Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March Grocery Challenge Days 3 to 8 - Trying to Keep Up with the Family

This is the grab and go basket of breakfast and snack food my family ended up with as I've been too busy to fix them meals every single day and I decided it was less expensive for me to go out and shop for the things they wanted than to hand my credit card over to my daughter and let her take care of it!

Friday Mar.3rd
Small Meijer trip for some essentials. They have chuck roasts on sale for $2.99 a pound this week which is a great price. Also wanted to make a kale salad and lucked into some clearance kale. Spent money on the garlic paste tube because I find this more cost efficient for me in the long run and simpler too than having garlic cloves dry out in my pantry. Parmesan cheese was full price because I ran out! Got...

3+ lb chuck roast @ 9.03
3+ lb chuck roast @ 9.87
1 bag of chopped kale @ 1.61 (clearance price)
1 4-oz tube of garlic paste @ 3.99
1 6-oz tub shaved Parmesan cheese @ 3.89
paid $28.38
No coupons.


Saturday Mar. 4th
Bought my weekend papers at Walgreens today so I could use my $5 Register Reward before it expired on 3/9.  Of course the Register Reward didn't immediately scan as the ink on the Catalina was faded and the cashier immediately started making up a reason.... "I don't think you can use those on newspapers..." and while he was saying that the thing finally scanned and the register credited it. Ugh. I hate it when cashiers start pulling rules out of their butt. Newspapers are clearly NOT on the exclusion list and I have used Register Rewards on newspapers numerous times in the past.

4 weekend newspapers @ 1.50 each. Paid $1.00.

Made a chuck roast with potatoes and carrots in the crockpot. Should be enough to pick on for a couple days.

Sunday Mar. 5th
No spending.

I was gone all day as I left the house at 8 am to do a triathlon, then went to work after that and didn't get home until 1 am. I have no idea what my family ate, however they left me a list of things they wanted from the grocery store at my place at the table when I got home.

Monday Mar.6th
It was a bad food, fried food bonanza for dinner tonight. I wanted fried fish and figured if I was going to go through the trouble of getting out the fryer, might as well fry everything. Ended up with fried tilapia, fried green tomatoes, fried mushrooms, and fried pickles.... with a healthy serving of kale salad. After that, I had to go to work. My daughter really wanted to pick up some fruit and yogurt to make smoothies in the morning so I let her use my credit card. She left me the receipt the next morning - $10.42 for 5 containers of yogurt, some pears and pineapple.

Tuesday Mar.7th
Pretty much felt like a junk food buying bonanza today. Everyone in my family is requesting grab and go food because when I'm at work, no one cooks! I folded and went on a shopping spree.

First stop, CVS. I had $10 in ECBs that expired today. There was NOTHING I really needed at CVS but the kids wanted Kind Bars. Got 3 assorted boxes for $3.49 each, totaling $10.47. Used the ECB and paid $0.47 out of pocket.

Next stop, Marsh. I wanted to see if there were any double coupon deals worth doing. Plus, I had a free head of lettuce on my Fresh Idea card that expired today and I had just recently loaded their Fresh Lettuce App and had a $3 credit from it. I was curious to see how this would come off. Bought...

1 2-pk of Minute Rice microwaveable cups @ 1.99 (requested by hubs)
2 16-oz International Delights coffee creamers @ 2.49 (requested by a kid)
1 head of lettuce @ 1.29
subtotal 8.26
- 3.00 (Fresh Lettuce App credit)
- 1.29 (Fresh Idea card free lettuce digital coupon)
- 1.00 (off 2 International Delight creamers)
- 1.00 (double coupon credit)
- 0.50 (off Minute Rice)
- 0.50 (double coupon credit)
paid 0.97

So, the Fresh Lettuce App credit comes off automatically. Not sure if I like this feature as I like to control when I use my credits. My coupons doubled without a hitch so I'll probably be back to take advantage of this deal.

Next stop, Meijer. Got...

2 loaves Aunt Millie's Best Grains bread @ 4.49, buy one get one free
5 containers of Yoplait whips @ 0.50 each (requested by a kid)
3 8-oz packages of Meijer sliced cheese @ 2.49 each, buy two get one free
4 microwaveable cups of Zatarain's red beans and rice @  1.00 each (requested by hubs)
subtotal 15.97
- 0.55 (off Aunt Millie's Best Grains)
- 0.50 (off 5 Yoplait)
paid 14.92

Next was Kroger where I really couldn't find any great deals but I did find some clearance Curate bars. Ended up with...

4 Curate bars @ 0.25 each (clearance price)
1 box Chips Ahoy this @ 2.79
subtotal 3.79
- 2.79 (Chips Ahoy Free Friday download digital coupon)
paid 1.00

Final stop was Super Target where I had a Cartwheel coupon for 10% off Chobani Flips which was another kid request. Picked up 6 containers; 5 @ $1.07 and 1 @ $1.16. Total after the Cartwheel discount was $5.84.

Total paid $23.20

Dinner was a frozen pizza plus leftovers.

Wednesday Mar. 8th
After yesterdays junk food spending spree I decided I needed to take a close look at what I had and what I really needed as I'm blowing through the budget at an alarming rate. I came up with meal plans for the next week, looked at what was going to be on sale for the next sales cycle, then went out to pick up a couple more things before this week's sales cycle ended today.

Marsh: 2 boxes of Quaker Breakfast Flats @ 2.50 each
Used a $1 off 2 coupon that doubled. Paid $3.00

Fresh Thyme: 2 lbs of strawberries @ 1.25/lb. Paid $2.50.

Aldi: 2 gallons of milk @ 1.09 each. Paid $2.18

18.5 lb bag of dogfood @ 7.99 (sale price)
5 containers of Yoplait @ 0.50 each
2 loaves Aunt Millie's Best Grains bread @ 4.49, Buy One Get One Free
1 bag of tortilla chips @ 1.99
8 oz bag shredded cheese @ 2.00
subtotal 18.97
- 1.00 (coupon for Aunt Millie's)
- 0.50 (off 5 Yoplait)
paid 17.47

Total paid 25.15

Bread is going in the freezer. I decided to get some extra loaves because I tried it last night and liked it. I would never pay $4.49 for a loaf of bread, however, with the Buy One Get One Free sale plus the $1 off coupon, it came to $1.75 a loaf which is a reasonable price. Strawberries were a good price too. Second pound might get frozen for smoothies too if I see that we're not eating them pretty quickly.

Dinner tonight is taco salad.

So yikes! I'm slightly two-thirds through my budget and I've still got 2 more weeks to go. Kroger is starting a two week Mega sale cycle tomorrow and rumor has it that Turkey Hill ice cream will be included. We are pretty much out of ice cream and my family considers it a "necessity" so I've got to save some of the budget for that, and I'm pretty sure I'll need more cat food too. Otherwise, I've got to be a real stickler to staying focused on my plan!

February Grocery Spending: $106.14
February Donation Spending: $0

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