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.
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. 😉
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.”
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! 😉
I also cashed in on a few Friday Freebies, grabbed more 99¢ 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!
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. Paid $46.25 saved $41.42, so it was definitely a “stock up on bargains” trip.
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!