My grocery budget is $330 each month for a family of four – two adults and two kids. My real food budget budget includes food, household items and toiletries. Today marks the end of March. You can read about the halfway point here.
There’s nothing like having just $50 to last you two weeks worth of shopping that forces you to get creative about where your funds come from.
All those random gift card we’ve had stored up in my purse? Yep, I called for balances.
- Balance on our Visa gift card (earned from upgrading our phone LAST MAY): $17.56
- Unused gift card to Safeway: $25
Guess who went shopping at Safeway? 😉
So we’re all on the same page for this accountability session, HERE is our current meal plan. I shop for the majority of the month within the first day or two, then shop smaller items and fresh produce the remaining weeks. Whether or not I have funds to follow through with my plan is a whole ‘nuther story!
Asian Market – $10.97
oranges 10lb, 2.99
bananas @.29/lb, 7.09
cucumber, .89 (I think)
This trip was actually at the very beginning of the month, but the receipt had gotten buried in my purse and since end of month is clean-out time, guess what I found!
Oranges and bananas are for snacking and smoothies. Believe it or not, this trip got us through the entire month. We literally ran out of both bananas and smoothies yesterday morning!
I’m sure whatever I bought was 89¢, but I’m guessing it was a cucumber. Apparently I didn’t take a picture either (which is what happens when your arms are holding 24 pounds of bananas, but I’m pretty sure it was something like that.
Grocery Outlet – $13.01
A one-item trip: bath tissue. I bought this the weekend after the last check-in because I was fearful we’d run out. Or that we’d run out of grocery money by the time we needed more toilet paper. Or both. So I bought it to get it out of the way and cover my… um, tush. 😉
Surprisingly, we officially ran out of toilet paper just yesterday morning (along with oranges and bananas), so it’s kinda nice to know that we’re pretty good about not abusing the wipes after all.
But that’s definitely not something I’m willing to take a chance on. Can you imagine the outcome of THAT scenario…. yikes.
Safeway – $5.72
pantry essentials ground coffee x2, 2.49
sparkling water x3, 1
CRV x3, .10
limes x3, .33
organic whole milk, 6.19
Parmesan wedge 8oz, 3.99
cheddar square 8oz, 5.99
blue cheese wedge 8oz, 4.99
Clearly, our total was more than $6 at the cash register. However, I had a $25 gift card to Safeway that helped to bring the total down quite a bit.
We were out of coffee. Like, NONE. I bought two of the cheapest coffee canisters I could find and let me tell you, I’ll plan better for that one next month. The pantry essentials ground coffee isn’t really that great. I mean, I’ve definitely had worse, but I’ve had way better too so I can’t recommend this one.
Sparking water and limes for Mr. Crumbs, whole milk for kefir and coffee (see note) and various cheese for homemade focaccia as our contribution to a family dinner last week. I ended up making three varieties: blue cheese and black pepper, jalapeno and cheddar and rosemary with Parmesan. This was actually the same trip I based much of my research on for this dairy additive post and these cheeses were the result of lots and lots of label reading.
Savemart – $7.28
Braggs liquid aminos, 4.49
red bell pepper x2, .79
broccoli crown, 1.21
Earlier this week we had leftovers a la vegetable rice and cashews… but there wasn’t anything remotely close to soy sauce in the house. We don’t eat soy… at least not consciously, so I picked up liquid aminos instead of the normal soy sauce. I know it’s derived from soybean protein, but it’s not GMO and that’s about as close as I’m going to get to soy sauce without paying lots of arms and legs for it.
Bell pepper and broccoli crown for the same dinner. We were running low on our vegetable variety.
Total End of March – $317.44
Say what?! We actually had $12 left to spend? Well shoot, if that’s the case I should have stocked up on more toilet paper!
Remember everything on this list? Except for the grains and beans, it’s all gone. Literally. At the same time, I’m feeling like we’ve got a lot of food in our house… could that mean it’s pantry challenge time?
I think so. At least a modified version for 2 weeks. I’ll know for sure as I meal plan this weekend, and you’ll know for sure when my plan goes live on Monday.
I’m feeling the itch though… kinda getting freaked out about my food coming from Chin (more on that coming soon) and wanting to buy more food from my local markets. But that means I’ll have to be creative with funds since local foods aren’t always that cheap.