Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Finishing The Month Grocery Wise....

Below are the last shopping trips I did for the month of February and my final numbers...

Farmer's Market:  $26.00
1 pint of clam chowder
1 pint of butternut squash bisque
1 bunch mustard greens
1 head of butter lettuce

Big Y:  $98.19

Protein: $2.99
2 dozen eggs

Bread: $5.47
1 loaf of white Freihoffer bread
1 (6 count) package of croissants
1 package of lavash

Fruit:  $10.05
1 quart of strawberries
(almost) 2lbs of grapes

Vegetables:  $9.20
1/2 lb olives from olive counter
3 (10 oz) packages of whole white mushrooms
1 bag of baby spinach

Beverages:  $32.98
1 12 pack of Snapple
3 cases diet Coke
4 (6 pack) of Pepsi

Snacks:  $14.29
3 bags of Doritos
2 boxes of Entenmann's cookies

Frozen:  $3.50
1 bag of Ore Ida zesty fries

Bath:  $11.99
24 pack of Charmin TP

Pantry:  $2.50
1 bottle of blue cheese salad dressing

Misc:  $5.22
Bottle deposits

Big Y:  $16.62

Pantry:  $8.36
2 bags of Dominos Brown Sugar
1 pouch of peanut butter cookie mix
1 package of 50 cupcake liners

Snacks:  $6.28
2 packages (6 count each) mini spongecake dessert shells
3 boxes of Entenmann's chocolate chip cookie (Buy 1/Get 2)

Produce:  $1.98
2 large lemons

Misc:  $.09

Total for this week's shopping:  $140.81

Total spent for February Groceries:  $369.34*
* $19.34 OVER my self-imposed lowered budget

I know some people would beat themselves up over $19.34.  But, I am not one of them.  I am fairly happy with the amount I spent this month and see that, as I have said over the course of the last few weeks, drinks/beverages is the area that needs the most work currently.  Also, some of the purchases from the last trip (the brown sugar and cookie mix specifically) will be used next month.

At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to spend $7000 or under for all groceries, bath & beauty, cleaning, and animal food/supplies.  This equals approximately $584 per month.  Thanks to my handy dandy Excel spreadsheet, I can see that my total spent over the last two months equals $895.47.  That means I am under my goal currently by a fairly healthy $272.53.

Going into March, my hope is to continue to stay "under" the $584 mark!  I am thinking ahead to the end of the year when my grocery bills will be much higher due to the holidays.  I would like my "cushion" to be fairly substantial by then so I can still meet/exceed my grocery goals for the year!

Even without another big Costco trip planned for March, I am going to attempt to keep my grocery spending to $450.   Originally I wanted to cut the budget lower than that but noticed that I am running low on almost all the animal supplies - bedding, hay, and food for all three furbabies.

It's going to take some extra effort and planning on my part but I feel up to the challenge this coming month! =)


  1. Great job, Traycee!! I was over my budget goal for groceries last month, mostly because I just...decided to not pay any attention? I don't know. I'm back on track this month, though, and should even come in under my goal. Which is good, because I would like to cut it down even more...

    Anyway, I wanted to ask -- do you shop to stock a pantry or do you shop for the food you need now and in the next couple of weeks? I ask because I've really been able to keep our grocery totals relatively low AND at the same time keep enough food on hand that if we just straight up couldn't buy food for even a few months, we would be ok (barring fresh dairy). For example, right around Christmas, Winn Dixie had a fantastic sale on granulated white sugar, even cheaper than the price I can get on the bulk bag at BJs. So I picked up 8 bags of sugar, which should hopefully last me to the next holiday season. And, here's the thing. I won't buy it until it's that low (or comparable) again. I do the same thing with flour, although the sale cycle is a little different and our humid climate too means I have a different amount I can reasonably store. Actually, I do this with almost everything. I have set prices that I really try not to go over for most of the groceries I buy. There are always exceptions and my set prices aren't necessarily the LOWEST prices I can find on any one food, just the price I am willing to pay for the quality I expect. It takes a bit to move from buying for the next week to buying to have things always (more or less) on hand, but for me it is so worth it in terms of food security and overall budget. Thrifty Mom in Boise has a little series on building pantry for $5/week, which is helpful for starting out, and there are tons of articles about food storage and building a pantry that articulate this better than I am. Also -- if you do this already and I have been reading your grocery totals wrong -- I am sorry! It's just been so helpful to me that I wanted to share. :)

    1. Laura,
      Thanks for the tips and I will definitely be checking out Thrifty Mom's blog and series!
      I have been thinking about starting a price book for awhile now - it seems like maybe it's time to do it!!! I am nowhere near "good enough" to plan as far as you do in advance but am definitely trying.
      Papa and I talked a bit about the whole grocery/food thing yesterday. (I will probably write a separate post about it in the next week or two.) We are looking for a balance between getting the best prices on staples (like sugar, flour, etc) and spending a little more on quality local ingredients from farmers/farmer's markets once the spring/summer start up again.

    2. I don't have a super official price book, but I do have general price points that I try to maintain and for some things that I buy over and over again I am able to keep pretty exact prices in mind.

      I totally hear you on prioritizing how you spend your grocery money. For me, when I was trying to be a super frugal, super couponing, only buy the cheapest thing kind of consumer I found that I was consumed by groceries all the time, we didn't really like the food and it actually triggered a lot of anxiety (which I struggle with anyway).

      This all works better for me when I try to find the best value for my money, with value encompassing my own particular priorities regarding food and nutrition. I still use so many of the tips I've learned from others who may shop slightly differently than me, but I don't feel beholden to their values in the way that I did during that crazy-making (for me) phase. One thing I did have to do was kind of remove myself from everything and just sit down and think about what ARE my priorities for food and nutrition and then actually prioritize them.

      You've inspired me to write a post on my blog rather than take up your whole comment section. Really, I just wanted to further encourage you as you continue in this journey!!

  2. Great job with keeping to your planned budget, TraceeBee! High Five to you! I know from experience that it can be a tough adjustment when you decide to lower your budget but you did it and you should be proud of yourself!! Good luck to you on the coming month- I know you can do it! :)

    1. Thank you Dawn! I wasn't perfect but I am learning and it felt good to be that close to target!!! =)