Going forward in 2016, I’m going to shoot for a grocery and incidentals budget of $400/month. Practically speaking, I’d like to keep myself to $60/week in the grocery stores, with a monthly stop at BJs or Sams. Plus whatever trips to Target, Walgreens, etc for the toiletries and incidentals. I’m thinking that $50/month for incidentals will be more than enough. This week I went over that $60 goal, spending $110.64, although these purchases are not only food. And I usually plan on a little extra spending in December to take advantage of good sales. Also, unless there are some really phenomenal sales, I don’t really need to do any shopping next week.
Here are my documented shops this week!
- Sockeye Salmon, 16 oz — $9.99
- Wheat Crackers — $1.69
- Smoked Gouda Wheel, 7 oz — $2.99
- Plain Goat Cheese, 4 oz — $1.99
- Cranberry Cheddar, 8 oz — $2.99
- Eggs, 1 doz — $2.59
- Sweetened Condensed Milk (2) — $2.58
- Cherry Pie Filling — $1.69
- Millville Toasty “O”s — $1.69
- Half & Half, 1 qt — $1.79
- Organic 2% Milk, 1/2 gal — $2.95
- WW Mini-Bagels — $1.99
- Ranch Tortilla Chips — $1.19
- Navel Oranges, 4lb bag (2) –$6.58
- Gala Apples, 3lb bag — $2.99
- Fideos Pasta, 7 oz — $.33
- Sweet Potatoes, 3lb bag — $.99
- Red Potatoes, 5lb bag — $2.69
Aldi Total: $49.70
This was more than I wanted to spend, although not awful considering that I have changed my mind three times on how we will celebrate Christmas Eve. The cheese and the wheat crackers are for Christmas Eve when we will have an appetizer/snacky type meal. Additionally, I was bummed because a number of things that were on sale had sold out by the time I got to the store tonight after work. I actually went yesterday after work and was quite please with how well I stuck to my list and didn’t pick up anything too snacky and then I realized that I had unintentionally left my wallet at home. I was already hungry and this just KILLED my good mood (I had been fairly productive earlier in the day). I had to put everything back and leave with nothing. And yesterday they still had in stock some of the things I had hoped to pick up — namely 10lbs of russet potatoes for $1.79 and 3lb bags of mandarins for $2.59. They also didn’t have many pineapples and the ones on stock were VERY green. I was annoyed with myself for sure. I picked up the red potatoes instead for my husband to use on Christmas day and the sweet potatoes will just be eaten as part of our regular meals. I got the navel oranges and gala apples to make up for the mandarins and pineapple, and while the oranges and apples are a little more fruit than I would have had with the quantity of mandarins and pineapple, but of course they cost a little more as well.
Impulse buys this week:
- Fideo pasta — this is essentially broken spaghetti, so there really is no reason for me to have picked this up other than the fact that it made me feel nostalgic.
- Ranch tortilla chips — I am totally a sucker for tasting all of the Aldi versions of snack food, even though I never really intend to do so. These are tasty, but not anything we ever need.
- Cherry Pie Filling — I am pretty sure I can get this for less at the Dollar Tree, and I don’t have immediate plans to use it, so it wasn’t really a necessary buy. At the same time, it’s more than 50% less than cherry pie filling at the grocery store and I don’t have dessert for Christmas Day totally nailed down, so it’s possible that I could still use it soon.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk — I noticed that their holiday baking supply section is shrinking and I really wanted to have a couple of cans of this in my pantry, so I picked some up. I can’t always tell what is seasonal and what isn’t (I know it says on the little card, but sometimes they just don’t have things).
- Chex Cereal, BOGO (2) — $3.49
- Mozzarella Pearls — $1.99
- Fresh Mozzarella Ball — $1.99
- Baby Bella Mushrooms — $1.69
- Garlic — $.56
- Lindsay Ripe Olives, BOGO (2) — 2.09
- Lean turkey breakfast sausages — $2.99
- Salad Peppers (bag of six) — $3.99
- King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour — $1.99
- Downy Wrinkle Release (2) — $3.18
- Bounty Basics Paper Towels, 6 pack — $4.99
Publix Total: $28.88
This was all planned ahead of time, except for the flour, for which I had a coupon and which happened to be on sale. I also wasn’t planning to pick up the whole back of peppers, but it was a lot cheaper than just buying a red pepper. I also wasn’t initially going to get the fresh mozzarella products, but they were really reasonable with some store coupons and will make my baked tortellini shine, so I went with it, even though they are a little more expensive than a chunk of regular mozzarella.
- Bananas, $.60/lb — $1.71
- Cocktail Peanuts, BOGO (2) — $4.49
- Zucchini, $1/lb — $1.57
- Green Beans, $1/lb — $2.13
- Rump Roast, $4/lb — $13.52
- Eye Round Roast, $4/lb — $9.32
Winn-Dixie Total: $32.06
I don’t usually get a ton at Winn-Dixie, but they do run a great sale. I also think their beef is better than Publix, so when it’s on sale I grab some for the freezer. The peanuts are for Chex Mix and the veggies and fruit will be used up this week. Bananas are cheaper at Aldi and BJs, but we’ve had problems when we’ve bought bananas from both of those stores getting mushy before they get ripe. Maybe because they’re sold in plastic? I don’t know.