November 22, 2010

Grocery Expense - Week of November 14th

I tallied up what I spent last week on groceries.  Last week was actually when I began the challenge as the week before I encountered a great special on ground beef ($1.19 lb.) and flour and more, so I am well stocked and the only thing I can even think of adding to my pantry would be granulated sugar as it continues to be on sale for the holidays.

So last week I purchased the following:

One 10 lb. Spiral Ham for Christmas - $1.88 lb. (sale) - $18.93

I had set aside $15 for this purchase and I over spent by almost 4 dollars.  However, I was basing the $15.00 on last year's sales and prices have gone up, including pork, so this was a good deal by this year's standards.

In addition to this money, I set aside $25.00 for produce and dairy and any other items that I would need.  This is what I purchased last week: 

1/2 gallon 1% milk (I already had another 1/2 gallon in the fridge) - $1.47
4 pack of peppers on sale - 2 green, 1 orange and 1 red - $2.49
5 lb. box of Clementine oranges on sale - $5.99
Green cabbage @ .49 lb. - $0.80
Bananas @ .29 lb. on sale - $0.64
6 pack of Blueberry Bagels - $1.19
5 lb. bag of russet potatoes on sale - $0.68
4 lb. bag of granulated sugar on sale - $0.97
5 lb. bag of Gold Medal flour on sale - $1.28
Bananas @ .29 lb. on sale - $0.60
Sweet potatoes @ .33 lb. on sale - $1.61
20 oz. loaf of Wonder Bread on sale - $0.98
Store brand ripple potato chips on sale - $0.99
Two boxes of Winter Mint Cookies on sale @ $1.00 each  - $2.00
(These cookies are on sale only at Christmas and they taste just like Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies.)

Total Paid $21.70 from a budget of $25.00
Total paid for Ham - $18.93 from a budget of $15.00

Total Amount Paid for Groceries:  $40.63

This wasn't too bad for a week but I do believe this will be a challenge as some items are getting costly such as eggs and some types of fresh produce.  Actually I am putting into place the rule that my mom went by - buy only what's fresh and in season, if at all possible.   I have plenty of frozen blueberries and black raspberries that I can use in place of fresh at this time of year.  I can put some of these frozen berries and some bananas in with some canned fruit for a "winter" fruit salad.  Also, fresh pineapple is still on sale and bananas have been at a great price. 

And what about sweet potatoes - I love them and they have been on sale for only 33 cents a lb.  I will eat one of these for lunch with a little butter and some brown sugar - emphasis on "little" and "some."

Fresh leafy greens are a little more expensive right now, but as we get closer to Christmas we will find fresh broccoli and cauliflower on sale for those holiday veggie trays.

My goal continues to be $25.00 a week.  I am going by trial and error here as I have never done this before but I do expect a savings of $60.00 a week until the week of Christmas.   So counting last week until the week of Christmas (5 weeks) I should be able to save a total of $300.   I will purchase a few more groceries the week of Christmas as I will want to pick up the Little smokies when they go on sale, crackers for the cheese that I already have on hand and a few more "finger" items.  I am estimating that my grocery bill the week of Christmas will be around $60.00 for these extra holiday items. 

The week after Christmas I will go back to my budget of $25.00 a week, but for how long??  As long as possible - well I really would like to make it to the end of February and after that I want to at the very least use up the majority of the meat in my freezer before buying more.  After all it's not like meat can stay in the freezer indefinitely.  My husband asked me one time how long I thought all of that meat should last us and I said it should definitely get us through the winter and then some if we wanted to do that.  The only thing is that once the chicken runs out, I will definitely want to buy more on sale as we need the variety. 

Still - this way of buying groceries is a money saver.  Also, a major key to making this work is to be versatile in using what you have and also in having the skills (and the time) to make a lot of items from scratch.  I will never go back to just buying stuff at the grocery store without having a plan for purchasing items on sale and in bulk.  This way of purchasing groceries, stocking the pantry and freezer along with making a lot of items from scratch, works for our family.  It isn't for everyone and I'm not saying that everyone needs to do what I am doing.  What I am saying is that for my family, this is working.  It is working because I like maintaining a freezer and pantry, I like searching for bargains and using coupons, I like keeping track of my "inventory," and most importantly, my family is supportive of my doing this. 


Maureen said...

Any chance you could come over to Oz and inject me with some of your enthusiasm for the pantry and freezer, I have an empty freezer just waiting to be organised.

Martha said...

If I recall, since we are going into the winter season, you are going into summer? Am I correct? In any event, if it is warmer there I would come over in a heart beat.