filled with sugary cereals, candy and junk food. Until now. I knew they had added a refrigerated/frozen section with cold juices, water, and a couple frozen entrées and pizzas, but I had NO idea it had blossomed into the lovely little food section it is now. True, there is no produce and all the sugary junk is still there, but now there are actually real foods! Milk and cheese and butter, oh my! Not to mention frozen meats & veggies (not just the entrées), great deals on things like olive oil (though it’s still cheaper at Trader Joe’s, so I held out), and a much wider selection of condiments, pastas and ethnic foods. And stuff I NEVER expected to find at Target, like large, tail-on shrimp, which I actually used for my recent Shrimp, Fava Bean & Asparagus recipe. I figured this section deserved a closer look, and that’s what I did today.

Here’s what I got:

~ 2.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts – $5.99
~ 2 cans Herdez Salsa Casera (best non-fresh salsa EVER) – $0.69/ea
~ 1 10 oz. container deli sliced honey turkey – $2.84
~ 1 14.5 oz. box Barilla multi-grain penne pasta – $1.99
~ 2 cans Starkist tuna – $0.71/ea
~ 1 loaf Nature’s Pride Whole Wheat Bread – $2.49
~ 1 can sweetened condensed milk – $1.39
~ 1 bag frozen mixed veggies – $0.99 (!!!)
~ 1 dz large eggs – $1.29
~ 1 8 oz. block pepper jack cheese – $1.89
~ 1 lb (4 sticks) sweet cream butter – $2.39

Grand total: $24.06!
Now, it’s not the most amazing $25 Shopping Cart I’ve ever done as there was no fresh produce, but I think I did pretty well regardless. A lot of the stuff I bought was name brand, which I don’t usually buy unless there’s a particular brand I’m devoted to (hello, Wish Bone Italian Dressing! Just $1.39 @ Safeway this week, btw), so I was a bit surprised to see the prices Target was selling them for. If my shrimp had actually been in stock I would have gotten those instead of the chicken breasts, but I couldn’t pass up the deal on that chicken, especially considering they were boneless & skinless (that always costs more). The sweetened condensed milk was a bit of a splurge, but I use this a lot for popsicles and other dessert recipes. The butter was the last thing I put in my basket because I already had a stick in my fridge at home and don’t use that much, but I reasoned that butter can be frozen and it comes in handy for things like crepes & omelettes. All in all, I was quite satisfied with this particular cart of food, as it would beautifully augment the bare bones staples I had left in my kitchen.

Here are some ideas of what I can make with what I bought (and what’s in my kitchen, of course. Always take inventory of what’s on hand before going shopping!):

~ Chicken w/pasta & veggies
~ Pasta & Tuna Salad
~ Herbed Chicken Crepes w/Fresh Rosemary Cream Sauce
~ Banana Caramel Parfait Shots
~ Mushroom & Spinach Quesadillas (using pepper jack instead of gouda) w/salsa
~ Turkey & Avocado Sandwiches
~ Scrambled Egg & Tomato Sandwich

Again, this is just an idea of what I could make with the provisions I purchased today, and though this list includes things I’ve already posted on PGEW, you know I’ll probably come up with something new anyway. The point is, if you stick to your guns & don’t get tempted by pre-made entrées and processed foods, and if you keep a running inventory of what you already have in stock in your pantry & kitchen, you really can make a small amount of money go a long way. You don’t have to spend your money on greasy, bad-for-you fast food, when you can do much better at home!

Stay tuned for the next edition of The $25 Shopping Cart in the next few weeks. And don’t forget, some fabulous new recipes are coming this weekend!

Lv,
PG

written by

singer. writer. artist. champagne taste, 2 buck chuck budget. good cook. kooky. chocoholic. patron saint of cats. talker. listener. thinker. sometimes to a fault.

21 Responses to "The $25 Shopping Cart, version 8.0"

  1. Neil @ Florio's says:

    Great work! Brings back fond memories of shopping at that Target when I lived in lovely Oak Park.

    Reply
  2. Ag's Blog says:

    Keep holding out for the fresh produce, fruit and fresh product section! They just re-did some stores here in NJ, and they aren't Super Target, but right on target w the fresh stuff!!! Love the shopping cart! Thank you so much for writing!

    Reply
  3. Natasha says:

    Great idea and recipes. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Gabriel says:

    This is simply awesome idea! I will visit this place and buy stuff some stuff for my daughter's birthday this weekend. Thanks

    Reply
  5. Artist At Work says:

    Hihi. Just wanted to finally leave you a comment and tell you how much I love your blog :-) Come by mine anytime!
    <3Hannah

    Reply
  6. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a Big Lots or Save a lot near you? Try them some time to find some savings. Cereal and Crackers at Big Lots, Frozen veggies at Save A Lot.

    Reply
  7. Marcia says:

    I love your blog and recipes. Trying not to eat processed food but instead making healthier foods that aren't to expensive. Do you have some good lunch ideas–lot of resturants near my work and very tempting to eat out. Sick of the same old things.

    Farmer's market at Fremont Park is nice–smaller than others, but nice to have on Tuesdays. The cherries were really good!

    Reply
  8. Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well says:

    Marcia, a lot of my salad recipes are quite easy to make and I've actually created many of them at work! Also check out the pasta & grains label in the recipe section, as some of those are pretty work lunch worthy, too.

    And there's always my favorite sandwich! The H.S.A.T (Hummus, Spinach, Avocado & Tomato). You can never go wrong with that one! :)

    Reply
  9. Anonymous says:

    Love your blog! Have you considered couponing? Some of the couponing pros can get a whole month's worth of groceries for $25. I'm not that good and I stick to natural/organics, but I have cut my budget more than half. Check out http://organicdeals.blogspot.com/ and http://attentiontargetshoppers.com/. There are tons of coupons for organic products out there and all you need is a computer

    Reply
  10. megan says:

    Actually, I want to ask you Do you have some good lunch ideas–lot of restaurants near my work and very tempting to eat out?

    Reply
  11. Samantha says:

    I've actually created many of them at work! Also check out the pasta & grains label in the recipe section, as some of those are pretty work lunch worthy, too. Thanx for the info.

    Reply
  12. Michelle says:

    Hmm, Do you have some good lunch ideas–lot of restaurants near my work and very tempting to eat out. Sick of the same old things. thanx for the post.

    Reply
  13. Anonymous says:

    Watch BelAir/Raley's ads. I routinely get FRESH boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.67 a pound, and they are typically HUGE. One feeds the hubs and I amply for dinner. I bring them home and freeze individually in zipper bags. I usually cook two so we have a leftover for salad or quick pasta the next night or a chicken salad for my brown bag.

    Reply
  14. Kristen says:

    I've actually created many of them at work! Also check out the pasta & grains label in the recipe section, as some of those are pretty work lunch worthy, too. thanx for the info.

    Reply
  15. Victoria says:

    Nice Information. Thanks for the share. I will visit your blog again for more interesting articles.

    Reply
  16. Diane says:

    wow! Shopping cart 8 is looking kool. thanks for the share.

    Reply
  17. Jane says:

    I've actually created many of them at work! Also check out the pasta & grains label in the recipe section, as some of those are pretty work lunch worthy, too. thanx for sharing.

    Reply
  18. Katie says:

    This post is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  19. Jennifer says:

    Wow, love your blog, thanx for the share, keep it up.

    Reply
  20. Allison Clark says:

    Things are getting expensive nowadays, especially foods. I wonder if I could still make a shopping with the same amount you just had on your price list.

    Reply
  21. mediator says:

    This post is really interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>