Today is the end of the month and it is time to review my $100/wk ($400/month) grocery budget.
Here is a breakdown of the totals:
$30 - local farmer for 2 bushels of organic winter squash (mostly carnival)
$2.92 - organic ginger and some organic bananas
$26.34 - grocery store:
organic rolled oats, organic rice, caramel apple, organic spices
(cinnamon & spearmint), pork tenderloin (on sale for $4.99/lb),
spicy tuna roll for me for lunch, organic red pepper
$10.12 - cheese, half and half, a few candy bars for my husband's lunch
$45.60 - milk cheddar, lettuce, carrots, bananas, plantain, rolls
$25. 17 - seltzer, beer, cheese, corn hot dog rolls
$38.63 - milk, produce
$57.90 - produce, yogurt, sour cream, broccoli, cheese, chips
$11 - cream cheese, frozen corn and other birthday party supplies
$24.26 milk, meatballs (L1's birthday party)
$21.00 cash for milk, celery, nuts
$22.17 seltzer, pie supplies
$11.88 - rolls, produce
$45.23 - meat, produce
$22.48 Jiva cubes (coffee, our indulgence)
I also had taken $40 out of the ATM but we ended up using only some of it on groceries.
As for how we fared? It was easier and harder than I thought. It was easier in that I was very aware of what I bought and didn't add anything extra into the cart. I also had to think in advance about what I was going to make. We also didn't eat meat very much. We did eat it but I worked very hard to stretch each pound so that we would get the most out of it. I used our eggs A LOT. We also pulled bits out of the freezer. For example we ate the chili out of the freezer for two days and the bag of organic corn (still half full in our freezer) has already been used in two separate recipes/meals with leftovers for lunch.
It was harder because:
- I had to plan ahead
- There are not usually sales on organics and whole foods so couponing and shopping sales weren't really options. I ended up shopping the "use today or tomorrow" produce for produce that wasn't in season.
- I also needed to think ahead about what starches/carbs we were going to have. Anything thing that might need to rise needed to be made earlier in the day.
- I had to be creative to make sure we didn't get bored. A limited budget meant that new recipes had to be minimized. Between the budget and my guilt over wasting food, the idea of trying something new that we might not eat was something I didn't consider in the past.
So how was it overall? I think this is something I am going to try and stick to. I think that the more I do it, the easier it would be.
As a final note, I spent less at the beginning of the month and more towards the middle. I do think that if I took money out and used cash, it would be easier to track but I would probably need to use an envelop system so that I could take $40 out for our misc. expenses. I am not sure how it will work with the holidays but I am planning to try.
Oh yeah, I am out of flour again.