Friday, April 1, 2011

Grocery Challenge - April 1

Not since September when our family went off restaurant eating have I been faced with any kind of monetary-food challenge...so what better time than now?

I subscribe to a blog here that is mostly about being frugal.  The author spends $25 a week on groceries for herself, her husband, and their teenage son.  She reviews all mailings and coupons to get the best deals and stocks up whenever things are dirt-cheap.

So, why not this same challenge for me?  I grant you, $25 a week with three growing kids might be an impossible stretch...I'm not looking to deprive anybody of valuable nutrients here.  But...imposing a reasonable dollar amount might be kinda fun.

In preparation, I updated my pantry and freezer inventories.  Upon doing this, I discovered that meat is one thing I will probably not need to purchase much of in the month to come - unless, of course, there's a great bargain to be had.  It does appear, though, that frozen vegetables will make the grocery list this week.  There is not much dairy I will need to purchase this week - milk consumption has tapered off a little since we've slowed down on cereal eating.  Yogurt and cheese are adequate.  Fruit is holding firm, which leaves me free to buy only what's on sale (pears, as it turns out, much to Brent's joy).

There was, I'll admit, a frugal pleasure in perusing the weekly circular for the grocery ads.  I'll be shopping at Fareway this week, as opposed to Hy-Vee, simply because many of the items I need this week are on sale at the former.

Hopefully, my receipt here shortly will prove to be as satisfying as researching the shopping trip.

UPDATE:  Two hours later...

I've put my expenditures for the week here into this nice little Excel pie chart.  My total came to $45.30 (leaving me a total of $4.70 for any incidentals in the week to come).  I know I said I wasn't going to buy much meat, but it was on sale, and since there wasn't much else I needed - I stocked up.

$22.25 - Chicken breasts and butterfly pork chops

And joy, frozen vegetables were on sale!  Isn't it fortuitous that I needed them?
$5.94 - Six 16 oz bags of corn and peas & carrots

Yes, I took advantage of pears and onions being on sale.  However, I "splurged" on cucumbers (.99 a piece) so that I could reuse the leftover pickle juice in the fridge.  Also, I like cutting up carrots and celery for snacks during the week.

$10.86 - Fresh produce (pears, onions, carrots, celery, cucumbers, lettuce)

My dairy shopping wins the most bang-for-the-buck award - three items at .99 each.

$2.97 - Dairy (two dozen eggs and a pint of half and half)

Now, let me follow that up with the most ridiculous thing ever.  As a real "splurge", I purchased a Diet Coke for myself and a Mountain Dew for my son, Spencer.  You know, as an end-of-week treat.  The two 20 oz. bottles of pop (with deposit) ran me $3.08...eleven cents more than the two dozen eggs and h&h!  The eggs alone will provide four mornings' worth of breakfast (or more) for my family - and I paid more money for two beverages which will be gone by early evening.

Unbelievable, right?

Anyway, recap.

Week 1 Total: $45.30 (-$3.08 of utter stupidity)
Number of Reuseable Bags Filled: Three

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