September Groceries: The Final Total

My computer has been acting up like crazy here, and our TDS DSL mimics that of the old dial up service we used to have, so blogging has been tough lately.  You guys know I love adding pictures, and that process has been making blog posts considerably slow. I am working on a fix/replacement for this, so please just bear with me!

My first shopping trip was a huge success, which resulted in no extra trips to the store for something that was forgotten! That was a complete blessing, as we are so busy this time of the year that I hate to spend the little extra time I have in the store.

I did have one revelation during the first two weeks, and that was to make my grocery shopping trips twice a month instead of every two weeks.  Like I said earlier, we are pretty busy, things come up and shopping doesn’t always happen every two weeks or necessarily even need to be every two weeks, so I think twice a month will be best for us.

Menu planning and deciding how much of everything I need did take a bit longer with the first trip, but I knew how much I needed of most things we buy by the time the second trip came around, so it was much easier.

Right now we are going to stick with the $600 a month grocery budget and see how that goes. Our budget includes food, cleaning supplies, paper products, pet food, toiletries, over the counter medicine, and some car maintenance items.

The budget feeds 4 of us, which includes an 11 year old the size of most adults and we also often buy or prepare items for our oldest daughter who is away at college.

Sams Trip

I let K help take inventory of the items we had in the pantry and freezer before we went shopping.  This was our extra homeschool lesson for the day, and she really enjoyed helping out and learning all at the same time.  She also helped make our menu plan and list of all items needed.  It was fun teaching her how to plan a menu based on what you have and what is on sale.

We spent $88.08 at Sam”s on the items pictured above.  I was able to get about 6-8 months’ worth of allergy medicine for $29.87!  This probably kicked my grocery totals over for the month, but I won’t have to buy it for several months!

I really love getting my butter at Sams.  I just throw what I don’t need right now into the freezer, and we never run out.  The 4 pack was $11.48, which is better than the store brand at most stores I shop at.  Butter is one of those grocery items that are rapidly rising in cost these days.

Kroger Trip

The 50 lb bag of dog food I bought didn’t quite make it in the picture, but other than that, this is everything we got at Kroger for a total of $83.29 after using $11.96 in coupons.

I was able to get the Bagels for free from a Kroger home mailer coupon given to me by my dear step-mom, and I also got the pot pie for free after loading it onto my Kroger card the previous Friday.  If you didn’t already know, Kroger offers a freebie every Friday; you just log into your Kroger account and add the digital coupon to your card. It’s just that simple…..and free.

walmart1

Walmart was my last stop of the day.  Sorry the color is funky in some of the pictures.  It was getting pretty late by the time I got the shopping done, unloaded, lined up for pictures and then put away.

I’m hoping 5 gallons of milk is going to make it until the next shopping trip.  I’m not sure I can fit much more in the refrigerator, and I don’t really like freezing milk.

walmart2

The Kellogg’s cereal was being loaded in the buggy to be pushed up front when we got to Walmart.  They were selling it for $1 a box, and of course I had $1 off 3 coupons, making it just .67 cents each after coupons.

I have been getting quite a few of those Go Go Squeeze applesauce packs lately, and I figured that many of you might be wondering about this new trend.  They are on sale for $1.98 at Walmart now and I have been using many (as many as I can get a hold of) $1 off coupons to get them for $.98 each.  My kids love these for ballpark snacks and they are awesome for our homeschool group field trips.  Sometimes convenience items just have to make an appearance, but I always like it when they are healthier versions.

walmart3

walmart4

We used $12.80 worth of coupons, and price matched the soup, grapes, Libby’s vegetables and the orange juice.  I also received a whopping $.17 back from submitting my receipt to the Walmart savings catcher.

Our final total for Walmart was $257.11.  This was a bit more than I had hoped for, but considering all the extras I bought this week (oil, oil filter, medicine), it’s not too bad.

The week prior to this I had made a run into Sam’s while we were in the area and spent $11.53 on a big jar of pickled okra, 9 pack of raisin english muffins and a 10# bag of sugar.

In the end, the total for the final trip(s) of September was $440.01, making the grand total for September $672.86.  While I did go over budget by $72.86, I had that money in my grocery account from during the summer months when we were away from home a lot.

If I continue to go over budget, I will either plan cheaper meals or think about increasing the budget some.  In the end it will all depend on the family budget, food waste and what kinds of food we are eating.

What is your budget and family size?  If you don’t mind sharing.  

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Grocery Budget: Last Week of August 2013

One of the biggest questions I have always gotten from my friends is about my grocery budget and what we buy.  I admit that when I read other blogs, I love to see how much they spend as well as what they get for their money.  I find that I often get some ideas for things I would like to try or ways to save even more money.

We budget $150 a week for a family of 4-5 (oldest is in college but is home often).  This money is for food, cleaning supplies, paper products, pet food, toiletries, over the counter medicine and some car maintenance items.  I would love this amount to be lower, but while trying to include more lean choices of meat and more produce, I find that this amount is probably right where it needs to be.

DSCN3257

Sadly, I only have a picture of my Target trip this past week.

The good news is that I scored some great deals at Target.   I fully intended on posting these deals after I bought them for all to see and be able to do, but the last week has been pretty hectic getting ready for school and working on home projects, that I just didn’t get it done.  I promise to do better at getting these deals posted as soon as I can in case any of you want to do them too.

I was able to get everything in the picture for a total of $14.80!  Amazing.  I was so excited.

Since some of these deals are not available anymore, (the coupons and savings most likely are, but the prices may be different) I will just give a quick breakdown of what I bought and what coupons I used to show you how you can often get some great deals at target.

  • Up and Up disinfectant wipes $1.87 (saved 5% using Target Cartwheel App) Final price $1.77.
  • Girls Circo Leggings on sale for $5 (saved 15% using Target Cartwheel App) and used a Target mobile coupon for $3 off $10 on childrens clothing.  Final price $2.75.
  • Girls Circo Tunic on sale for $5, used the above $3 on $10 mobile coupon to make the final price $3.50.
  • Snickers Bites $2.66, used a $1 manufacturer coupons and a $1 Target mobile coupon for a final price of $.66.
  • Market Pantry Wafer Cookies $1.26 (saved 5% using Target Cartwheel App) and used a $1 Target mobile coupon for a final price of $.24.
  • Market Pantry Apple Juice $1.89, (saved 5% using Target Cartwheel App) and used a $1 Target mobile coupon for a final price of $.84.
  • Dasani water $1.49 for the thirsty shopper
  • Up and Up hand soap $.89 x 2 (saved 5% using Target Cartwheel App) and used a peelie coupon for $1 off 2 Up and Up hand soaps.  Final price $.34 each.
  • Gillette Series shaving cream $1.97 x 3.  I used a $6 on 3 manufacturer coupon to make $.09 on this deal.  Hubby doesn’t use shave cream, he likes shaving soap. but big girl and I could care less what our shaving cream looks or smells like.  It’s free!
  • Market Pantry Soup $1.22 x 3.  I used a $1.50/3 Target Coupon to get these for a final price of $.72 each.  These are the big cans comparable to Campbell’s Chunky Soup.
  • Index cards $.50 x 4 (saved 10% using Target Cartwheel App) and I also used a Target Mobile coupon for $1/4 Up and Up school supplies.  Final price $.22 each.  I have no idea how the Cartwheel took 12 cents off.  It should have been either 10 cents for after coupon or 20 cents for before coupon, but I have no idea how it came to 12 cents.

I also have a Target Redcard (debit) that saves me an extra 5% (recommending the Debit card only, I do not recommend credit cards) on purchases as well as giving me free shipping.

I’ll take all the savings I can get without having to use credit!

To get Target mobile coupons sent to your phone, just text the word OFFERS to 827438. You can use each mobile coupon once.  If you want to do a deal again, you can get the coupons sent to another phone in your house to do a separate transaction.

I always give the Target Cartwheel coupons to scan first, then mobile coupons and then any other coupons.  Sometimes the cartwheel takes the percent off before the mobile coupon and sometimes it take the percent off after the coupon.  I think it really has it’s own mind!

I got home quite late after buying my groceries at Kroger, and I just didn’t have it in me to take pictures.

I did spend $67.12 at Kroger on items like milk, eggs, cheese, green tea, toilet paper, noodles, garlic bread, crackers, pickles, oatmeal and a bunch of produce.  I was able to get 2 bags of cuties for $.99 each off the marked down produce rack (this is one of the only stores around here that has one) and peaches, nectarines, plums and gala apples for $.99 a pound.

Hubby spent $19.07 at Dollar General on canned chicken and baked beans.

Our grand total for the week was $100.99 which brings the total for August (5 weeks) to $759.18.  Wow that sounds like a bunch, but this month did have 5 Fridays in it!  So I ended the month over by only $9.18.  I’m glad I was able to make up for going over so much earlier this month.

GROCERY TIP ~ The best thing about a grocery fund or envelope that you contribute a set amount to each week is that what you don’t spend one week is in there for future weeks.  You can afford to go over at a later date if you have saved up some money over time in the grocery account. You can take advantage of that great meat sale or whatever else comes up.  I find this extra money is very handy at holidays when the list is a bit bigger to cook those special meals.

How are you doing with your grocery budget?  Need help or have a suggestion?  Send me an email or leave a comment.  With the price of groceries steadily going up and the size of the product going down, we all need all the help we can get.  

Grocery Budget: Fourth Week of August 2013

One of the biggest questions I have always gotten from my friends is about my grocery budget and what we buy.  I admit that when I read other blogs, I love to see how much they spend as well as what they get for their money.  I find that I often get some ideas for things I would like to try or ways to save even more money.

We budget $150 a week for a family of 4-5 (oldest is in college but is home often).  This money is for food, cleaning supplies, paper products, pet food, toiletries, over the counter medicine and some car maintenance items.  I would love this amount to be lower, but while trying to include more lean choices of meat and more produce, I find that this amount is probably right where it needs to be.

walmart 8-23-13

We got to do some more ad matching at Walmart this week on the following items:

Cottage Cheese $1.99
Plums $.88
Grapes $1.29
Milk $2.99
OJ $2.50

Ad matching saved me $4.93 this week and I earned $2.00 from Ibotta.
walmart 2 8-23-13

I had a full menu planned out to include breakfast and lunch, so this made my trip go so much smoother.  I actually was able to make sure we had all the food for each meal.

walmart 3 8-23-13

I didn’t have as many coupons to use this week since I bought a lot more store brands.  I was able to save $4.50 with the coupons that I did use.

I spent a total of $102.12 at Walmart this week.

staples

We spent $6.13 at Staples on a few school supplies.

I had one more composition book (they were $.10), but big girl needed one for college.

kroger

A couple weeks ago, after checking out at Kroger, I realized I had gotten a catalina coupon for B1G1Free Green Mountain Coffee.  Since hubby was about out of his “rich man coffee”, I made a quick run in to get some with that great coupon.

I like to spend $.40 or less on each K-cup.  Sometimes it is hard, but many times I am able to meet that goal.  I purchased these 24 K-cups for $.38 after tax.

So I spent $9.00 at Kroger this week.

target 8-23-13

….. and a mere $32.09 at Target.  (haha)  I was able to use quite a few coupons at Target which saved me well over $20.

I also included one of those items (candy thermometer) that I keep on my “list” until there is a little more room in the budget.  It’s always the things we don’t need right away that get put on this list.  So I remember I need them, but can work them into the budget as able.

My grand total for the fourth week of August is $149.34.  I am pretty excited about that! I feel like I got quite a bit of stuff this week.

So far the total spent for the month of August is $658.19.  I am still over for the month, but maybe I will bring that amount down quite a bit.  There is still one week left!

How are you doing with your grocery budget?  Does your amount spent go up or down when school starts? 

Are you familiar with Ibotta?  Would you like me to do a post about Ibotta?

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Grocery Budget: Final Week Of May 2013

People are always asking me how we get our groceries for such a small amount compared to what they spend. So I post our grocery trips here so you can see what we buy. We currently budget $150 a week for a family of 4 to 5 (big girl is at college most of the time) food, non food grocery items, cleaning supplies, pet food, health and beauty, over the counter medicine and some car maintenance items. This amount is still a bit higher than I would like, but I am learning that with the items included in our budget and the price of items in our area, this amount is really not that bad. When you are trying to eat a healthier diet consisting of leaner meat, lots of fresh produce, and more real food, your grocery bill will tend to be a bit higher. You just get creative and find other ways to save.

Just a reminder that this month there are 5 Friday’s, so that means the grocery budget for the month is $750 total instead of the normal $600.

Kroger 5-31-13

I spent $61.66 at Kroger on these items (44.1# bag of dog food missing from picture).  It was time for everyone to get new vitamins and they were on sale B1G1 for 50% off.  The milk was also on sale for $2.99, which is a great price for this area.

I had hubby and the kids with me and as you can see, they team up and ask for certain “other” things to be purchased.

I can take kids with me and stay to the list and budget, but kids and hubby make things go differently!  So who do you guys think the problem is?  (ha ha)

walmart 5-31-13

I spent $83.42 on these items at Walmart.  It seems like this week we needed more non food items than we normally do.

Hubby also spent $22.04 at Dollar General on green tea, chicken and a couple of energy shots.

My total for the week ended up over at $167.12, but my total for the 5 week month came in under budget at $733.57.  

Not too bad I suppose.  I didn’t shop as many deals and sales or use as many coupons as I normally would, so I think it turned out okay.

Finding any great deals?  How is your grocery budget going?  

Don’t have a budget?  Check out my series on creating a budget, it’s a great way to control your money instead of letting it control you.  

making a habit out of living frugal…..

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