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. You can read about the halfway point here, where I spent $187 of my budget.
Shopping this month has been random, but fun! Some new ingredients to experiment with and TONS of produce too. Four week later and I’m still thankful I bought those whole chickens when they were on sale. We still have a whole one in the freezer!
Costco – $103.95
Manitoba Hemp Hearts 28oz, 14.89
Sun Tropics Dried Coconut 20oz, 8.69
Heinz Organic Ketchup 44oz 2pk, 6.99
Sun Dates 32oz, 7.99
Organic Red Seedless Grapes 4lb, 6.49
Clementines 5lb, 6.99
Organic Sugar 10lb, 9.99
Organic Romaine Lettuce, 3.69
Cream Cheese, 6.79
String Cheese, 6.79
Bananas x2, 1.39
Kirkland Tortilla Chips, 3.79
Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti, 9.49
Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice Crackers, 4.79
This trip was THE DAY BEFORE we were given 150lbs of produce. No joke. If I had used my Ouija board to see what was coming my way, I would have totally skipped on the ketchup, grapes, clementines and bananas. *sigh*
Oh well though, right? I don’t really own a Ouija board anyway, and I feel blessed to have been given all that produce. I’m not complaining. Just running out of ideas for all these oranges… the other produce was for snacking and smoothies. The ketchup is to replenish the pantry and it’s organic because the regular kind has high fructose corn syrup.
The hemp hearts and dates are for experimental recipes I’m working on. Dried coconut for trail mix and snacks, string cheese for school time snacks and brown rice crackers to snack with the blue cheese I bought last month. The cheese was originally for dressing, but we ended up using it on a salad (I think) and that was about it.
Mr. Crumbs mentioned cheese and crackers one day and I seconded the idea. Ordinarily I’d make my own sourdough crackers, but a) I’m still building up a new starter, and b) I’ve already got my experimental recipe hands full as it is. So I opted for crackers with the least amount of weird ingredients, and I don’t think these had any! (And I did pick up several boxes, read the labels and put them back. Yikes!)
Another shocker – I totally splurged and took the plunge on organic sugar. I had some extra room in the budget, needed sugar anyway so I jumped.
Mr. Crumbs had actually baked cookies with the kids while I was out shopping (seen below), so we had a little pep talk when I came home about the sugar. It basically went like this:
Me: Babe. See this sugar? It’s organic. And it’s expensive. Like, twice as much for half as much expensive. So I’d like to use it sparingly and see how long it lasts us, okay? I don’t want to use it all the time for things like baking cookies… (eats a cookie)… when we shouldn’t be eating that many sweets anyway.
Him: Got it. I think we’ve been doing good on less sweets. We’ve had some cheesecake, but I don’t remember the last time we made cookies.
Me: Yeah I know, it has been awhile. By the way, nice cookie!
Him: Thanks, I made them with half as much sugar because we ran out.
So there you go folks, turns out you can make chocolate chip cookies with only 3/4 cup of sugar TOTAL and they’re still pretty darn good!
Cream cheese for cheesecake (ahem), tortilla chips for taco night and lettuce for salads. I went ahead and bought whole wheat pasta in bulk even though we don’t have many pasta meals planned. I noticed that many of the whole wheat packages in stores are only 12oz, instead of the usual 16oz, and they’re priced around $1. Buying it in bulk made it come out to just over $1 for a full pound of pasta. Plus the last time I bought pasta I thought it was whole wheat and it wasn’t at all. I got duped.
Savemart – $9.47
Cottage Cheese 16oz, 3.49
Organic Whole Milk Gallon, 5.98
Cottage cheese for smoothies and milk for kefir. I still haven’t made yogurt this month… total slacker, I know. I’ve got a baking day set up for Monday and it’s on the list. I’m making 6 quarts though, instead of the usual 3. (Working smarter, not harder, right?)
Trader Joe’s – $5.99
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, 5.99
Tropical Traditions still hasn’t had a buy one get one free sale with free shipping, so I sucked it up for a local pint of coconut oil. This restocks the pantry. Mr. Crumbs used the last bit on those cookies he made.
Savemart – $3.49
Ciabatta Bread, 3.49
The lack of meal planning on my part this month meant that we didn’t have bread on hand when the idea for grilled sandwiches and tomato basil soup was suggested. We had everything else for dinner – EVERYTHING – so I bought a loaf baked by a local bakery. I read the ingredients on it too and it seemed legit, so we compromised.
Total End of the Month – $309.63
We made it under by $20.37. I can really only attribute this to the influx of unexpected produce. It couldn’t have come at a better time though, since it let me splurge on some testing ingredients and organic sugar. We went strawberry picking this month too, so I know that helped keep the budget in check too.