Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Grocery Challenge Wrap Up

Happy to say I made it under my budget these last 3 weeks, granted, it felt a bit tougher this time. I think it would have been easier if I hadn't handed over my credit card to my daughter for her to buy $10+ out of the budget, plus I picked up a bunch of "wants" for the family rather than sticking to the essentials. Then again, I find myself torn as it's very difficult to tell your family they can't have something they want to eat when you know you make more in an hour than what's in this month's budget. I just like to know that I can do it, which I suppose is selfish in a way. I will say though that by having to keep track of what I have on hand and what I need, and really paying attention to my meal planning, I've really upped my food efficiency and significantly reduced the amount of food we waste. Anyway, this is how the last couple days played out...

Friday Mar. 17th
No spending.
Chuck roast with carrots and potatoes in the crock pot for dinner.

Saturday Mar. 18th
Got 4 weekend newspapers at CVS for $1.50 each. Used the $4 ECB I got earlier in the week for buying Colgate toothpaste and paid $2.00.
Leftovers for dinner.

Sunday Mar. 19th
No spending.
Cooked a frozen DiGiorno pizza for dinner.

Monday Mar. 20th
The kids are on Spring Break now. They hit me up with a list of food they wanted for the week. Since we actually have plenty of food plus we're leaving for our vacation in a couple days, and I don't want a bunch of perishable food sitting around while we're gone, I decided to pick up the lunchmeat and cheese they wanted for sandwiches and told them I'd get the rest of the stuff later.

Went to Kroger to finish out my donation spending as well as get the kid's stuff. Got...

2 packages Budding corned beef @ 0.69 each
1 package of sliced provolone cheese @ 1.99
9 boxes Psst macaroni and cheese @ 0.39 each
4 packages of Comforts baby food @ 0.69 each
total spent $9.64

I'm donating the macaroni and cheese and baby food. I initially was going to buy some more HBAs to donate but then decided to get food items instead.

I got back in the car and realized I still had a couple more dollars in the grocery budget and figured I'd go ahead and spend it tonight. Kids had yogurt and Hawaiian rolls on their list that I hadn't picked up yet... and I really didn't want to buy tonight as we have plenty of bread at home and the yogurt will go on sale at Meijer on Thursday. However, I decided to go check out Walmart of all places.

I am not a Walmart shopper. The main reason is that the closest Walmart to our house used to be 20 minutes away, and, everytime I went there the parking lot was packed and it took FOREVER to check out and I could never find anything because I only went there twice a year. Well, now there's a new Walmart that's a short distance from our house. In fact, it's actually closer than the Meijer...

Tonight I decided to go check it out. The other reason I wanted to check it out is that I keep reading on different blog posts that pop up in my Pinterest feed about all these people who feed their family of X on Y dollars a week just by shopping at Walmart and not using coupons. The only problem with those posts is that my family won't eat that way - meaning many of those meal plans posted are meatless meals or have a lot of processed foods that my family won't eat. The other thing is that most of these posts only count food in their budget, not other household items like paper goods and HBAs.  Anyhoos... I wanted to see what the prices were like at Walmart. After spending some time cruising down the aisles my conclusion was that they really weren't any cheaper than Kroger or Meijer. As far as the Walmart generics, Aldi is cheaper...

4 lbs of frozen tilapia was $19.98. I bought 2 lbs for $4.99 at Aldi last week. That's HALF the price. Canola oil was $1.98 for 48 oz. I got the same for $1.85 at Aldi. 10 lb bags of frozen chicken breasts were $19.98. That's $1.99/lb. You can do better when it goes on sale at Meijer or get it for $1.98/lb at the Meijer meat counter everyday and not have to buy 10 lbs. Hawaiian rolls were more expensive than the Kroger sale price this week. Their everyday price on Keebler cookies (2.00 for most kinds) and Rana pesto sauce (1.78 for a small container) were less expensive than the competition so I filed that away in my head for later. I know they price match advertised prices but that's too much of a PITA for me. They were about the same price on lots of stuff like the yogurt and lunchmeat. I ended up getting 4 more packages of Budding corned beef for $0.68 each (so a penny cheaper than Kroger).

Total spent: $12.36

Lunch was pan fried home made potstickers. Also made some roasted red pepper hummus to eat with carrots. Dinner was fried tilapia. I went shopping after dinner but when the kids saw the corned beef they had to eat a corned beef and provolone sandwich as a snack... then were too full to finish the sandwiches!

Tuesday Mar. 21st
No spending.
Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. That was the kiddos request. Then I had to make them grilled corned beef and Swiss sandwiches as a late night snack. I swear, these kids can EAT!

March Grocery Spending: $148.87
March Donation Spending: $19.76

I'm going to take April off as far as the strict tracking although I may post some random deals if I get some. Gonna try and concentrate some more on running and this crazy yard of mine!

Happy Spring Break!

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