My grocery budget is $330 each month for a family of four – two adults and two kids. My real food budget includes food, household items and toiletries. Today marks the end of February. You can read our accountability at mid-month here.
Check out the new button!!! Pretty schnazzy, dontcha think?
Since I spent a huge chunk of our budget in the first half of the month, there wasn’t too much shopping in the second half. My motto was to stay out of the stores as much as possible. Four small trips myself with an online order seems to qualify, yes?
Everyone always wonders what I do with the food I buy, so here’s a quick link back to my current frugal real food meal plan. I use this simple method for meal planning (unless I forget to move things around a bit while doing inventory) and then shop to fill in most of the blanks. If you have questions, I have answers! Share your ideas in the comments!
Savemart – $6.38
This was just a single gallon of organic whole milk. Instead of going to Costco for half and half and risking overspending my budget, milk is pulling double duty for kefir and coffee creamer. The only downside is that the price is more than the usual $5.99… AGAIN. I’m really feeling the conundrum right now between paying just $1 more for non-homogenized milk at Trader Joe’s because I feel like the benefits are just that much better. *sigh* What would you guys do?
Grocery Outlet – $30.13
organic eggs dozen, 2.29
garlic powder, .99
havarti 7oz, 1.79
asparagus 3lb, .99
organic cheddar .59lb x2, 3.59
pepperoni chunks x2, 4.99
raw Monterey jack 7oz, 2.99
limes x6, .33
Eggs and garlic powder are replenishing the pantry. Pepperoni for pizza nights and asparagus as our “seasonal vegetable” because we love it and it was only 99¢ per pound. Three types of cheeses to experiment on a new macaroni and cheese recipe, but also for grilled sandwiches and snacking.
I was pleasantly surprised to find havarti for so low, especially since it has a naturally creamy buttery taste (ideal for creamy melted cheese dishes). I usually buy organic cheese at Costco for $10.99 for 2 pounds, which puts my price point at $5.50 or less per pound, or $2.25 per 8oz. The havarti was the only one that met this price, but the Monterey jack was raw for only 75¢ more for the 7oz chunk. I’m willing to pay a bit more for raw, but I’m not entirely sold on the organic cheddar. A side effect for avoiding Costco I guess, but food for thought for myself as I’m buying cheese in the future.
Savemart – $10.95
organic gala apples 5lb, 4.99
bananas 20lb, 5.96
We were desperately low on fresh fruit for snacking. Fortunately, bananas we marked down to $1.49/bag and each bag weighs about 5lb. I wanted more apples, but I picked the best bag of the bunch. The rest weren’t looking so good, so I’m thinking it’s time to make weekly trips to the farmer’s market again for the highly perishable items.
Costco – $4.49
Mr. Crumbs went to Costco for himself and while there he picked up a bag of organic baby kale for me.
Asian Market – $10.93
oranges 8lb, 3.99
bell peppers x4, 1
mini tangerines .69¢/lb, 1.95
garbanzo beans 2lb, 1.99
Oranges are super cheap right now, and are perfect for snacking and adding liquids to smoothies (which we’re happily doing!). Tangerines for snacking because they too were a great price. We were out of beans and this market has the best price in the area, plus bell peppers for stuffed pepper dinner earlier this week.
Tropical Traditions – $1.21
organic apple cider vinegar x2
hulled spelt 10lb
hard red wheat 10lb
organic whole peeled tomatoes x8
organic tomato paste
gallon coconut oil
Yes, those are paper airplanes and a big huge purple ball in the background.
I’ve been saving up my gift certificates to Tropical Traditions and waiting for a sale on coconut oil for what feels like FOREVER, but finally they had 50% off their gallons a couple weeks ago so I took advantage. We were also out of tomatoes and apple cider vinegar, so I bought those too. While those might have been cheaper elsewhere, they cost me less out of pocket through Tropical Traditions because of the gift certificates. I also bought more hard red wheat to grind for homemade bread, spelt because I’ve been wanting to try it and tomato paste to make my order meet the gift certificate threshold. So far, the spelt is delicious and we’re LOVING these tomatoes on our pizza!
February End of Month Total – $341.14
Over by $11.14 and I think I know what happened. When going through my receipts this week, checking to see how much I had left in my budget to spend, I overlooked the Savemart receipt for the milk and the Costco receipt for the kale. I thought I was going to skate in under budget by $1 and even as I’m typing this post, I’m remembering that I did NOT look at those receipts when making my tally.
- I need to pay better attention to the price of cheese when I’m not at Costco.
- The beans could have waited until the budget reset, especially since the Asian Market is literally a two minute walk away.
- I need to come up with a solution on the milk.
- While creating my shopping list at the start of each month, I should consider buying more of the items I know we’ll use in the month, instead of making repeated trips later to other stores that might end up costing more.
- While at Costco, price check the foods we eat most often to add to the price book.
- Be willing to make a trip to Costco if we need several items and it would save in the long run.