My grocery budget is $300 each month for a family of four – two adults and two kids. This real food budget includes food, toiletries, household items as well as health & beauty products. I started this week with $19.91 left in my grocery budget. You can see how I spent the other $280.09 in the first week here and second week here.
I think I’ve said this before, but it warrants repeating: there’s no easier way to not spend money other than to simply not go to the stores. What a simple yet amazing concept!! Once again I haven’t looked at ads and simply focused on what we truly needed for our planned meals and snacks, which boiled down to one short run to Trader Joe’s and produce.
Trader Joe’s – $17.14
Coconut Water x2 – 7.38
Coconut Milk (drink) – 1.99
Almond Milk – 1.69
Kefir x2 – 5.98
Bag fee – .10
Great Deal – almond milk. This is the best price I’ve seen for almond milk without having to mess with coupons and sales. I really like knowing that it will be this price every time I walk in the store.
Decent Deal – coconut water, kefir, coconut milk. I’m trying to find a better price for the coconut water but it’s tough. I’ve check most online sources already, but I need to check prices at Target and Walmart to make sure I can get the best deal possible since Mr. Crumbs drinks this daily in his smoothies. The kefir is for me and these two should get me through the remaining weeks of the month, although I may go a different route on this item (more on that next week). The milks are also for my smoothies, with the coconut as an option Instead of almond milk.
Not So Great Deal – Hello?! Bag fee?! I’ve never paid to get a bag from Trader Joe’s before, but I guess I need to start bringing some of my reusables? I probably should have been doing this from the start, but I like the brown bags that TJ’s offers. They’re just the right size and shape for storing kids clothes that they’ve outgrown and plan to donate and want to wait until you have “enough” to give at one time.
Farmer’s Market – $18.49
I took some advice that ya’ll gave me a couple week ago and went to the Farmer’s Market. I had been wanting to go, but we’ve just had so much produce on hand that I couldn’t justify going to the store for more. Now that the halfway mark had come, I gave myself permission to go “check it out,” and I’m so glad I did!
I knew they had the “mark-down” section, where larger bags of items have been significantly reduced because they’re past their prime, so I grabbed a basket and browsed that section first. What did I find? A GOLD MINE!
Spinach, 7oz – .50
Cantaloupe – .50
Honeydew – .50
potatoes, 10lb – 1.00
strawberries, 15lb – 6
bananas, 9lb – 2
peaches/nectarines mix, 5lb – 1
carrots, 4lb – 2
celery x2 – 1.50
peaches, 3.5lb – 3.49
Great Deal – potatoes, strawberries, bananas. 10lb of potatoes is WAY MORE than we would go through in a month, but I’m so happy I got it for only $1! I’m already planning on making more bread and making homemade fries with them. The deal on the strawberries was amazing! I left with all they had on that table and in the end they were only .40/lb! The bananas were organic, which was a pleasant surprise, and considering we go through a lot of those around here, I was happy to pay $2 for two big bags.
Decent Deal – cantaloupe, honeydew, peaches/nectarines mix, celery, peaches. The melons were on their way out so they needed to be dealt with ASAP. The peaches/nectarine mix turned out to have more bad than good, but I did salvage what I could and still got my $1 worth. The celery stalks are huge, but I’m thinking they’re not organic. I know I can get organic celery from Costco for about the same price. I picked up 3.5lbs of “good” peaches for .99/lb, which seems to be the going rate right now.
Not So Good Deal – carrots. We were out of carrots so I picked some up, but they’re not organic. I can get 10lb of organic carrots at Costco for just under $7, so when these are gone, I’m getting both celery and carrots from Costco.
July Running Total – $315.72
So I’m officially over, but before that happened, Mr. Crumbs and I had a talk last week about our grocery budget and the amount of money we’re spending on produce. We both agreed that it was ok to go over set budget, as long as we’re spending the “over” on produce. Now that doesn’t mean we can go crazy and spend $300 on junk and then buy produce, but it does mean that if we need more bananas or mangos or apples come week 3 or 4, it’s ok to pick some up. I’m going to continue to track our monthly spending and see how much over we go, if any. Once I know that figure, we’ll re-establish the new grocery budget.
Are you wondering what I did with the 50 pounds of produce I came home with? I’m going to hold you in suspense until Monday, because I’ve really done a lot with it and it truly deserves its own post! But for now, rest easy knowing that it’s more than enough to get us through the final week of our budget. 😉