Week Nine: The Produce Experiment

Maybe I’m just longing for a good old summer farmer’s market but the produce the last few weeks have been dreadful; from mushy berries, cucumbers that taste like soap and cantaloupes that could pass as cardboard. Last week a momma friend whom I deem to be a health conscious and thrifty momma insisted that I should give the produce at our local Longos store a try. I really do the love this store, it so bright and spacious, you can smell the aroma of Starbucks as you enter the store! Everything is always so neat and tidy, and the staff is always friendly. I took her up on this challenge and I was pleasantly surprised;  admittedly I rarely just shop at one grocery store, even with price matching I just don’t seem to get enough variety of produce on sale to shop all at one store. (our grocery bill is between 50-60% fresh produce each week) So what could it hurt!

One of the blockbuster sale for fruit at No Frills this week was 4 -170g of blueberries for $5 – I purchased 3 @ $3.75 (that’s 510g), to my surprise the first thing I saw when I entered Longos was 551g container for $2.99. I got more blueberries, for less money & they are best blueberries we have had all winter, firm and delicious!


Check out these cucumbers; for 20 cents I’ll take the bigger one thanks and it didn’t taste like soap! Or the broccoli below, Longos for 99 cents is the one on the left!!  Or the tomatoes below — firm, red and so tasty, the jury is still out on the No Frills ones they are on the counter waiting to ripen.



In complete fairness, all the produce pictured above was on special at Longos this week, when it came to matching No Frills specials to Longos regular prices it was a bit of different story. The pineapples and cauliflower although much better where more than double the price.

What about meat? – at No Frills I got a massive piece of pork loin. It is wasn’t pretty, the only thing I could think to do with it was make pulled pork, I feed my extended family off 8 plus 2 freezer meals. Where for virtually the same price I got a roast and two pork chop meals for my family.

Bottom line, I will shop the meat & produce sales at our local Longos and even the reduced section produce is better then the cheaper stores, but on regular canned goods & sundry items I’ll have to stick to No Frills or Food Basics.

No Frills – spend $68.10

2-4pkgs of yogurt, 1kg chocolate chips, 2lbs salted butter, Family sized Cheerios, honey djion mustard, 2 4L milk, cottage cheese, 2 pkg potatoe gnocchi, Josie’s bread, tortillas, large pork loin ($10.79)(vacupacked), 8 royal gala apples, 3 170g blueberries ($3.75), brocolli ($1.27), cauliflower ($1.77), cucumber ($1.27), green onion, red onion, 12 navel oranges, pineapple ($1.77) , 2 tomatoes ($1.02)

Longos – spend 33.37

551g -blueberries ($2.99) Broccoli ($.99), pineapple ($3.99), cauliflower ($3.99), 2 tomatoes ($.88), cucumber ($1.49) Pork roast ($6.66) and 6 pork chops ($5.37)

reduced produces, 5 bananas (that we still yellow – just single ones) 6 pears, 20 clementines & 14 limes) $4.27 total


Sunday: Soft Beef Tacos

Monday:  Leftover Roast Beef (from freezer) & Gravy with Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Salsa

Wednesday: Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Pork Chops with Cider Gravy

Thursday: Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Friday: Going on holidays until Monday

** I will post next Tuesday after we are home & I have the groceries done!**

Emergency Meat Fund: -$2.03


One thought on “Week Nine: The Produce Experiment

  1. Hi ~ I enjoy your blog, keep up the good work! Great job with following a budget and meal planning. I know what you mean in this post about the less than fresh produce lately… guess that’s what we get for living in Canada! :0} Our grocery cart is mostly filled with produce, too (have you heard the rule to stick mainly to the outside walls of the grocery store? That’s where all the best foods are — fruits, veggies, meats, dairy… the junk foods are all in the middle aisles). If I shopped at the grocery store of choice, I’d go to Longo’s! It’s a nice store without being too posh, the staff are friendly and the prices are fairly reasonable. However, like you, our budget requires us to stick to price matching/shopping mostly at Food Basics/No Frills. :0p Thanks for blogging about healthy eating on a budget – inspiring! Love, Mrs. Bowen

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