Pantry Restock / Grocery Haul

After cleaning and reorganizing the food storage areas yesterday, I went on a big grocery shopping trip.

Here is what it took to bring the kitchen up to fully stocked status:

Packaged goods


  • 2 x Weetabix cereal @ 4.00 each – often have coupons but not this week
  • California raisins 2 kg (4.4 lb) box 10.99 – prefer over sultanas
  • walnuts 1.36 kg (3 lb) bag 14.99
  • quinoa 2 kg (4.4 lb) bag 14.99
  • decaf coffee 1.36 kg (3 lb) – I mix it with regular to make half-caff 12.99
  • Caf Lib for Rom 7.49 – occasionally goes on sale for 5.99 so stock up then
  • 3 L Greek olive oil 18.99
  • natural peanut butter (750 g = 27 oz) 3.97 – our bulk store doesn’t carry pb that is peanuts-only
  • brown rice 900 g (2 lb) bag 2.99 – our Costco doesn’t stock brown rice
  • camomile tea 2.49
  • butterbeans 2.49 – imported
  • 2 x soup @ 1.98 each

Cost: 104.34

Baked goods

Baked goods


  • whole wheat bread 2.98 – I buy an extra-hearty one that holds up to refrigerated peanut butter!
  • 12 naan 2.99  – awesome price
  • 6 cinnamon raisin bagels 3.00
  • 9 plain oat cakes (locally made) 6.99

Cost: 15.96




  • 3 x 1.89 L soy milk @ 3.77 each
  • 2 x 1 L plain yogurt @ 2.90 each – will use as starter for own yogurt
  • 907 g (2 lb) cheddar cheese 9.99
  • Not shown: 113 g (4 oz) goat cheese 4.49
  • 18 free-run eggs 5.49 – I hate that they only come in Styrofoam containers: evil!
  • 2 avocados @ 0.97 each
  • 1 zucchini 0.57
  • yellow bell pepper 1.77 – wrapped in plastic 😦
  • 227 g (1/2 lb) mushrooms 1.47 – at Costco, can be up to 2.99 at the supermarket
  • celery 1.47 – again wildly below supermarket cost
  • 311 g (11 oz) spinach 2.99 – this is 5.99 at the supermarket
  • 3 lb grapes 9.99 – not a good/sale price but they are perfection
  • 4.54 kg (10 lb) box of Sunkist oranges (this is 16 large oranges) 13.99
  • 2.7 kg (6 lb) bag apples 6.99
  • 2 kg (4.4 lb) bag frozen corn kernels 4.44

Cost: 82.69

The soy milk, yogurt, goat cheese and vegetables will supply us for 1 week, the fruit for 2 weeks.



Includes (expensive lot!):

  • 6 LED chandelier light bulbs 29.98 + tax = 34.48
  • 6 boxes recycled-paper tissues 6.47 + tax = 7.44
  • 12 bars unscented soap 14.99 + tax = 17.24
  • Mouthwash 6.97 + tax = 8.02
  • 8 razor blade refills 24.47 (including the women’s tax) and sales tax = 28.14
  • Cheap conditioner used for shaving 3.77 + tax = 4.34
  • Parchment for baking 2.83 + tax = 3.25
  • Dish scrubbing brush 4.77 + tax = 5.49 – should have bought this at Dollarama!
  • Bleach 1.27 + tax = 1.46

Cost: 109.86

The sales tax on non-food items and snack foods is 15%.

The shopping trip – at Costco, Wal-Mart and 5 items at Sobeys – totalled 312.85 but of course 34 was for light bulbs which are not part of the grocery budget. For the rest of January, we will only need vegetables and milk.

Everything fit in the cupboards and fridge:

lower-cupboard-after fridge-after

For lunch yesterday, Rom and I had snacky things: our variety of holiday cheese, crackers, olives, hummus and sugar snap peas, and for dinner we had pasta with tomato sauce and veg. Ready to start a new meal planning cycle!

Do you stock up? Do you buy extra in case of winter storms? What are the items you buy every week?








  1. These posts really encourage me to change things up! I love them.

  2. Wow! I envy your organization.

    What do you use soy milk for? Is it only for drinking and pouring over cereal, or…? Just curious, as you say you go througg three cartons in one week.

    I tend to “stock up” on random things; I buy according to what’s on sale, rather than what we are apt to run out of, but it’s always stuff we use often. Right now I have five bottles of salad dressing in my pantry, for instance. (We eat a lot of salads, and my hubby uses them as marinades sometimes.) There is also a large jar of pickles, a box of Swanson seafood stock, two boxes of cereal, six boxes of Kraft mac & cheese, bottles of ketchup and cocktail sauce, and several cans of cat food.

    The things we run out of most often and/or make store runs for, are snack foods. So when I do intentional restocks, I load up on crackers, pretzels, popcorn, nuts, and other salty snacks.

    • Rom uses soy milk for hot drinks and cereal but he also drinks it by the glass. I go through about 3 L of cow’s milk a week for coffee and cereal. I have 5 bottles of salad dressing, too! I have salads most days for lunch and like to change them up.

  3. Fiona

    I’m very jealous that you get to have French on your packaging! Good grief, some of your fresh food is really expensive (especially the oranges.) I love the photos…so satisfying to see a fully-stocked supply so neatly organised! (I will look at your photos instead of looking inside my messy fridge!)

    I’m surprised that the free-range eggs are in styrofoam! I’m really interested to see the packaging there (same as here.) In France, plastic shopping bags are basically banned. (You can buy them at a price if needed, but they’re not the default.) But it shows how legislation can create quite immediate changes. We’re trying to run down our food supplies to almost zero at the moment (moving house) so we’re doing minimal shopping just now.

    • But look how cheap the apples are!

      Fiona, you could make sticky labels and put your own French labels on! Lol

    • What do you mean, moving house – do tell?! I think a lot of Canadians have a moderate French vocabulary (but terrible pronunciation) from seeing it on packaging and signs. Most tropical fruit is very expensive, except bananas – one of the crops with bad politics. Our Wal-Marts have recently started charging for plastic bags. A good percentage of grocery shoppers bring their own bags now (and the supermarket chains sell their own branded reusable ones). I would be happy if plastic bags were banned. It is still the default to get them unless you ask not to.

  4. I was going to ask if you had to stock up in case you became housebound in winter storms.

    No stocking up needed here. No chance of flooding, storms or any weather related event. Just so daytime hibernating from the heat.

    • The longest a storm has ever knocked out services was a week, over 10 years ago. But everyone is mindful that could happen again. I would not want to eat cold and packaged foods for a week so I make sure to keep a full tank of propane for the barbecue (which has a side burner, like a stovetop burner).

  5. Tina Lemna

    These posts are encouraging me to look at the way I shop. We are trying to cut our monthly grocery spending from $800 to $500. It’s not easy but I’ve never thought of making one big haul like this and just buying veg and milk the rest of the month. I’m going to try it next month!

    • Hi Tina, We usually make a Costco run every 6-8 weeks and in between we spend $40/week if we eliminate snacks and temptations, maybe $60 if we don’t! Also, there is only room in our freezer (top of fridge) for about 2 loaves of bread, so need to buy that weekly too.

  6. Jamie

    I like to keep a stockpile of certain things. Lots of canned bits and pieces we eat regularly (corn, kidney beans, coconut milk, tomatoes, Australian pineapple in natural juice – I’m picky about it and the supermarket often runs out. I store up to 24 cans of it at a time. Less of the other things) and things I find on a deep discount (cereal, peanut butter and mayo). I also have lots of containers of staples (two containers of plain flour – 10kg total when full. A slightly smaller container of self-raising flour. Similar containers of different sugars. Smaller ones with nuts, dried fruit, etc). I was surprised to see lots of bags with the tops folded over in your pantry, Dar, and not many plastic or glass containers. I’ve brought pantry moths home from the supermarket a few times now, so I like having everything in containers or cans.

    Big winter storms here are pretty rare (we aren’t ‘that’ high in the Snowy Mountains), but the locals do recommend multiple heating sources in your house. We have a gas “log fire” we use daily in the cooler months, and a wood fire for ambience and emergencies (if the power/gas lines are cut). The creek sometimes gets up a bit, but the bridges have been built nice and high, so it isn’t really a worry. A burst pipe from freezing is more likely here. Or a summer bushfire. So, I don’t stockpile for emergencies. More for savings and having things on hand (so I don’t have to buy everything single thing every single week).

    I went to the supermarket very quickly this morning, mostly to pick up some bread for breakfast and something for dinner tonight but I also picked up a bunch of the usual stuff to get us through for a few days. I got bread, milk, tasty cheese, sour cream (lactose-free and regular), grass-fed mince, chicken necks (for the cat, vet-recommended), fruit and veg (lychees, pink lady apples, bananas, fresh pineapple, tomatoes, avocados, red capsicum, snow peas, sugar snap peas, iceberg lettuce. Already had oranges, Granny Smith apples, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, carrots and brown onions on hand).

    • Your produce selection sounds fantastic. Up here in the frozen north, a lot of those things are luxuries! I don’t really have to stock up for winter storms either but like to have enough pantry staples to last at least two weeks. As you say, it saves having to buy the same things over and over, and there are always savings when buying larger quantities. I’m glad you noted about the plastic bags in my cupboards. The last time I did a post about my pantry , I had bought lots of glass jars and I had planned to fill them regularly. I started buying items in bulk at the bulk store or sometimes in the bulk section of the grocery store. But they didn’t allow you to bring and weigh your own containers, so I used their flimsy plastic bags. They were not air-tight, and food would go stale in them. I still buy large quantities of things like rice, quinoa and lentils and transfer them to the jars, but if I buy 2 kg or larger bags (to get the best price), I have to use several jars for one thing, and it takes more space than the bag. Meanwhile, I also buy various sizes of dried fruit and nuts. They have all dried out (to unacceptable levels!) or even become mouldy when stored in glass jars. I think it is a combination of our climate (always very humid) and the jars themselves which leave a lot of airspace. When I keep things in their original resealable bags, they stay much fresher. To be honest, I really do shudder at the amount of plastic, but since I have to bring most things home from the store in their plastic packaging, it would be a little hypocritical to throw the packaging out and pretend I run a plastic-free kitchen! Luckily, we don’t have to worry about insects.

  7. Margie in Toronto

    You have reminded me that I need to purchase LED lightbulbs – I’m slowly switching over but boy they are expensive! The only items I need to get this week is some fresh fruit, a few items for salads, frozen veg and milk. I need to keep the fresh fruit & veg down to a minimum as I am eating out a few times this week so don’t want to buy too much.
    I do stock up – in fact there are a number of items that I won’t buy unless it’s on sale – laundry detergent, foil wrap, plastic wrap, most toiletries and food items such as peanut butter, canned salmon, frozen and canned fruit, cereals and a lot of other items. I know that they go on sale on a regular basis so I only buy then.
    I do stock up when items are on sale to save money but also for convenience sake – there is always something that I can pull together and I don’t have to worry about winter storms. I do have mobility issues and winter ice and snow makes things even more difficult – plus I don’t drive and use a trolley/bundle buggy so it’s nice to know that I don’t HAVE to be out there. I even stock UHT – long life milk in the pantry – it is very handy although (unlike in Europe) it’s much more expensive than fresh.
    I was trying to keep to the following budget this month – $100 for regular groceries + $25 for stock up items + $25 for non-food items. I will probably be over by about $20. For February I’m going to try to stick to $100 (except for those LED lightbulbs) – I have both raw and already cooked items (like meatloaf, chilli – both meat based and vegetarian, plus a couple of different kinds of soups, pasta dishes and all kinds of baked goods) in the freezer, plus lots of beans, lentils, pastas, and canned fish/seafood in the pantry so it should be doable.
    My one possible downfall will be the Bulk Barn that is opening in my neighbourhood on February 3rd – I’ve been on a real baking spree lately and this shop is heaven to me! It will be a real temptation to go a bit mad. Maybe I’ll need to give myself a small set amount for the month in the hope that it might mitigate things a bit!

    • I can’t imagine only spending 150 a month on groceries, even for one person. We spend 500 a month for two (including nonfood/personal care but not pet supplies). I had bad luck with light bulbs this week! No sooner had I bought the LED bulbs for the “chandelier” when the fluorescent bulbs in the kitchen burned out. I can’t complain because they were last replaced over 5 years ago, but they cost $30 too! Bulk Barn is potentially good for saving money because although you’ll be tempted by more items, you can buy tiny quantities!

  8. If some natural disaster struck and wiped out the two markets and the supermarket in our neighborhood, we’d starve to death in two days. 😦

  9. EcoCatLady

    My grocery list has been in flux recently – both because I’ve been bored with my usual stuff and because I’m trying a gluten free diet for a while to see if it helps some of my digestive & allergic issues. So far so good, but getting completely out of sandwich/wrap mode is a bit of an adjustment. I do love having a well stocked fridge and pantry though – especially in the winter!

  10. We buy biggest bags available and stock lentils, beans, couscous, rice (5 kilo each long grain and round), pasta, potatoes, onions, garlic, canned tomatoes – things we eat every week and always will. Honestly, what people eat is so interesting and individual as.. as.. people!

  11. I’m coming to shop at your house! I am not lucky enough to have so much cupboard space. I am trying to cut down my stock to a minimum to see how many meals I can make without buying anything else other than fresh veg and a few necessities. so far our meals have been better than usual!

    • We picked up a few things on the weekend including milk, soy milk, bananas, carrots, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes. MIGHT be able to get through next week without shopping!

  12. PS If we get snowed in I will send you an SOS – do you deliver!

  13. Wish I had such an organised pantry! Looks great

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