Monday, January 25, 2010

Grocery Store Confessional - 4th ed.

Friends, we've reached a new low tonight. What I'm about to share with you will surely be the most stale...the most wearisome post ever written in the history of the blog.

Ain't no joke.

It pains me, just a little, to share what I'm about to share.

Naw, that's an overstatement. And you know me, I'm no fan of the exaggeration.

Let's try again...It causes me a slight ache, a teeny tiny crick of discomfort to present to you:

This Week's Grocery List, ad nauseum.

But first, a disclaimer and a plea for mercy: I'm sorry, friends. I just don't see any way around it. As much as it baffles me that anyone might care to see the contents of my shopping cart, I have fielded numerous inquiries as to the status of my weekly grocery bill. I'm not sure how else to explain myself, so I'm going all-in. I promise, I will never, ever do this again. I promise, I am not purposely taking advantage of your willingness to put up with my scattered, overly-verbose self. I promise, after today, you may wish we had never met. But I implore you - give me another chance! For tomorrow is a new day.


Take 2.

This Week's Grocery List, ad nauseum:

Hold on, maybe it would make sense if I started with my menu for the week.

Today: Left-overs from the weekend
Tuesday: The spaghetti and marinara that I've somehow still never made
Wednesday: Pasta Primavera with Chicken
Thursday: Orange Chicken with Rice and Veggies
Friday: Sub sandwiches with Oven roasted potato wedges
Saturday: Lunch - Chicken Pasta Salad, Dinner - Frozen Pizza (Mama's going out, yo.)
Sunday: Lunch - Left-overs, Dinner at the 'rents

So you see, we are left-over loving people. We rarely throw food out. We eat it. Last week, I thought I might never see the end of that Swoony soup. It lingered. And we loved every bowl. Embrace the left-over, good people! It will save you cash.

Now, without further ado, This Week's Grocery List, Ad Nauseum:

Dented Can
Pepperidge Farms english muffins - $0.99
Large box of Corn Chex - $1.50
2 cans of Campbells Tomato Soup - $1.00
Granola Bars - $1.25
Motts no sugar added mixed berry applesauce - $1.49
Whipping cream - $1.35
Large box of couscous - $2.89
Jello instant pudding (box) - $0.65
Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail (smallish bottle) - $0.99
Total: $12.11

3 kiwi fruit - $1.00
1 bunch green onions - $0.50
1 lb. fresh asparagus - $3.08
Sugar snap peas - $1.99
Vine ripened tomato - $0.63
Vidalia onion - $0.71
Red seedless grapes - $2.49
Pint of grape tomatoes - $3.49
Broccoli - $1.50
5 lbs. potatoes - $1.50
Jar of banana peppers - $1.69
New York garlic breadsticks - $1.39 ($1 off coupon)
Cookie Crisp cereal - $2.75
Sour cream - $0.99
Cavatappi pasta - $0.50
Rigatoni pasta - $0.50
Meijer butter braid pretzels - $1.35
Dannon All Natural vanilla yogurt (the big tub) - $1.39 ($0.75 off coupon)
Lays Salt and Vinegar potato chips - $2.69
Meijer soft crust frozen pepperoni pizza - $3.29
Mini sub buns - $2.00
5 count chicken breasts stuffed with cheese and broccoli - $4.99
2 boxes of Meijer tissues - $2.00
Meijer Ultra strength fruit-flavored antacids (large bottle) (for Mr. FPFG) - $2.00
Meijer brand Rest Simply (for FPFG) - $3.39
Total with tax: $48.33
Grand Total for both stores: $60.44

Important note #1 - Clearly, this household is not all healthy, all the time. Just in case there was any question about that. Cookie Crisp and Salt & Vinegar chips - Manna from heaven?

Important note #2 - Between these two lists, I have everything I need to make our meals for this week. I also have some on-sale extras, like the stuffed chicken and couscous, which will probably be used next week.

Important note #3 - Breakfast at our house usually isn't a big affair. We typically have english muffins, instant oatmeal or cold cereal.

Important note #4 - Lunch is typically something easy for the kids and I, like grilled cheese sandwiches, PB&J, fresh produce and/or...left-overs!

Tell me, are your eyes glazed over?

Do you wish I would stuff a sock in it?

I hope it helps explain a few things. I'm no expert here. I don't really coupon. I know many people who do far better than this. I am not organic, per se. I am not opposed to using store brand stuff (for most things), nor am I afraid of a dented can or jacked up box.

I am happy to say, that barring any unforeseen food emergencies, I have successfully fed this family for $350 this month, which included two dinners out. (This budget also includes necessary toiletries, medicine, paper products, etc...)

I am convinced that a big part of staying within the budget is really locking it into my brain that I have to.

This is the other thing that really helps:

No, I do not use this to house my 2 measly coupons.

This, folks, is my billfold. My pocketbook. My jack. My dough.

Every month, I put $$ in each of these envelopes and it has to last me the entire month. Try it, just for a month. It will change the way you spend your money.

Don't you love how I just keep talking, as if anyone is even still listening?

Forgive me.


  1. We're listening farmgirl....keep talking!

  2. The dough file...a scary but interesting concept.

    Be glad you're not shopping for food in the Near North...that bill would total far more than 60 buckaramas.


  3. LOL

    I did the same thing (organizer) for our big Disney vaca last summer. Each day had a certain amount of money and that was it. Period.
    It's a great thing to do... I should incorporate it into my everyday world.

  4. Gracias, amigo- I needed this. Working on a new approach this January to feeding the tribe. :)

  5. You simply crack me up!!! I love reading what you have to say...even this. Have a fantastic night! From one salsa lover to another! :)

  6. Loved the post. I so need to put together a money file. The scary thought is that I then have to admit I spend too much on fun stuff...can Starbucks be categorized as a necessity?! Love your blog!!

  7. I'm with you sister. With the rising costs of food, it is ridiculous to go grocery shopping. I'm actually making my list tonight. I allow myself $100/wk. for my husband and I, and two growing kids ages 10 and 8/12. This is sometimes HARD, but as we followed the Ramsey plan years ago, it's on my budget. I sometimes go over too, and beat myself up about it all week. Good for you. What have you used from your garden this winter? Do you can/freeze anything. That can help too.

  8. Girl, lovin' that money file! What a great idea! By the way, Chi Chis Salsa is on sale at my local grocery for 89 cents. Thats right...I said 89 cents! Doesn't that seem like a deal?? That is your brand, right? I think of you every time I see it. I admit...I never thought I would associate a blonde haired, blued eyed girl from Amish country with Chi Chis. You touch lives in a way you will never know. hahaha... ;o) ~mary~

  9. Lovin' leftovers in Oklahoma too. I especially love the TIME it saves me, not having to fix anything the second time around. What's better than saving time and money?

    You're funny. Love reading you.

  10. Keep it comin'. It's good...but ya bought TISSUES!? Ok, I'll back down....:-) The $121 something or another I spent at the store last week, is absolutely going to last us nearly another week, so I'm thinking I'm somewhere right with you on the grocery bill. What is Rest Simply? Sounds like I need it. You are a Frugalicious Rockstar! I have my sister on the envelope cash system, she's freaking out.

  11. Love your post and as a professional chef I must say you did good! A quick calculation; you spent on average .94 a serve. This is strictly based on number of meals served and does not take into consideration any leftovers. Great job!

  12. We're listening and lovin' it!

  13. We did the envelop system several years ago and you are right... it totally changes the way you spend your money. After having few months of going WAY over budget on our grocery bill, I am re-evaluating what I need to be doing different to save money.

    I am really inspired after seeing your grocery bill... way to go!

  14. I swear everytime I go to the grocery store and that darn checker rings me up for $100.00 or more I get so mad! No matter how hard I try I could never get a weeks shopping for $60.00.

  15. I couldn't be more interested in this post. Seriously. Maybe I'm the world's most boring human, but I love to know how other people manage their households, probably because I'm only starting to get the hang of it and figure things out. Keep it coming!

  16. Great move! We do something like this, the "Dave Ramsey envelope system" and of course, I coupon as best I can using It's saved me a ton of money though, and helped us GIVE so much more of it away! :D

    You go girl! You will be very successful, you are much more "cooking creative" than I!

  17. I AM listeing and I think it's a pretty genius idea!

  18. i will confess that i was also waiting for your weekly menu. that is such a cheap grocery bill. you are wonder woman.

  19. I can't beat that and I'm only cooking for 2. Sheesh. I must do better!

  20. I loved reading this post! Thanks for sharing!
    We don't have coupons here - and very very few sales . . . but, we do have good produce at great prices, when things are in season.
    I would say we spend about $60 a month on food.
    The pancakes we have every week for dinner (that my family LOVES) helps for a dinner and a breakfast meal.

  21. How, my friend, do you enthrall me with your grocery tales? Because you do, ya know!

  22. You are a HIT! Hahaha, and with your grocery bill as the subject, who would have guessed?
    Love ya,

  23. Uhhhh.....Cookie Crisp....COOKIE CRISP!!! I've been fending it off for decades! It calls out to me with every visit to the grocery store...taunting me.


    : )

    Julie M.

  24. is all that food so cheap?? I am still not getting it sister. Corn Chex for $1.50???? No way. In these parts you're looking at at least $3.50-4.00 buckaroos. Everything on your list I compared to my own similiar purchases and double,,,triple the price for these basic items. I am confused again. I really should post an arizona grocery list. You would just freak. I guess it's time to pack up the fam and head east.

  25. 25 follower are whos should be a writer..seriously..your stuff is honest, simple, complicated, funny and exciting to read..i think that makes for a perfect recipe for a writer..lulu

  26. Does it mean there's something wrong with me if I LOVE these posts? You have really me to improve with this. Every week gets a little better. I think I might even hit Meijer this week much as I dislike the place! P.S. Am I right in assuming there is not pop drinkin goin on at your place?

  27. I honestly think you are doing a GREAT job at $60! I really do...keep sharing away:)

  28. Keep talking and PLEASE keep sharing!!

    Love your blog!

  29. You make me a good way :) I enjoy reading your thoughts. Thank you!

  30. I've just recently found your blog and love it! I'm obsessed with grocery shopping and living on a budget Dave Ramsey-style with the envelopes. P.S. I also covet your space for a huge garden--I'm an urban gardener in Atlanta so mine is a bit smaller, but share your dreams of heirloom tomatoes.

  31. I love this post. I am in serious need of a moolah makeover. I am gonna take some of your tips and run with it!

  32. i'm with ya sister...can i call you sister?
    we implemented the ramsey budget some time ago and the grocery bill is by far the hardest one for me...i'm always trying new ways to cut back and still have been unable to stay at my desired weekly point...but i am a lot lower than're totally changes the way you spend your's awesome.

  33. to think that so many people are interested in your grocery list!

    one thing that freaks troy out is that our bill can get up there because i always stock up on sales, which i know you said you don't do. otherwise, i stick to needs for the week.

    oh, and we had big subs via a bakery fresh french bread loaf (they were a bogo last week at martins)last night & they were so good! i have learned that dill pickles and avacados go quite nicely together:)

  34. I'm totally listening so keep it up! You're doing a wonderful job, giving me ideas to run with and keeping me laughing in the process. Thanks!

  35. what about your tortilla chips? I keep a list of prices at different stores for my most bought foods. I must be a boring housewife, cuz I did enjoy reading the list. I have managed to get my spending down to $600 a month for the 7 of us. sometimes more....

  36. Gotta love the dollar bin at Tar-jay!!

  37. Oh yeah call me crazy, cause I just hung on every word as if I was reading the most interesting book and to confess I don't read much, I think the last I've read is Sookie Stackhouse the lover of vampires and the four books by Stephanie Meyer, more vampires(you know those Cullins)Twilight,New Moon,Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, not that I'm comparing, its just that your writings is so dog-gone interesting and funny too.Thanks for sharing.

  38. Wow! I'm impressed. I spent $140 this morning for a family of 6. This wasn't a boring post AT ALL. I plan to use some of your planning ideas! Thanks!

  39. your post makes me want to cut up my debit card. My husband would LOVE you. Take care, Lori

  40. Impressive! I live in Florida and I rarely spend less than $150 a week to feed 5 of us.
    I don't buy red meat, or expensive cuts of meat...we eat lots of veggies, and the boys (all 3) love Pizza, frozen or fresh but I TRY to buy it when it's buy one-get one-FREE!
    I love to buy fresh fruit, too...milk for boys is $3.19 a gallon and they like it with everything. I am interested in grocery lists, it's fun! I try to buy some store brands and organic, too-when it is reasonable!
    I like your BLOG!

  41. OK...hopefully this comment is not redundant considering how many there areand I did not read them all...but first of all:

    1. We LOVE dave ramsey...and you are starting to make me really want to commit to going cold turkey on the debit card again! Pure cash really reigns in the spending, I know.

    2. I can't believe you typed all that out. You must be a super fast typer.

    3. Also, you make me wish I planned our meals better! That totally is awesome that you can cook for so cheap! I think we don't come near that in frugalness...and I don't even make cool what's up?

    4. Anyway... good job!

  42. I do a similar thing with my cash-I have different envelopes for each category-though I often have to move cash from envelope to envelope. I had to do this because I was totally forgetting to write down debit card expenses and could never remember my pin number...and we are totally a leftover eating family! Beats buying lunch!

  43. You keep posting and judging by the number of comments we will keep reading. You are inspirational. Thank you bunches!

  44. I love you, but I think I'm going to officially have to excuse myself from commenting every time (I know you are already ok with this, I'm just letting myself off the hook). Esp. when I can't get to read these until I have about 5-7 lined up and waiting. Happy cooking to you!

  45. I'm listening! please keep doing your weekly grocery lists, i love them. you are so refreshing and fun. it's a joy to read everyday!