Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekly Shopping Trip - 1/26/09

So here I am at Week Two of menu planning. Is it bad to say that I'm a little surprised I'm here? LOL! Budgeting has never been a strength of mine and I usually quit before I get going. But actually, I had fun with the menu planning and I was really proud of myself last week with only going over my $75 budget by 58 cents! Which was wonderful motivation to give this week another try. Honestly, I would have stayed under budget, but Monkey's Lactaid Milk wasn't at Target...they were out. So I headed to Sprouts and it's about $1 more expensive per half gallon there. Ouch! Oh well. I'm not terribly upset considering it was my first week's shot at this.

This is a new week and new menu has been created! So here's this week's list:


Generic Saltines 1.09
Apple Juice 2.19
Lea and Perrin's Worcestershire 1.89
Generic Lemon Mineral Water 1.39
1 can Chef Boyardee Ravioli .94
1 can Diced Tomatoes .59
2 jars Barilla Pasta Sauce 4.18
Generic Honey Nut Cheerios 4.39
1 bag Starbucks Whole Beans 7.04
Nature's Own Wheat Bread 2.79
Honey Crisp Apples 4.38
Green Grapes 2.29
Generic Frozen Peas 1.79
Gluten-free Frozen Waffles 1.84
12 pack Sprite 3.00
1 gallon Milk 2.59
1/2 gallon Lactaid Milk 3.49
Generic OJ 1.99
Kraft Block Cheddar 2.00
Kraft Shred Cheddar 2.00
Right Guard 3.34
Pantene Hairspray 3.49
Double Roll Bounty Papertowels 2.99
12 pack Cottonelle 6.99

Total with coupons and Tax $69.48


Bulk Corn Meal - 1.37

Total with Tax $1.37

Grand Total $70.85

This Week's Challenges:

Toiletries and dry goods - A nice little chunk was taken out of this week's budget for toiletries and paper goods. But since these items last awhile, I hopefully won't see them on another grocery list for another few weeks. Half way through the store, I realized things were going to be really tight and I debated about putting the Sprite and Starbucks back. But since these were N's only two requests, I went ahead and kept them. He doesn't really ask for much, so I try to accomodate him when I can. So I took a few other things off my list to counter-balance and it worked out. (Drinkable yogurt to try on Monkey, hair stuff for me.)

No Proteins - You'll notice there is no meat in this week's list. We still have meat left over in the freezer from last month, so it's working out. While not a challenge now, I have a feeling this will catch up and bite me later.

This Week's Learned Lessons:

Don't under-estimate the list - Even though I had two meals from last week that didn't get made, thus going on this week's menu plan, I thought I'd have more wiggle room in the budget. The paper goods took that up pretty quickly. :-(

Impulse purchases - I CAN be disciplined about these when I really want to be. You'll notice NO chocolate this week's list. I'm rationing out all the bulk chocolate I purchased last week. I'm allowed nibbles a day instead of handfuls.

Improvise - My original menu plan was to make lasagne. But I couldn't find my gluten-free lasagne noodles at Target, Sprouts, OR Tom Thumb. So I opted for bulk corn meal to make home made polenta instead. I'm planning on baking and then layering like noodles in the lasagne. While I've never done this before AND it might be a total bust, it's keeping me in budget this week AND I didn't have to make an extra trip to yet another store.

Credits at Sprouts - Did you know you get a .05 credit for every bag you bring in and use? Or even if you don't use a bag? So I just took my little bulk bag of corn meal (originally 1.42) and by just not putting it into a Sprouts bag saved me 5 cents! Not a biggie, but I'm thinking, it adds up over time. Not to mention it helps me with my plan to Go Green-er. I have my own shopping bags, I just need to get in the habit of using them.

On a final note...

You'll notice that I attempt to put the brand name on the line items and generic if it's generic. For a couple reasons. One, sometimes the name brand is on sale and actually cheaper than the generic. (Kraft cheese this week.) Secondly, there are some things that I'm just really attached to the name brand (Pantene Hairspray) and don't really want to go generic. And lastly, there are some name brands I MUST stick with simply because they are gluten-free (Lea and Perrins Wooster, Barilla pasta sauce). Perhaps some of this will change as I go along, but I want to note that I'm still staying in budget without going all generic all the time.

I have a few dollars leftover as of right now, so if something little crops up, hopefully I won't go over budget this week. All in all, I'm happy for two weeks in a row!

To see other women involved in the Weekly Shopping Trip from Grocery Cart Challenge, so here.


  1. Wow! I totally admire you for doing this another week! I tried to do this once when J and I first got married. It's definitely not an easy task. Plus, I'm not much of a cook, although, my loving husband said I was a great cook. ;)

    I'm sure once *** is born and I'm home with him I'll be more inclined to cook. LOL! Unless I'm too wiped out from taking care of him and washing all those diapers!

    Happy cooking!!! ;)

  2. I can't believe that you do that! Our food budget is WAY more than that for a week. Although it does include diapers and wipe for 3 and prepackaged snacks too....those are outrageoous. But I would love to get any good recipes you have that are easy.... Great going on the budget!

  3. Leigh, our situations is just a leeetle bit different from yours. LOL! First off, we have one monkey, you have three. Secondly, you'll notice that I don't have to worry about lunch or much breakfast. Part of Monkey's tuition at his school includes his breakfast, lunch, two snacks a day and all the milk he wants. While he doesn't drink their milk (lactose issues), much of his food is paid through our tuition budget. I also keep diapers, wipes, formula, baby clothes in a separate budget line item. I'm sure if I had three kiddos, I wouldn't be able to do this under $75 either. LOL!

  4. A few things I've been meaning to comment on in the last two weeks:

    *I've always read/heard Tuesdays are the cheapest shopping days. For me this was mostly true at Kroger, which is lately too expensive for us even on Tuesdays.
    *I LOVE Target brand paper towels, but Bounty may not be a brand you're ready to give up.
    *Also, not to be contradictory, but my Sprouts usually does double ads on Wednesday ... meaning you can bring in two ads for one item I think. (It would help if I actually did this.) Anyway, you can look at their weekly ads online and print what you need. It may be worth checking into.
    (The novel ends here.)

  5. Wow, you are doing really well with sticking to budget. I really struggle with staying on budget for the whole month. Oh, I do fine when I go in for the one "big trip" each week or two but then I run out of veggies or milk and go in for other stuff.

    One thought..don't know how frugal anyone wants to be...but Wal-Mart will comp other stores advertisements. It's kind of a pain, but if there is something advertised, you can do it all at Wal-Mart and eliminate trips to other stores. I've also been using coupons a lot lately. Not going crazy or anything, but saving a couple of dollars on stuff you are going to buy anyways helps a bit! Kroger has been tripling coupons up to 39 cents and doubling up to 50 cents.

    And I do love when the stores give you a few cents credit for using your own bag.

  6. I am totally impressed. I have tried this several times and since the 2 of us tend to be picky menu planning doesn't always work so I give up. Reading these posts is making me want to try again. If I do I will let you know and maybe you can help me to be accountable.