My grocery budget is $300 each month, including food, household items and toiletries. Each week I crunch the numbers to see where I stand. Today marks the end of week three. You can read about week one here.
Welcome back ya’ll! Tell you what, after sharing my trips and my budget on a weekly basis for so long, not sharing for one week makes me feel kinda sneaky… like I’m hiding something from you guys.
I promise I’m not!
Shopping last week was minimal (as expected) with being out of town the latter half of the week. The two stores I shopped at (Grocery Outlet and Walmart) were merely pleasure trips and you’ll see my reasonings.
The slow shopping came to a screeching halt when we returned – to merely two pieces of fruit. Granted it was planned that way, but it still made for a big shopping trip this week.
Without further ado, here are my crumbs!
Grocery Outlet – $6.95
hot pork sausage – 2.99
kerrygold butter x4 – 3.96
I was fortunate to stumble across some free time last week so I did some shopping. Alone.
Can’t you just hear the angels singing?
This trip was to check on the availability and price of organic, grass-fed and natural meat at Grocery Outlet. While I wasn’t able to find organic, I did locate some “natural” beef by a California ranch that may be close to grass-fed-status. More research is needed, but I considered it good news. I ended up buying 1 pound of spicy pork sausage for a pot of spaghetti sauce that’s on the menu later this month.
The highlight of the trip? MORE BUTTER!
They marked the Kerrygold tubs of butter down to $.99 each! I threw caution to the wind and bought four more.
Can’t you just see this gal getting all giddy in front of the butter? LOL!
With baking season in full swing, $1.98 for one pound of grass-fed butter is a STEAL and I’d be an idiot to pass it up.
Since we’ve been confessing this month: Hi, my name is Tiffany and I’m addicted to cheap butter.
“Hi, welcome to my home! Would you like some butter with your bread? It’s made from grass-fed cows in Ireland and the entire tub was only a buck!”
Walmart – $30.54
1qt canning jars x12 – 10.44
1 pint canning jars x12 – 9.24
canning utensil set – 6.97
pie pumpkins x2 – 1.56
So…. um… yeah… I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to canning, yet I bought 2 dozen canning jars and a utensil set. Totally makes sense, right?
Sure Tiff… whatever you say…
I’m determined to figure out canning and I thought there was no better motivation than having the jars on hand. Then I wouldn’t be able to use the excuse that I didn’t have jars… which I’ve used before.
My first attempt was going to be the strawberry apple butter that just finished in my crockpot yesterday, but it took one lick of a spoon to know that we’ll be eating that stuff up in the next week anyway, so there’s really no point in trying to store it long term.
Next in line would be the spaghetti sauce. One recipe makes 6 quarts and even if we drench our pasta in sauce, we’ll still have 5 quarts leftover. My freezer is jam-packed (but not with jam) so canning is the only option left.
Gotta buck up and put on the big-girl panties, right?
I bought two pie pumpkins (the original intent for the trip) for my first attempt at making my own pumpkin puree – and it was a success! A tutorial and a plethora of fun recipes coming soon.
Sorry for no dedicated pictures, but you can see the pie pumpkins in the pictures below.
Savemart – $41.91
milk – 5.98
half and half – 3.79
bananas – 1.20
pretzels – 1.99
cool whip – 1.50
basil – 1.99
green bell peppers 2 – 1.98
red bell peppers x8 – 2
sweet white corn x4 – 1
bolthouse smoothie x2 – 1.98 (<– reduced price, treat for kids)
tri-tip 6.23lb – 18.60
Milk, half and half and bananas are staples. Mr. Crumbs requested strawberry pretzel salad for dessert and since he and the kids finished off the bag of pretzels from two weeks ago, we needed more (plus cool whip). Basil and bell peppers were for pizza night and most (if not all) the remaining Asian-ish dinners for the month. Red peppers were only $.25 each, so I bought 8 and chopped or diced or julienned them all up and stuck them in the freezer for later. The corn is our fresh veggie for this weekend, the tri-tip was a SCREAMING deal too ($2.99/lb untrimmed) so I bought a package of two big ones. Each will easily last two dinners if it’s just us, but can also become company meals too. The smoothies were a total treat. They were marked down to $.99 a piece and I thought the kids (and mom) would enjoy them.
Farmers Market – 27.99
gala apples 9lb – 6.28
granny smith apples 3.5lb – 2.51
strawberries 11lb – 4.50
sweet potatoes x2 – 2.10
pomegranates x3 – 5
mini-pumpkins – 1.50
grapes – 1.52
kiwi x10 – .99
romaine lettuce x2 – 1.50
yellow squash – .18
green zucchini x2 – .41
eggplant – 1.50
Finally, another trip to the Farmer’s Market! The primary purpose was for marked down apples, but I was tempted and lured by the other produce as well. The apples weren’t as cheap as I was hoping, but 69¢ is still a good deal for local fruit.
See the strawberry deal? It was the same thing as last time – three big bags for $1.50 each. After sorting through the bags, I ended up with approximately 5 cups of squishy strawberries and 3 quarts of edible fruit (minus what the kids were stealing out of the bowl as I was cleaning them). Those 5 cups and 1/3 of the galas have already become the butter I mentioned above. YUM!
Sweet potatoes for lunches (maybe dinners too), pomegranates are seasonally dirt cheap so we’ll eat our fair share for sure. Mini-pumpkins are half the cost here than the grocery store and our yearly tradition allows each kid to choose one. Grapes and kiwi for snacking and smoothies, lettuce for salads, squash and zucchini and eggplant for a last-minute squash pasta recipe.
Produce Stand – $0
I drive by a produce stand on the way to and from the farmer’s market but I never thought to stop until now. I inquired if they had any “seconds” of apples – the ones too ugly to put out for sale. They welcomed me to go through what was on display and take any uglies home – for free! So I ended up with another small bag full for the butter cause.
Costco – $64.21
fresh mozzarella – 6.79
pineapple – 2.99
tollhouse chocolate chips – 10.79
bananas x2 – 2.78
almonds 3lbs – 10.69
kerrygold dubliner cheese – 12.99
quaker old fashioned oats – 7.89
mineral water – 7.89
crv – 1.40
No crumbs confession is complete without a Costco trip. Fresh mozzarella for pizzas, pineapple for snacks and smoothies and chocolate chips to replenish the pantry.
Speaking of, these are on sale for October so I’ll be taking my receipt in for my $2.25 credit. 12¢/ounce of chocolate chips is the best deal we’ll see so stock up while you can!
Bananas, almonds, oats and mineral water are staples too. Kerrygold dubliner cheese is a new one. I tasted this a few weeks ago during one of their sampling sessions and it’s pretty good – texture of medium cheddar with a parmesan-y taste. We’ve enjoyed it snacking, atop squash pasta and a bowl of spaghetti. Four cheers from our table!
Total Month to Date: $381.32
Before everyone has a heart attack, let me explain.
Remember how I meal planned for two weeks so that the plan aligned with the calendar month? Well I’m kinda doing the same thing with the grocery budget. Instead of it resetting next week as it normally would, I’m going to add another $150 for the remaining two weeks of my meal plan.
($300 for four weeks means $150 for two weeks, just in case anyone is confused.)
It’s kinda like budgeting and planning for 6 weeks, and allotting $450 for the whole thing. I know the meal plan dates and budget dates don’t line up perfectly, but it will in the end.
Does that make sense? Hope so. It makes sense in my head!
Essentially there’s just under $70 for the next three weeks. We are WELL stocked on meat and meals are planned beautifully. This fruit will last for all of next week so I expect another stock-up of fruit, a gallon of milk and more half and half before the month is up. I think we’ll be in o-kay shape.
And if not, I’ll return the canning jars… since I haven’t used them.