We just completed our FOURTH week of the grocery budget, and I’m back to give you the update. 🙂 (If you want to read my original post, you can find it here.)
Quick recap: we are a family of five (only two adults) with a monthly budget of $1,250, which works out to $250/week (I started the week of 12/29 and need to make it all the way to the end of January). I do my grocery shopping Sunday afternoon after church and usually hit three different grocery stores: one for bulk items, one for good organic items and one for great prices. The word grocery is a little misleading, because our total budget includes: diapers (can’t wait till these leave the list!), toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, etc.
Week 1: 12/29/19 Spent $426.93 (I previously had $398.84 but I left out the mid week purchase)
Week 2: 1/5/20 Spent $227.30 (I previously had $198.69 but, again, I left out the mid week purchase)
Week 3: 1/12/20 Spent $432.08 (This includes the mid week grocery purchases)
Week 4: 1/26/20 Spent $187.84 (This includes the mid week grocery purchase)
Total Spent: $1,274.15 of $1,250.00, so I am over $24.15 for the month and still have to complete this week. But, even though I am over on the numbers, I am winning! Today was huge, so let’s head to the wins and losses for the week and I’ll break it down there.
1) No eating out for the FOURTH week in a row! What?! I am so excited. Today, was a big test. My girl had ballet and we had lots of errands to run before and after. I made sure to bring lunch and plenty of snacks for the kids, but one of our stops was Whole Foods. I don’t know what it is about that place, but I just want to go crazy in the store. I always buy the kids a cookie when we go there, so I was waiting for them to say something about that. But nothing. Crickets. I was so surprised, and it made me think that maybe, just maybe, they never really cared about the cookies in the first place. I actually left the store with only two items: shampoo and toothpaste. Woohoo! And, we passed quite a few coffee shops along the way and I managed to avoid them all. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was a constant conversation in my head, but I made it. Once again, the grocery list has been THE KEY to all of this. I am still spending about an hour on the weekend pulling out the list, checking the pantry, checking fridge and, now, checking the freezer (see my post on the freezer decluttering that took place this past weekend) to see what I have and how I can utilize those items on my menu before bringing more items home from the grocery.
2) We ate all of our leftovers AGAIN! PLUS, we reduced the stock in the freezer by half. Unfortunately, some food did end up in the bin. When I made my vegetable soup, I threw in a bag of the cut okra. My husband gamely ate a bowl and then threw his hands up and said ‘No more!’ He just couldn’t take the okra. I had it the second day and had to toss it. The corn on the cob didn’t make it either. We love corn, but it had just been in there tooooo long.
3) Third week in a row with no takeout coffee! I know I mentioned this in number one, but I just had to throw it out there again.
The loss is knowing we are over the budget for the month. It’s a bummer, but I am going to keep going. I will make this budget. February, I’m looking at you!
Dinner Menu Week 4:
Monday: Shredded chicken leftovers/riced veggies (frozen)/rice /spinach/tomatoes
Tuesday: Crockpot Ham Hock (frozen) stew with chicken stock/cut okra (frozen)/corn (frozen)/sliced carrots (frozen)/green beans (frozen)/peas
Wednesday: Crock pot chicken stew (with shredded chicken leftovers)/diced tomatoes/spinach
Thursday: Flounder/Rice/Julienned Carrots and canned Peas
Friday: Homemade pizza for the kids/Leftovers for the adults
Saturday: Leftovers – Meatballs (that were already frozen in the freezer)/Mac and Cheese/Baked Beans
Lunches are very simple: ham sandwiches or PB&J or grilled cheese for the kids and a salad for me.
Breakfast: eggs, sausage and toast on the weekdays/ quiche and oatmeal on the weekends
There it is! Our fourth week menu and grocery budget.
What about you? Do you make a menu and grocery list before you shop? Let me know in the comments!