I know I just posted about groceries, but…this is kind of my real first stock up trip for the month of September. And with all that I bought and all that I have on hand, I should be good for about two weeks. I may have to stop in for some more milk, but otherwise this should tide us over. Do you keep a general idea of how much of your monthly budget you want to spend each week or do you just look at that lump sum and work with that number primarily? I do a little of both, I think, but am more influenced by the larger number than worrying over whether or not I meet my weekly target. If I worried about my weekly target, I’d be sitting here sweating, as it’s only the 5th day of the month and I’ve already spent almost half of my budget. But. As I said, we have a lot of food on hand and…it’s just a lot easier for me to shop somewhat unevenly, either because I’m stocking up due to sales or just because I prefer to shop large one week and then only pop out for a small amount of items the next. Anyway, on to the items purchased. I went to Aldi and Walmart this week.
As a reminder, we are a household of two adults, no children. I aim for mostly whole foods, although not usually organic. I have a weakness for salty things and sparkling drinks. My grocery budget does include toiletries and similar household items, but not pet supplies, which have their own budget. My goal is to stay at or under (preferably under) $300.
- Tajin seasoning, 1 jar @ $2.39
- Natural creamy peanut butter, 16oz jar @ $1.49
- Onion powder, 1 jar @ $.99
- Protein bars, 2 boxes @ $1.99/ea
- Linguine, 2 1lb boxes @ $.99/ea (these should have been $.69/ea…I need to correct that on my next visit)
- Crispy rice cereal, 1 box @ $1.39
- Chunk light tuna (sustainably caught) 5 cans @ $.99/ea
- Brown sugar, 2 2lb bags @ $1.29/ea
- Half and half, 1 qt @ $1.89
- Eggs, 3 doz @ $.69/ea
- Pineapple greek yogurt cups, 4 @ $.65/ea
- Plain yogurt, 32oz @ $1.49
- Tri-color bell peppers, 2 pks @ $2.79/ea
- Mini cucumbers, 1lb @ $1.99
- Navel oranges, 3lbs @ $2.89
- Seedless watermelon, 1 @ $2.89
- Yellow onions, 3lbs @ $1.89
- Paper bags, 4 @ $.24
This trip to Aldi was a combo of restocking some staples and also getting some fresh foods we needed/wanted. Michael really liked the pineapple Greek yogurt so I was happy to pick up some of those. Next time I will pick up more — I just need to double check the expiration date on them (I am willing to eat yogurt a few days after the expiration date, Michael not so much). No kefir so I picked up some plain yogurt for me; I will get more kefir elsewhere but I want this for my granola anyway. I didn’t get the Greek variety as I think I like a runnier yogurt, actually. I add the rice cereal to my granola and homemade granola bars and it adds a really great texture. The protein bars are just a good snack and great for me to take on the go. I got natural peanut butter this time; I go back and forth on this issue quite a bit but today I was feeling like natural was the way to go. I didn’t realize that I had been overcharged for the linguine and I’m wondering, actually, if their sign is incorrectly marked. I would not have bought it at $.99 since I can pick it up at Publix or Winn-Dixie for less than that when it goes on BOGO. Not a huge deal, but kind of annoying.
I have made my peace with liking to have peppers and cucumbers (and mushrooms, but I had them still from my last trip) pretty much always on hand. So even though this isn’t the best price I’ve seen for them at Aldi, this is still significantly cheaper for these items than anywhere else. Oranges and watermelon for snacking (the oranges are good!) and onions because I always need onions. I feel like I used to be able to find onions on sale for 3lbs for $.99 but I rarely see that sale anymore so I guess that is one item that has seen a more permanent price increase. Onions, carrots and celery are three produce items that I keep on hand always and it’s been interesting to me that they all seem to have reached a higher price point recently.
I went after work on Saturday and drove through the worst rain I have ever experienced. Cars were slowed to less than 40mph on I95 and visibility was terrible. I hydroplaned at one point and that was SCARY. By the time I got off the interstate and pulled into the Aldi parking lot my nerves were shot. I had to sit in the car hoping for a break in the rain before running inside. Of course I left my bags in the car and I did not feel like trying to bag at the car in the rain. Why I chose paper bags on a rainy night is a mystery but they held up.
- Ivory body wash, 32oz @ $4.47
- Medium trash bags, 24ct @ $3.34
- 409 cleaner, 1 bottle @ $2.88
- Sparkling water, 2 12 packs @ $2.98/ea
- Cocoa roasted almonds, 1.5lbs @ $11.68
- Beef bouillon, small jar @ $1.64
- Sazon sin achiote (without annato), 1 jar @ $2.08
- Yellow mustard, 20oz @ $.76
- Kefir, 2qts @ $2.67/ea
- KA unbleached all-purpose flour, 10lbs @ $6.23
- Twizzlers, 1 bag @ $1.50
- Strawberries, 3lbs @ $5.42
I didn’t buy any toiletries last month so really needed to pick up body wash especially. The sparkling water is my concession to my love of bubbles but an attempt to stay away from actual soda (I would be tempted to buy diet dr. pepper and I really do not need caffeine in the afternoon/evening). Theoretically I’m only going to take these to campus but we’ll see how my resolve holds up. I was super excited to see the strawberries; it’s not the best price but they looked a lot better than the ones I’ve seen at Aldi lately. They are really good (have already completed a taste test). I needed the beef bouillon and the Sazon for some recipes and thought Walmart would have them (this particular kind of Sazon hasn’t been anywhere else that I’ve looked). The almonds are another treat for between classes; they are kind of expensive but so good. I’m not sure that buying a large bag really saved me much money over the 100 calorie packs but at least I will have less waste. I prefer unbleached flour and actually thought Walmart would have the Gold Medal brand but apparently I have to order that from the website or something. So I went with the pricier King Arthur, which is a brand I love so I’m not complaining! And I also think that this price is comparable to the price for the same product at BJs, so that’s a win. Aldi didn’t have any plain or vanilla kefir on my last couple of trips so I went ahead and picked up two bottles while I was at Walmart today, which should last me a couple of weeks.
Weekly Total: $96.39
Remaining Budget: $156.33
As I mentioned in the intro — I’m only on the 5th day of the month and already about half way through my budget. I’m not too worried, though, as the bulk of what I bought this weekend will extend beyond the next week and even into next month, probably, in the case of the flour, the brown sugar and the seasonings. Also, I don’t have a formal meal plan for this week, but I’m thinking about making the following things:
- Pot Roast w/Veggies (crockpot)
- Pasta with Pesto, Salad
- Black Beans and Rice, Grilled Vegetables
- Chicken Burrito Bowls or Oven Fajitas
- Pasta with Peppers and Sausage
- Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers