My grocery budget is $330 each month, including food, household items and toiletries. Each week I crunch the numbers to see where I stand. Today marks the end of the month.
Wow… so the halfway point of this month COMPLETELY few by and I didn’t even realize it. You know how you have some days that just whiz by and it felt like you woke up only five minutes ago? That’s pretty much how the whole month September felt! I did find good deals though, so it’s a shame I wasn’t able to write them up for ya’ll sooner. Better late than never though, right? (Warning, this is an exceptionally long post today.)
SAVEMART – $18.03
grabanzo beans x2, .85*
unbleached flour, 3.29
organic chicken thighs, 4.49
organic chicken thighs, 4.54
conventional chicken thighs, 5.02**
The garbanzo beans were for a blog and recipe experiment. They were priced at $1.69 each with a BOGOF sale… so half of the half is 85¢ towards the grocery budget. The good news is that both the blog and recipe experiments worked!!
Flour is a staple. The organic chicken thighs were a mistake. They were on sale that week for 1.99/lb and these two packages each had $1 stickers off of them, so I thought I was getting an awesome deal. Unfortunately I didn’t know how to work the calculator that morning because they were packaged with the OLD price that was close to $2.50/lb instead. Plus the cashier forgot to take off $1 for one of the packages. Oh well. You win some and lose some.
The conventional chicken thighs were for a company meal we hosted. Buying conventional for company is one way we help keep the grocery budget in check.
COSTCO – $90.07
organic laundry detergent, 10.89
rainforest coffee x2, 9.99
fage total x2, 2.50
cabot cheese 2lb, 11.78
fresh mozzarella x3, 4.99
kerrygold butter x2, 6.79
half & Half, 3.49
organic celery, 2.99
organic carrots, 4.59
Corn, onions, carrots, half & half, butter and celery are staples. We’re nearly out of the laundry detergent I bought back in my couponing days and this organic detergent just so happened to be on sale, and cheaper per load than any other detergent at the time. I don’t know if being organic will make a difference in cleaning my clothes, and I’m not quite sure if I should care or not… does anyone have any experience with the Greenshield brand?
Rainforest blend coffee is organic and was on sale for $9.99 for 3lb – which is a STELLAR deal for organic coffee. Mr. Crumbs and I did our shopping together on a date night (exciting, I know, lol) and his eyes caught the deal. He even suggested we get TWO packages. I didn’t argue, and I don’t see us running low on coffee soon.
Yogurt and spinach was for recipe testing and smoothies, cabot cheese was cheddar and for snacking and meals. Fresh mozzarella was on sale for $2 off the normal price. This was another item we use regularly for pizza night, so I bought three packages for just a dollar more than what I normally pay for two. Good deal!
SAVEMART – $7.44
plain yogurt x2, 1.25*
sweet potato, 1.41
grape tomatoes, 1.50*
Yogurt for more recipe experimentation (don’t worry, those are over now so you won’t have to read that again in a few weeks!) and grape tomatoes for this spinach salad recipe. The root vegetables were turned into a soup that I personally loved, but the rest of the family not so much. If you feed undiscerning soup lovers, definitely give this one a try.
SAVEMART – $10.37
farmer john pork links x4, .79
ground sirloin, 5.14*
Peaches and pears for recipe experimentation. The pork links were each marked with $1 off coupon, making them 8oz for 79¢. We don’t each much sausage in the house, but I thought these would be excellent for when we’re looking for something to bring to a fellowship meal. Chunks of sausage with some eggs and cheese and we’ve got instant brunch!
The ground sirloin is from a local farm that practices sustainability and organic methods, but isn’t certified. This too was marked with a $1 sticker off, but the cashier missed it.
Twice in a month means I need to pay better attention during checkout…
GROCERY OUTLET – $34.21
pepperoni 2lb, 5.99
bananas 3lb, 1.99
fresh ginger root, .75
bath tissue, 10.99
red grapes, 2.99
mini watermelon, 1
Italian seasoning, .99
garlic powder, .99
Pepperoni is for pizzas and all the seasonings were to replenish the spice cabinet. Bananas were for snacking, limes for mock Italian sodas, eggs are staples, bath tissue because we were down to the last roll.
The cauliflower was for this recipe and it was THE BOMB! You must, must MUST put this on your menu next month. It’s going to be on mine for sure. Maybe even twice! Love that a picky eater totally thought it was cheese!
Strawberries, watermelon, grapes and ginger root were for recipe experimentation. (I know, it’s getting old… I’m getting tired of typing it, but gotta be fair!).
GROCERY OUTLET – $16.31
canyon harvest veggie chips, 2.99
salt & vinegar chips x2, 1.69
island fruit gummies, 1.99
milk chocolate bar x2, .99
organic honey graham crackers, 1.99
If you hadn’t already guessed it, this trip was to grab some snacks for the vacation. Apples and bananas are cheap and portable snacks and the gummies were a HUGE treat for the kids. Veggie chips were all natural without any weird ingredients. Salt & vinegar were too, and those are Mr. Crumbs’ favorite. He says their extra salty, extra vinegar-y and extra crunchy.
Chocolate bars and graham crackers for s’mores. I chose to buy regular marshmallows when we got there. I could have made them, but with getting ready for vacation, pre-writing posts and writing a book, there was just a bit too much on my plate as it was. Besides, the chocolate didn’t have soy lecithin and the graham crackers didn’t have HFCS. I thought buying marshmallows was a fair compromise.
SAVEMART – $33.56
new york strip, 4.57*
humongo prawns, 14.68
A quick trip before vacation for shrimp led me to find marked down steaks by the same local rancher I mentioned earlier. Each steak was marked down $1 and the tri-tip was down $3. We brought ALL of this meat with us on vacation so we ended up not having to buy any meats while away. Given they were marked down, this was an EXCELLENT move on our part that saved us tremendously on groceries while out of town.
SAVEMART – $23.03
mandarin oranges, 1.25
green beans, 1.89white corn, 4.14
salad crispy onions, 2.99
conventional chicken drumsticks, 4.28
conventional chicken thighs, 7.68
We decided to host my parents for dinner right before we left for vacation and this was to supplement what we had at the house. Mr. Crumbs did the shopping and picked up conventional chicken for the night, and we still have plenty in the freezer for a new-mom meal coming up this week.
Fresh green beans and fresh corn were both delicious; mandarin oranges and lettuce were for an Asian salad that I had a hankering for. The crispy onions were for the salad too, but a big treat. I couldn’t imagine the salad without something crispy on top, and I didn’t know where those crispy noodles were so I could tell Mr. Crumbs, lol.
GROCERY OUTLET – $11.97
organic pastry flour, 3.99
maple syrup, 3.50
whole wheat flour, 3.99
Another last minute trip before we left. This was so I could make pancake and biscuit mixes in little baggies to take with us and make on our trip. The maple syrup was for some recipe experimenting, but mainly because I thought I could make pumpkin pie creamer… WHICH I DID ! Expect a recipe for that deliciousness next week. (UPDATE: Here’s the recipe!)
GROCERY OUTLET – $20.21
parmesan, 2.88ground ginger, .99
red apples, .50
This trip was just this past week. I did a quick tally of what was left of the budget and decided to spend what I had on the short list that was compiled for next month. Spices for the pantry, parmesan for recipes and snacking, pepperoni for pizzas (we’re not out, but they had it and I was there…). Apples for some apple recipes coming your way very soon – so stay tuned for those too!
SAVEMART – $58.60
shredded coconut, 1.80
tortilla chips, 2.89
35pk water, 3.59
sour cream, 2.50
half & half, 3.99
specialty lettuce x2, 1.49
pineapple x2, 1.49*
acorn squash, 1.74
acorn squash, 1.57
butternut squash, 2.21
spaghetti squash, 2.90
jumbo prawns, 22.20
Shredded coconut for the apple recipe experiments I just mentioned. Tortilla chips and sour cream for tortilla soup, flour for the pantry, bottled water for Mr. Crumbs’ new job (there isn’t a source for filtered water, so this is the plan for now). Half & half for coffee.
Bananas were marked down even more than usual – 69¢ per 5-6lb bag! I picked up the two bags they had, plus two more marked down bags of fresh pineapple. One pineapple is usually $2.99, and the work was already done for me on these. Plus I did the math and it came out to $1/lb, which is my buy price.
Two containers of specialty lettuce, also marked down, and these are way more tasty than just romaine. Three types of squash for dinners this month (see the four-week menu this coming Monday). Jumbo prawns on sale again so I bought the HUMONGOUS prawns, like 8-11 per pound size. They’re like shrimp steaks and we’re going to do something really yummy with them… I’m not sure what yet. Maybe some coconut shrimp? Mmm…
Total End of the Month – $323.80
Under budget by roughly $6. We’re definitely not completely set for the upcoming month, but using the extra funds to cross off some little things will certainly help! On a different note, it’s interesting to see that I shopped 11 times this month. This would certainly be higher if we were in town for all four weeks, so it makes me wonder if I’m truly planning well enough, or those “quick stops” to check for discounted foods are worth the effort. Hmmm…