My grocery budget for our family of 4 is $330 each month. This real food budget includes food, toiletries, household items as well as health & beauty products. It also includes EVERY meal, not just dinner. This post is our monthly budget accountability session, where we share what we spent on food for August 2015. You can read previous reports HERE.
I get a strange feeling when I write these reports… a combination between excitement (to see the total for food prices), nervousness (to see the total for food prices) and “facing the music” (to see the total for food prices).
But I do it every month because it teaches me SO MUCH about my own spending habits (both good and bad). And I know it encourages you.
So I’m taking one for the team.
Except I have a disclaimer for this month.
So I’m kinda winging those bits, going off memory and my Instagram account of the food we ate. I promise I’ll do better next month!
Grocery Outlet – $6.30
Our contribution to family dinner that night. We took this chicken along with the veggies from the previous week’s CSA box and headed over to my dad’s to cook.
Grocery Outlet – $3.19
To replenish the pantry. I’ve been baking up a storm lately with zucchinis (for these muffins) and sweet potatoes. Have you ever had a runny yolk over pan-fried sweet potatoes? OMG. Heavenly.
But let’s just call out the fact that THE COST OF EGGS HAVE GONE UP!
What’s up with the food prices? Am I the only one?
CSA Box #13 – $21.59
Ummm… beyond the lettuce (there’s usually two), Swiss chard and tomatoes, I really don’t remember what was in this box. Darn garden tomatoes are drowning my memory!
Costco – $91.80
bread flour 50lbs, 11.59
rolled oats, 8.99
natural peanut butter, 10.99
cheddar cheese, 8.49
unsalted butter, 8.99
whole chickens 2, 12.77
Mostly to replenish kitchen staples. Mr. Crumbs made this trip for me and picked up everything I had on the list. Flour for baking, oats for breakfast and baking, PB is a staple, cashews for snacking, cheese for grilled sandwiches and dinners, butter for baking, chicken for meals and coffee… because this mom runs on coffee.
Savemart – 19.16
chicken thighs/drumbsticks, 7.16
chicken thighs/drumbsticks, 10.11
For dinner. We hosted company this night for classic fried chicken (in coconut oil), homemade macaroni and cheese and some other yummy dishes.
CVS – $3.47
“Girl stuff.” ‘nuff said.
CSA Box #14 – $21.59
I don’t remember everything that was in this box, and you can’t see it because of the MASSIVE bunch of basil, but I do remember there was basil (duh), tomatoes and zucchini.
I’m pretty sure there was also two types of lettuce and red kale and celery.
Grocery Outlet – $64.95
Jasmine rice, 2.99
granny smith apples, 2.99
nitrate free bacon 4lbs, 6.99
dried oregano, .99
dried Italian seasoning, .99
turkey sausage, 2.99
whole chicken, 5.96
string cheese x20, 4
havarti cheese, 2.16
cheddar cheese, 3.99
mandarin oranges, 2.49
pomegranate tea x2, .99
pork roast, 5.85
bananas x2, 1.99
My first big trip before school started. Apples, cheese sticks, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges and bananas for school lunches and after school snacks.
Now, I know I said I wouldn’t buy cheese sticks, but these were priced cheaper than the brick of cheese. So I made an exception.
The dried spices were for the spice cabinet. Onions, carrots and rice are staples. So are expensive eggs.
Mr. Crumbs has been drinking iced tea lately, so that was for him. Pork roast and whole chicken for dinners. Turkey sausage for a breakfast hash, bacon because we got Swiss chard in the CSA box and because YUM.
Savemart – $5.13
Paper baking cups x2, .99
discounted bananas x2, 1.49
I am so happy to announce that this is the last time I plan to buy paper baking cups!!!
I have a set of silicone baking cups already, but it’s not a full set. I have 6 maybe of one kind, 5 of another and they’re not the same size… so anytime I’m testing a recipe, I have to make 6 at a time. Which is a pain since most muffin recipes make 12-18 good sized muffins.
So I bought paper muffin liners, but I’m using Swagbucks this month to buy silicone ones for good. YEAH!
More bananas… care to guess what recipe I’ve been testing? 🙂
CSA Box #15 – $21.59
Clearly, this basket was designed for a stir-fry. So that’s what we did. For a sauce, I combined leftover orange marmalade and sweet chili sauce and splashed some liquid aminos in it. Way. Good.
Savemart – 2.48
gallon milk, free
bell peppers x3, .33
discounted bananas, 1.49
Savemart has been running a promotion on milk – buy 5 and get one free. I used my free coupon for this gallon of milk, plus bought a few peppers to “fill in the gaps” with the CSA box (I had everything else for a stir fry) and more bananas. We froze these for smoothies.
Dollar Tree – 2
elbow macaroni, 1
garlic powder, 1
A quick trip to see if they had anything good when I found over one pound of pasta (100% durum wheat, NOT enriched) for $1! I bought a bag and garlic powder, since it was on my list.
Grocery Outlet – 27.92
toilet paper, 6.99
cane sugar, 1.99
coconut oil, 5.99
whole grain spaghetti, 4.99
Replenishing for school. Olives, nectarines, plums and apples are mostly for school lunches and after school snacks. We’re running low on coconut oil (since we’re making this bread all the time) and I found a 10lb bag of 100% whole grain spaghetti for just $5 – that’s only 50¢ per pound!
I also picked up natural cane sugar. It’s one small step better than granulated white sugar. We don’t eat much sugar at all, but we do some recipe side work that involves sugar, so I bought some.
And toilet paper. Mark today down in the books folks – we bought toilet paper!!
Just so you know, I don’t take this toilet paper purchase lightly. I used a calculator to ensure I was getting the best deal possible per square foot. Which meant choosing the NAME BRAND in the SMALLER PACKAGE.
Totally crazy, I know. I encourage you to do the same.
CSA Box #16 – $21.59
little red gem lettuce
green bell peppers
We turns the lettuce into salads, ate the beans as a side dish and will make a stir-fry this week with the peppers. We’re snacking on the apples, going to make muffins with the squash and I’m not sure about the jalapenos… maybe I’ll pickle them!
Grocery Outlet – $9.47
Eggs for more baking and a totally amazing breakfast hash (because remember sweet potato + runny egg yolks = AMAZING!). Clearly, the food prices for eggs hasn’t deterred me enough to not buy them (despite the fact that they went up 80¢ since the start of this post!)
Fruit for school lunches and snacks.
Monthly Total for August 2015 – $322.23
I did three things differently this month that I hadn’t done so far this year:
1) I counted how many Thursdays there were (4), multiplied times $21.59 (the cost of the CSA box) and deducted it from our budget ($330).
Seeing this number and consciously telling myself I had only $243 to spend was a mind game, but it worked. Besides, your mental outlook on budgeting is half the battle anyway.
2) I only shopped once a week.
This is partly due to the fact that school started and Saturday mornings are really the only good time to shop, but my theory in that shopping less would mean spending less held true. I made a typical round – Dollar Tree, Grocery Outlet (they’re right next to each other) and then Savemart (on the way home). It’s a one mile trip in all, and since I’m shopping by myself, I’m done in an hour.
3) I documented my shopping along the way!