Groceries for Eight: September Spending

groceries

Over the years, many MANY of you have asked about what we spend on food. I hate that question. I used to be That Girl when I’d look at someone else’s budget or grocery cart. (Well, no wonder it costs so much. Don’t they know about coupons? Ewww, what JUNK is that?! That’s not food! No wonder she got her groceries for the week for $16.42. There’s nothing with any nutrients in the whole pile! Well, they must live in NYC. That’s why it costs so much. Well, they must live in a city with lots of options. That’s why it costs so little.)

Yep. That girl. Blech.

Six kids later I’m still learning, always learning, and always trying to do the best I can for my family with our current resources and the money we have and are willing to spend, while not stressing the little stuff all the time. My little stuff may not be your little stuff, and that’s okay! (Also, my Little Stuff changes frequently, depending on our schedule and my current give-a-care.) I know you’re curious, and I could use some accountability, so here you go. We’ll see if I keep this up monthly (if it’s helpful to you and doable for me), but here’s what we spent on food in September.

Thursday, 9/1/16, $52.35 (IGA)

We had to go to the county courthouse because someone (um, that’d be me) forgot to renew our vehicle tags in August. Whoops! While we were there, may as well get groceries for the weekend and The Boy’s birthday. This isn’t the most economical town to shop in when we need certain items (it is fabulous for front page loss leaders and markdowns in the store, though!) but it totally beat driving an extra 30 miles in the opposite direction.

grocery

Highlights: (other than the cute 2yo helper who decided she most definitely did not want to help anymore once her cart was full)

$5.99 markdown for 2 pounds of (good) shredded mozzarella (that was on my *need* list!)
$2.99/pound for homemade sausage, not a significant price, but we love this sausage and I buy it nearly every time I’m in town

Saturday, 9/3/16, $9.92 (IGA)

Because of course I didn’t realize we were almost out of milk and mayo on Thursday, and I need mayo for all the deviled eggs I’m making for a Sunday cookout. Lucky for me my husband had to head back into town for a football meeting, and lucky for me he kept to the list. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sunday, 9/4/16, $3.14 (Walmart)

Well, this is getting embarrassing, and we’re only four days into the month! I was making baked beans for a family cookout today and didn’t have any molasses. So we made a stop on the way to my parents, and I stirred the molasses in when we got there. (Side note: I also grabbed two boxes of these on clearance. The kids had a blast with them!)

Monday, 9/5/16, $88.98 (Aldi)

This was a big one. I don’t get to shop at Aldi as often as I’d like, but whenever we need to make the 50-60 minute trek to a bigger town for something, I stop. I had to go get my sister’s saxophone for our son to use in 5th grade band, so there I was. Chicken, lots of veggies, lots of fruit, sandwich bread, staples, and some ballgame snack foods.

Tuesday, 9/6/16, $20

10 dozen farm fresh eggs delivered to my door.

Thursday, 9/8/16, $16.93 (Dillons)

I promise I’ll eventually remember to take pictures before putting my groceries away. Until then, I ran into Dillons real quick on our way home from a ballgame, because they had a few AMAZING sales that I didn’t want to miss. Also, I had 6 kids with me (who truly never complain about the sandwich/fruit/snack suppers I pack for ballgames) and I grabbed them some special drinks. Yes, chocolate milk IS special when 1) you almost never buy it, and 2) you each get your own small bottle.

Highlights: 99 cents for 1/2 gallons of milk, 99 cents for 8 ounce bars of cheese. I bought several.

Sunday, 9/11/16, $47.93 (Dillons)

I wasn’t planning this trip to town, but we needed to run in for something, and our kids are now old enough to stay home for a few hours on their own (yipee!), so we ran errands for “date night.”

annies-bunnies

Highlights: Annie’s Bunny Grahams marked down to $1.39 a box. I took all 5. Sorry not sorry, that’s not even a box per kid! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also cashed in on a few Friday Freebies, grabbed more 99ยข milk and cheese, plus added more fresh veggies and fruit to our stash.

Tuesday, 9/13/16, $10

5 dozen farm fresh eggs that won’t last us the week

Sunday, 9/18/16, $74.01 (Aldi)
Sunday, 9/18/16, $18.23 (WalMart)

I stole away to “the city” for a day of shopping with my big girls. When mom goes out of town once every 6 years, mom needs new clothes to go out of town! We hit Aldi and then Walmart (cheese sticks, apples, and I don’t remember what else) on our way out of town.

Wednesday, 9/21/16, $56.35 (Azure Standard)
Wednesday, 9/21/16, $46.25 (Dillons)

I order from Azure Standard about once a month. This order was 10 pounds of frozen blueberries (for muffins, smoothies, and granola), and a 5 pound block of raw white cheddar cheese. Best cheese ever!

blueberries

Made a quick Dillons run after picking up my Azure order. Grabbed all sorts of Mega Event deals, frozen vegetables, crackers, sliced deli cheese for $1, spinach and mushrooms (for my daily breakfast scramble), and other produce.ย  Paid $46.25 saved $41.42, so it was definitely a “stock up on bargains” trip.

cheese

Saturday, 9/24/16, $60.58 (Dillons)

For the next 5 weeks we’ll be in town on Saturday mornings for recreation sports. I shop when we’re in town to avoid extra trips, so here we are! Also, I leave town early Thursday morning, and this SHOULD be my last grocery run before I leave. I grabbed snack food for ballgame and field trip lunches, milk on sale, some produce markdowns, and some easy “snack” type foods for Sunday football.

Tuesday, 9/27/16, $20

10 dozen farm fresh eggs. Since I’m going out of town, I’m sure the family will mostly eat oatmeal and cereal for breakfast, and there should be plenty of eggs left when I get home. (Yep. We’ve purchased 28 dozen eggs this month. I bought 3 dozen at the store when we almost ran out. Yikes! Rest assured that we only ate 18 dozen. there were plenty in the fridge when I returned from my trip.)

That gives us a total of $524.67 for the month.

But, wait! Where’s the beef? In the freezer. 3/4 of a steer right now that should last us a year and a half, maybe more. (My freezer is FULL.) So when I don’t buy a lot of (or any) meat at the store? That’s why. I don’t know EXACTLY the amount of beef we ate this month, but by dividing what we paid by the months it should take to eat it, I’m going with an average $100/month.

September Grand Total for Groceries: $624.67

Sigh. The number $624.67 doesn’t mean much without the nitty gritty details of what I spent on each item and what we actually ATE with those groceries, huh? Maybe I’ll work on that for next month (but that’s a LOT of work!). Feel free to let me know what would be most helpful, and I will sure consider it!

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Comments

  1. Heather B says:

    10 DOZEN farm fresh eggs for $20?!?! Is this a typo?!?! Please say yes even if it’s not. We pay $5-$8 for one single dozen farm fresh eggs.
    I’m so THAT girl. I pay $5 for a pound of butter, $4.39 half gallon organic milk. $3-$4 a pound for apples. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ

    • Oh my goodness. I love my chicken farmers a WHOLE LOT right now. $2/dozen in the summer/fall. Increases to $2.50 and then $3.00 in the winter when the hens aren’t laying as much.

      I used to drive to a farm for raw milk, but hopped off that bandwagon right around baby #5, I think. We honestly don’t drink a ton of milk, and cereal is for birthdays (kid’s choice) and “emergencies.” Butter is close to $3 at Aldi right now and $3.49 at Dillons. I do buy real butter, but I don’t buy organic.

  2. Wow. That is amazing. I wold love that amount (but no eggs or nuts of any kind due to allergies). Definitely need to do better, I can’t even come close to that amount at Aldi. I shop Aldi(main) and Meijer(sale items to stock) weekly and Costco every other week. I would love to know what meals you made with what you bought. My oldest of 5 is 16, youngest is 4. We eat leftovers, I cook and bake from scratch(some are your recipes!), rarely eat out and the kids pack everyday for school. I am ecstatic when I am under $1,000 for the month. But also with the food allergies I can’t always buy the cheapest and we eat a ton of fruits and veggies to. None of our stores have fruit/veggie mark downs.

    • The markdowns are HUGELY helpful! I had also been doing Bountiful Baskets (do you have that?), which was WONDERFUL, but they are redoing routes right now. Can’t wait to jump back on that. I will try to do better about adding meals and stuff in there to make it more concrete for October.

  3. We do not have bountiful baskets around here. I have checked multiple times. We do have Azure Standard but I stopped ordering when they made the pickup (which was 45 minutes away) on one of my two work days. I only go to the store once a week. We do have Meijer, Walmart, Kroger, Fresh Market and Aldi within a few miles. However, I don’t have the time and spend less when I go to only Aldi and whichever else has better loss leaders. It’s also the amount of food. With really tall kids who are growing like weeds they eat so much!

    • Absolutely! SO MANY factors. You are doing fabulous! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sharing is HARD, because where spending is concerned it will look different for everyone, but next month I’ll try to include some details that might help. Does your Kroger not do markdowns?!

  4. No they do not. Our Meijer does on produce occasionally but I rarely catch them. Some of your recipes are our staples(biscuits, skillet spaghetti, granola) and I love them. You are a no fuss, no drama, no nonsense mom and I know that if you post a recipe it will be delicious, easy and frugal. Love this series, I hope you continue it!

  5. I love the breakdown and love that I am not the only Mom in a store multiple times a week because I forgot an item! I only have 3 kids but it seems like as soon as I unload groceries there is always a new list starting of things we just ran out of!

  6. Hmm…I love this….I think the highlights are helpful and interesting. I don’t think having the nitty would actually be necessary, unless you were going to be a coupon match up blogger, but hoestly I love your writing and would hate to have you prioritize long lists for your thoughtful posts. I’d love to hear more about your “sandwich suppers”– what do you pack? How do you save money on those? (Or, maybe you simply don’t…that’s ok too!). How do you plan your shopping? How do you organize it? Do you have a routine? Where do you store all those eggs?

    • I’m so glad you said that, because I do NOT have time to blog the coupon thing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The sandwich/ballgame suppers would make a good post of its own, I think! Will write that idea down.

      With as many trips as I made in September, I obviously didn’t plan very well at all. I do have a few methods that work for us WHEN I USE THEM.

      We have an extra fridge in the basement. I think it’s dying a slow death right now, though, so we don’t keep much in there. On the lookout for a simple used one.

  7. Looks like a great $$ total but I would totally be flipping out at the number of times I would have to go to the store. I make 1 trip every other week…that’s it. If we run out of something, oh well, you should’ve told me about it before I made my list and trekked off. We live 10 minutes from Aldi and pass by it several times a week going to dance classes or my husband going to work and I still refuse to stop….it wrecks the budget cause honestly…how often do you just get the one or 2 things you need? and it keeps me going into a store and wrecks the whole premise of the every other week shopping trip. I LOVE just going every 2 weeks. I despise going to the store. By the end of the 2 weeks, we are out of all our staples (we are out of tomatoes right now and next week is shopping week but I don’t care, we will do without) but that ok, we will get more when we go to the store!

    • I actually really ENJOY going to the grocery store, so yes… I’m a weirdo. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I do agree that it can completely wreck the budget to go too often (especially for impulse shoppers), though. On the flip side, when I go often, I can create meals around what I found marked down that day. So, it goes both ways, I suppose. (Which is great, because that means we can all SAVE money in whichever way works for that season of life!)

  8. That is less than 2 eggs per person, per day. (Yes, I did the math). I think it’s a reasonable amount, especially for the steal of a price you are getting them for. Eggs are a wonder food. We have our own suburban chicken flock now and just got some more chicks because our girls were laying about 48/week (family of 5) and are now down to less than 30/week. I’ve had to buy store eggs to bake with – the horror ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d like enough to eat them as often as we want (and bake) and have about a dozen to give away or trade once a week or so…

    Also, I think your budget is amazing for a busy family of 8. You are doing a great job!

    • Haha! I love that you did the math. ๐Ÿ™‚ Eggs are the BEST. Superb nutrition, not expensive (for me!), and I can fix them a variety of ways. We love ’em.

  9. Oh yes, I should have said that . . . You are doing an awesome job!

  10. I think this post is perfect! I personally just want a general idea of a larger familiy’s budget. There are so many factors- where you live, allergies, age of kids and gender, food preferences. Our family of 6 (3 boys ages 7-3 & infant girl) lives in the midwest and we spend $700ish a month on food. All of our meals are eaten at home and we eat meat for every dinner.

    • Yes! All the factors! A person could drive themselves nutso trying to figure out the “right” spending. Different for everyone.

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