July 02, 2010

Grocery Shopping - July 1st and the $150 Challenge

$150.00 Challenge

No pictures of the groceries, sorry.  It was too hot yesterday to set all the groceries out on a table to take a picture. Here is what I purchased at Fareway and Hy-Vee and Wal-mart yesterday.

6 pints of blueberries @ 93 cents a pint  - $5.58 - Sale
1 small cantaloupe - .94 cents - Sale
2 lbs. of bananas @ .49 - total 98 cents - Regular price
2 loaves of half price French bread @ .57 - $1.14 - Sale
2 Bags of potato chips @ 88 cents - $1.76 - Sale
2 bags of bagels @ $1.19 a bag - $2.38 - Regular price
2 loaves of Sara Lee Whole Wheat Bread @ 99 cents - $1.98 - Sale
12 lbs. 85% lean hamburger @ $1.79 lb. - purchased 12 lbs. -$21.61 - Sale
Iowa Top Sirloin Steak - $2.99 lb. - purchased about 3 lbs. - total $7.30 - Sale
1 gallon 1% milk - $2.79 - Regular price
Brown Sugar Deli Ham - $2.99 lb. - purchased about 2 lbs. - total $6.28 - Sale
Smoked Deli Turkey - $2.49 lb. - purchased about 2 lbs. - $5.30 - Sale
4 lb. bag of granulated sugar - $1.38 - Sale
3 pkgs. of Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns @ .59 - total of $1.77 - Sale
PB Granola Bars - $2.10 - Sale
1/2 gallon Ice Cream - $1.48 - Sale

Total cost of groceries:  $64.77

As you can see the majority of the items I purchased were on sale.  They were not only on sale, they were a good sale.  The advantage of keeping track of prices is knowing when a sale is a real sale.

Now by way of explanation:  I purchased a total of 4 lbs. of deli meats as they were very good quality, on sale and I would need some sandwich meat for vacation the week of July 10th.  I froze 3 lbs. of the meat for now. 

The ground beef was an excellent deal.  One store had set the sale and Wal-mart and the other grocery store matched it.  There was a limit of 4 lbs. per store. 

The blueberries were in season and on sale at a very low price.  I washed them and spread them in layers on two cookie sheets and stuck them in the freezer for about an hour.  They were then frozen as individual berries.  I packaged them in 1 cup packages ready to use in pies, muffins and coffeecakes this winter.  Out of the 6 pints I was able to get 14 cups of berries frozen.

I don't buy a lot of steak and when I do, it must be a good sale.  This steak is normally priced at $5.99 a lb. so I bought enough for the 4th of July when our son and daughter in law will be over for dinner.

My stock up items were the blueberries, ground beef and the deli meats. 

In my $150 challenge of spending less this month, I want to eat out of my pantry and cupboard and take advantage of that savings.  However I will be flexible with meat sales and produce.  I love having frozen blueberries on hand.  Before purchasing those fresh blueberries I priced a bag of already frozen blueberries.  They were $2.99 for a 12 oz. bag.  So, buying 6 pints now to freeze and use later is a great savings.

As I grocery shop this month, I have made a list of the items that I will stock up on if there is a sale.  They are chicken hindquarters (I cut them into drumsticks and thigh portions), orange juice, ground turkey and chuck roasts. 

How did I do compared to what I had been spending?   Here are my records for January through June of this year of my net grocery spending.  I have put the amount I saved in coupons in parentheses:

January -   $165.00      (coupons - $52.00)
February - $343.00      (coupons - $118.00)
March -     $348.00      (coupons - $98.00)
April -        $281.00      (coupons - $53.00)
May -        $533.00       (coupons - $66.00)
June -       $449.00       (coupons - $76.00)

My average net spending per month for groceries was $353.00.  My average coupon savings per month was $77.00.

Okay, this is not bad.  But it was the miscellaneous spending over the past 6 months that did me in. 

January -   $  93.00
February - $  86.00
March -     $166.00
April -        $107.00
May -         $166.00
June -        $242.00

I averaged $143.00 in miscellaneous.  This is fabric, books, razor blades, pet food, flowers for the garden, pillows, sewing patterns and more.  A lot of these purchases were necessary but many were not.  For example, I bought a lot of fabric and have yet had the time to sew.  I could have waited for a clearance sale.  Many of these purchases could have been delayed until a sale or not purchased at all. 

Bottom line, I need to rein in spending and spend more time being concious about what I am spending our money on.

So there it is.  Simple and with no pictures of the groceries and no pdf files (I couldn't figure out how to post a pdf file anyway).  Just the facts that I need to do a better job with the money God has given us and be more accountable to myself and my family as to the choices I make with the money that is earned.

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