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 the first $319 of my budget.
Well, I knew it was going to happen. With only $11 real dollars left of the grocery budget, going over was nearly a sure fire bet. I tried really hard though, and can only see a couple items that we could have skipped out on. My apologies for the lack of photos. I figured ya’ll knew what milk and eggs looked like. 😉 Here’s how the shopping trips panned out.
Grocery Outlet – $3.99
Knowing there was very little money left in the budget, it was hard to not buy something I knew we were going to need. I ended up getting two dozen organic eggs here instead of the farmer’s market where they’re $4 for one dozen. The ones I bought weren’t labeled with anything regarding the ranging capabilities of the chickens, but at least they were fed non-GMO grain. And I think the yolks are dark… I haven’t bought conventional eggs in so long that I’m not sure I remember what to compare them to. You know, that would be a fun experiment when we get to protein and dairy… a side-by-side comparison of egg yolks! Note to self. 😉
Savemart – $5.98
This trip was only for milk. I made yogurt and used the rest for kefir. I cut back on my soaking the second half of this month in order to stretch the yogurt and kefir (thus cutting back on buying milk). It’s hard to put a finger on what we’ve been eating instead… we’re nearly out of oatmeal, so I know we’ve been eating some of that. We’ve also been munching on the leftover oatmeal chocolate cake from earlier in the week. I know the kids have been enjoying chocolate cake for breakfast. 😉
Fresh from D’Vine – $8.85
Peaches 2.69/lb, 6.99
Apples 1.99/lb, 6.71
Apricots & Apriums, 3.15
Plums/Apricots Mix 13.5lb, 2
Now THIS was the highlight of the month and I’ve been excited to share it with you guys since it happened, lol. I almost wrote a separate post just to share!
Trying to be wise and using another Groupon, we went to pick up some apples and other snacking and smoothie fruit for the house. As we walked in, there was a couple picking over boxes of various types of stone fruit – apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums. There was also a sign that said $2/bag.
I verified with the cashier that the bag meant what I thought it meant (fill it up for $2) and sure enough, it did. Turns out it was fruit that was past its prime and “needed to go,” so they were enticing frugal customers (like me) to clear it out.
Now let me clarify the size of this bag. It wasn’t your ordinary reenky deenky paper lunch sack. This was the same size as a “large” brown paper sack you’d find at a convenience store. Quite frankly – in my eyes – it was HUGE!
I pulled out my Clean 15/Dirty Dozen cheat sheet, skipped the peaches and continued to pick the best of the best plums and nectarines, filling the bag as much as I could without spilling over or making it too heavy to carry.
All said and done, it weighed out to be 13.5 pounds worth of stone fruit – for $2. I’ve already pureed it all up and frozen it into cubes, ready for smoothies. From that huge bag, I was able to save 15 pieces of whole fruit and made 108 ounces of puree – or the equivalent of 84 ice cubes!! For sure, this will carry us well over into the next few months.
Costco – $19.88
Organic Baby Kale 1.5lb, 3.99
Half & Half, 3.49
Mineral Water, 8.79
Mr. Crumbs and I have both been diligent about our daily smoothies, so we’re going through roughly one bag of kale every two weeks. With company coming in town, I didn’t want to skip out on creamer. Bananas for snacking and smoothies (and keeping in mind the newsletter tip – my bag had 10!), mineral water because I forgot to get it earlier in the month.
There’s still mineral water in our closet, so there’s a chance we won’t need to buy more for the next month. I don’t want to jinx it, but we’ll see.
Target – $8.23 (gift card)
Hormel Pepperoni, 2.99
Archer Farms Coffee, 5.24
Pepperoni for pizza and coffee because we drink it. 🙂 I used a gift card I earned from Ebates and paid nothing out of pocket.
Savemart – $5.98
Another uneventful trip for milk, although I’ll say that I really stretched out my last batch of kefir. It stayed on the counter and fermented for WAY too long, all in hopes to NOT have to buy milk before the end of the week. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I tried!!
Total End of Month – $371.91
This month ended over by nearly $42. I had been under or nearly at budget for the entire year until this month. I’m not really sure what happened, but my best guess is that trying to stock up AND incorporate new things may have caught up with me. It just boils down to me making better and likely more simpler decisions in the kitchen.
We are well stocked with beans and broth, so I may bump up soup to twice a week instead of once just to help curb the budget next month. Making dishes using inexpensive seasonal produce would be best (maybe serving over rice instead of pasta, since that’s what I have in the pantry), and pairing them with salads and homemade dressing would be even better. Hmmm… next week’s meal plan is going to be a challenge for sure!