I follow, closely, a blog called Grocery Cart Challenge. Gayle is awesome and so inspiring! She makes every attempt to feed her family for $60 a week, without coupons. She also allows other women to post their shopping successes and failures on her site and I have learned some awesome tips from looking at those. She encourages us to take a photo of what we bought, thus the photo. This picture does not include the 4 gallons of milk and 2 loaves of bread I bought later in the day. At first I felt kindof dorky, but it does put my money spent into perspective for me. Check out Gayle's site if you are serious about this budgeting thing!
One thing that posting this picture did was take me back about 6 or 7 years ago when I quit work. Groceries were SO much cheaper then! I remember taking Rick with me once. We ran into a friend of ours at Walmart and she had a full cart and spent around $250. We also had an overflowing cart (and I mean overflowing) and only spent $107. I will never forget it because Rick was so impressed with my frugal shopping. After I spent my budgeted amount yesterday (plus some ...), I looked in my cart and it was about 1/3 full. That really puts into perspective the high cost of groceries!!
It also showed me, when comparing it other women's pictures, is that we still buy a lot of convenience foods! I am trying to improve on this. I do cook the majority of our evening meals from scratch, but the rest is more convenient, I have to admit. And, we like what we like ... we are spoiled with our snacks! Change takes time, however, and I don't want to overly stress out my family!! :) I mean, really, taking away Eli's iced honey buns or Brynne's doritos might do them in!! And to decrease our milk intake ... whoa! And we are picky about our milk brand!
Here is a breakdown of what I bought:
tater tots $1.59
frozen broccoli .99
frozen multi-grain waffles 1.29
cake mix .79
cream of mushroom soup .49
3 lbs granny smith apples 1.99
96 oz apple juice $2.27
pizza sauce 1.00
grape jelly .88
cheddar cheese soup 1.42
(2) mac and cheese 1.48
bulk rice .88
brownie mix .86
2 cups shredded mozzarella 2.16
2 cups shredded cheddar 2.16
baby wipes 1.44
6 rolls toilet paper 1.27
paper towels 1.00
Lil Critter Immune C gummies 5.49
pint blueberries 2.98
(3) roma tomatoes .73
6 pk breakfast drinks 5.47
4 pk lightbulbs .96
(2) cereal 4.42 (coupon)
frozen mozz sticks .75 (coupon)
2% velveeta block 3.84 (coupon)
(2) french loaves 3.72 (coupon)
64 oz fabric softener 2.00 (ad match)
junior lunchable 1.48 (ad match)
peanut butter .90 (ad match)
(2) avocados 1.18 (ad match)
2.25 lbs. 80% lean ground beef 4.93 (ad match)
(4) gallons 2% milk $14.76
WONDER BREAD STORE
loaf whole grain bread $1.39
8 pk hamburger buns .69
Grand Total Spent: $87.66 ... that's $12.66 over goal. But, that's better than last week, even if only by $1.00!
To see where these items will be used in my weekly meal planning, look here.
One last thing. It occurred to me in the last couple of days, that there are actually 5 weeks in January, not 4. My goal is $75 a week times 5 this month. That's $375 if I stick to my goal, which I haven't met yet since I started all this. I have a budget of $500 per month available (although my goal is $300). When I looked in my expandable yesterday, after I had done my shopping, I had $62 left for shopping next Tuesday for that following week. We don't get paid until Thursday the 15th, so that's all that's left. So, I have two choices: I can only shop for a couple of days and go back on Thursday to finish; or, I can really tighten my belt and shop for a whole week with only $62. The competitive side of me is choosing the second option. But, I am going to go through our freezers and pantry to inventory what we already have, and cook from that. I know we have tons of food that can be used, so I am confident we will stay under our goal amount.