January 17, 2010

Pantry Challenge - January 16th shopping

I decided to stray from the pantry challenge this week.  My goal is to still stay in the $150 budget for groceries this month but try as I did I could not resist stocking up on some items that went on sale this week. 

Kraft shredded cheese in 8 oz. packages were on sale @ 5 for $6.00 AND at the checkout I received a coupon for $5.00 off my next shopping trip to that store compliments of Kraft.  Somehow spending $6.00 now to save $5.00 later was an absolute no brainer.  We use a lot of mozzarella cheese.  The same store had ground beef for 99 cents a lb. with a 10 lb. limit and Frosted Flakes (14 oz. boxes) on sale for 99 cents (two box limit) and I had a coupon for $1.00 off two.  Canned petite diced tomatoes were on sale for 39 cents for a 14 oz. can.  I go through a lot of these in many recipes so I bought 20 cans.  I have not seen prices like that on tomatoes in a few years.  Half gallon jugs of orange juice were on sale for 99 cents. Bananas, eggs and salad fixins were at low prices also.  My DH was happy that I purchased 24 bottles of Vitamin Water for 20 cents a bottle.  Those are good deals. 

Hy-Vee grocery stores are now having a one weekend a month of "Red Hot Deals." The cheese,  ground beef, orange juice and cereal were all part of those deals. In the future I am going to pay special attention to my grocery spending during the month so that I have enough money set aside for these weekend deals.

I realize that the whole idea of the pantry challenge was to use up what you have on hand and refrain from stocking up thereby keeping your grocery bill low this month.  I just couldn't help myself. I am still on budget and will keep to that $150 budget for the month.

So this week I spent a total of $50.44 on groceries and thus far my running total for the month is $114.53.  Actually I have $5 more I can spend if you take into account the $5.00 coupon I have towards my next shopping trip.

What this has done for me:  I have reduced my grocery spending considerably and have still been able to take advantage of stockpiling deals. I have taken more care to analyze the grocery ads and stay on a budget.  I have supplemented my savings by making my own bread, rolls, hamburger buns and such.  For lack of a better word, I feel empowered that I have been able to reduce my spending and save money. 

This month we have had some out of pocket medical expenses to pay and while I had hoped that the money I had saved would actually go to savings, it is nice to have the extra money to pay bills too.

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