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 half-way point of the month.
This is the first month where I actually feel like I’m buying real food. Of course you all know that I’ve been buying real food all along (minus the bag of tortilla chips now and then 😉 ), but somehow this month feels more nourishing. There’s lentils (which I’ve never bought nor cooked before), eggs from a local farmer (which I don’t plan on doing again) and raw milk (EEK!). Oh yeah, and really real extra virgin olive oil. 😉
Trader Joe’s – $27.29
White Whole Wheat Flour, 2.99
Bananas x13, 2.47
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil x2, 5.99
Sunflower Seeds, 1.99
All of these were to replenish the pantry. I’m incorporating more and more whole wheat flour into our baked goods (including dessert) so we’re going through more than we were earlier in the year. Produce for snacks and smoothies, coconut oil for baking and cooking, sunflower seeds for trail mix and yogurt parfaits, parmesan cheese to top our pastas (and for snacking).
Grocery Outlet – $15.97
Organic Peanut Butter x2, 2.49
Coffee Beans, 9.99
Greek Yogurt x2, .50
We’ve been going through a lot less peanut butter lately, and it probably has a little to do with the fact that Costco stopped carrying an affordable all natural brand and a little to do with me making less sandwiches for lunch. Still, I like to have an extra jar or two in the pantry since Mr. Crumbs is notorious for coming home after work and slathering celery with peanut butter as a snack before dinner. And even if we’re not eating as many sammies, a pantry without peanut butter is trouble waiting to happen. These jars were organic and I thought the price was fair since the price of peanuts has gone up substantially in the past year.
Coffee beans are a staple and the two yogurts are starters for making our own yogurt. Something was going on earlier in the month (I forget now what that was) were I knew I wouldn’t be able to set aside a portion of the homemade for a future batch, so I went ahead and picked up two.
Safeway – $20
Safeway had a one-day sale on organic strawberries, $5 for two pounds. The berries at the farmer’s market are $4 for a pint, so this was a killer deal. I got Mr. Crumbs permission to pick up a lot, and he actually requested that I pick up more than I did! The fresh berries were for snacking, breakfasts, smoothies, and dehydrating. I dehydrated one package (2lbs) and putting them in glass jars as a centerpiece/snack station on our dining table. The kids thought it was fun to be able to open the jar and pour out some to snack on.
Farmers Market – $16.30
Half Gallon Raw Milk, 7
Bottle deposit, 3
Local Eggs 2doz, 3.15
This day was a first in the Crumbs house – raw milk AND local eggs. I’m trying to fight off tooth decay in my kids naturally and our regimen includes raw milk and pastured eggs.
I did some research on the eggs when we got home and as it turns out, these eggs are nowhere near pastured. 🙁 The farmer is local, but he runs a plain ‘ol standard coop with conventional feed and the mere fact he was there kinda rubs me the wrong way.
There was another booth at the market who was advertising pastured eggs, but they were $7 per dozen. That’s a bit out of my price range at the moment, so the next purchase of eggs will be the free-range, organic variety from Grocery Outlet as usual.
This is the best deal on raw milk in our area that I’ve found so far. I don’t know how often the budget will allow me to buy it, but the goal for this month was just to try it out. If I can buy a half gallon every two weeks and offer the kids a half glass every other day (talk about rationing, lol), then I’ll be a happy camper. At least next month will be easier since I won’t have the bottle deposit and the eggs won’t be so expensive…
I’m a little bitter about that, if you couldn’t tell…
Costco – $108.65
KS Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 11.99
Half & Half, 3.39
Chocolate Chips, 6.99
Cashews 2.5lb, 14.99
Kerrygold Butter x2, 6.79
Organic Celery, 2.89
KS Vanilla Extract, 6.89
Tomato Sauce 109oz, 2.49
Dried Coconut, 8.69
KS Diced Tomatoes, 5.99
Organic Baby Kale, 4.29
Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, 12.99
Organic Fuji Apples, 7.49
Limes for Mr. Crumbs water, olive oil for purity testing (and to consume) and half & half for coffee. Coconut, chocolate chips and cashews are for trail mix and desserts. They STILL had Kerrygold butter so I picked up another two plus vanilla for baking. Diced tomatoes for various recipes, tomato sauce for hearty spaghetti sauce (which we’ve made AND already consumed all six quarts of, lol). Kale for smoothies, apples, celery and cheese for snacking. An ordinary ho-hum trip.
Savemart – $17.15
SSL Unbleached Bread Flour, 2.29
SSL Unbleached AP Flour, 2.29
Unbleached Coffee Filters, 2.39
Organic Gallon Milk, 5.98
Mangos x8, .50
My transition to wheat in our baked goods includes using some white too. It’s partially because I’m afraid a loaf of bread made entirely of wheat will turn out like a brick, but also because the family hasn’t quite acclimated to the wheat taste yet. When I use white wheat, I can sub half the flour in breads. When I use red wheat, I can safely sub a quarter for the white, sometimes a third. We’re using only wheat flour in our desserts now, including cookies and cakes. 🙂
Savemart – $13.21
Bananas 5.28lb, .79/lb
Mangos x4, .50
Beef Flank Steak, 4.05
Bananas and more mangos for smoothies and snacks, while they were still on sale for 50¢ each. There was a package of marked down beef from my local go-to cattle company so I bought it for roughly $4/lb. I don’t have a plan for it yet, but it’ll likely go towards stir-fry one night and grilled sandwiches on another (beef with sautéed onions, fresh mozzarella and a smear of pesto is one of Mr. Crumbs’ favorite sandwiches).
Target – $2.82
MP Lentils, 1.39
MP Brown Sugar, 1.79
Bananas x8, .24ea
MP Pasta x3, .96
MP Pasta x3, .66
Reuseable Bag (-.05)
Target GC from Ebates (-$10)
Maseca is to make our own corn tortillas. The lentils were an impulse buy, and yes, it feels REALLY weird to talk about lentils as a “spur of the moment” decision. Talk about excitement! 😉
Brown sugar and pasta to replenish the pantry, bananas for a big batch of smoothies. We brought our own bag to save a nickel and we shopped at Target because Ebates sent us a gift card, reducing our out-of-pocket by $10. Bonus!
Costco – $47.19
Organic Carrots 10lb, 4.59
Ziploc Freezer Quart Bags, 10.79
Ziploc Freezer Gallon Bags, 11.99
Running out of pizza cheese is the equivalent to running out of peanut butter in our house, so I picked up a 3-pack along with carrots and storage bags. With some creative thinking and storage solutions, I’ve made our last two gallon bags last well beyond their time, so these bags will EASILY last us a year, if not longer. I really didn’t want to spend the money on the bags, but I know it’ll save a lot more in the long run. Start the timer folks, let’s see how long I can stretch the first (of four) boxes. 😉
Savemart – $5.98
Costco – $5.76
Bananas x2, 1.39
Yellow Onions 10lb, 4.49
Organic Fuji Apples, 7.29
KS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (-$11.79 refund)
Bananas, pineapple, onions and apples are all part of the standard produce we keep in our house. The crazed look on the husband comes and goes. 😉 I returned the olive oil that didn’t solidify as expected in the first olive oil fridge test experiment. They had no issues with the return, and I feel better knowing that we have the tested-and-approved Toscano version to replace it.
Savemart – 7.96
Mushrooms 1lb x2, .99
Organic Gallon Milk, 5.98
Another quick trip mainly for milk, but I stumbled across two marked down packages of mushrooms for only 99¢ and each weighing in at a full pound. I’d like to find a recipe with mushrooms and quinoa to help clear out the pantry a bit. The other mushrooms I’ll either add into an omelet or sauté as a side dish.
Total Month To Date – $260.99
Not too bad so far; I’ve got roughly $70 to get me through the next two weeks. More raw milk and produce are the only things I can think of that I know we’ll need, but you never know what can come up!
Did you notice that the marked down steak was the only meat we’ve purchased so far this month? This is not normal. We were unexpectedly invited to two dinners with friends (I brought rice to one and carrots with fresh bread to another) so the chicken and shrimp in the freezer haven’t been pulled out to cook. Mr. Crumbs is out of town for another week and since the kids and I are experimenting with soaking grains (oatmeal, pancakes, buttermilk bread… all for the new Candid Carbs series!), it’s likely that the meat we have on hand will get us through the rest of the month. However, there will definitely be some meat expenditures when the budget resets again.