Sunday, January 9, 2011

Grocery Store Confessional - 8th Ed.

Of all of the surprises in my life, it cracks me up endlessly that I can come over here, spew all manner of grocerystore minutia onto this blog, and some of you will continue to read it.

This here is the very bottom of the blog fodder barrel. It's the dregs. It's Paris Hilton's sketchy reality tv show, Blog Edition. And good grief, do I ever love it.

Remember back when I started this series and I would routinely kick myself in the hiney for reaching $70 a week, when my goal was closer to $50?

Law. What was I thinking?

All I can tell you, and I've told you this before, is that a lot can happen in a year. Some things are big and some are scary, some are glitzy and some are...costly. The metamorphosis of my Grocery Budget falls into the latter category. We have added a child and I no longer work, which means the kids are no longer with a sitter at lunchtime and snacks 2-3 times a week. It seems those things do add up.

My current goal is to keep grocery spending to $400/month, or around $100/week.

It's January 9th, and I'm already over budget.

But I am resolved - Resolved! - to stay within $400 and continue to eat well while we do it.

Last week's stats:


Bag of 4 lemons - 1.29
String cheese - 2.69
Cheddar cheese sticks - 2.79
4 avocados - 1.56
Large bag of oranges - 2.49
Box of Campari tomatoes - 1.69
2 jars artichoke hearts - 4.58
Head of cauliflower - 0.99
Feta cheese crumbles - 1.99
Salt & Vinegar potato chips - 1.29
Baking mix (aka savior of Waffle Day) - 1.79
3 lb. bag of rice - 1.39
Coconut flakes - 1.49
Faux Ranch "Doritos" - 0.99
Total: 27.15

Floss picks - 1.99
1 bunch green onions - 0.50
Corn starch - 1.29
4 Fuji apples - 3.80
2 Green, yellow peppers - 1.29
1 jalapeno pepper - 0.12
Brussels sprouts - 2.69
2 boxes chicken stock - 5.38
Cereal - 2.75
Gingeroot - 0.63
2 small whipping creams - 3.00
.6 lb sugar snap peas - 1.97
2 rolls paper towels - 3.49
Banana peppers - 2.00
Pearl couscous - 4.39
Family pack boneless, skinless chicken breasts - 7.48
1 can pineapple chunks - 0.79
Whole wheat crackers - 1.99
2 gallons milk - 4.58
8 kiwi - 2.99
Large Velveeta - 4.49
Cereal - 2.50
Cereal - 2.50
Cheddar cheese (chunk) - 3.00
Pudding cups - 1.00
Bag of onions - 1.00
3 cans of Campbell's Select soup - 3.00
5 cans frozen Old Orchard juice concentrate - 4.00
10 cups Meijer Light yogurt - 2.50 (These were due to expire in 3 days and were on clearance. Score!)
Total (with tax): 78.59

You thought I was done?

So did I.

Dollar General
Gallon of milk - 2.65
Bag of tortilla chips - 3.00
Total: 5.65

Grandma's Pantry
1.3 lb. honey smoked turkey - $5.47
1 lb. Farmer's cheese - 5.00
Total: 10.47

Grand Total for Week 1: $121.86

I do declare, that is the most I have spent on a week's groceries in a long, long time. The good news is, some unexpected changes of plans (i.e. "showings", ha ha) forced us out of the house at dinnertime one night and we were fed by Cory's parents, and we had left-overs another night (there was a reason, but I don't remember it now), which means that two meals from last week will carry over to this week, which means, in theory, that this week's budget should be lower.

And theories are actually facts, right? Or am I remembering something wrong?

I'll keep you posted. Like it or not.

Peace out.

PS - You have roughly 15 hours left to enter my Giveaway! Hop to it.


  1. You must have amazing typing skillz, because that would have taken me 2 weeks to draft.

    I am in awe that you can grocery shop for a family of 5 on $121.86 a week. Don't beat yourself up Farmgirl, that is a feat!

    But after my review, it could have been the coconut flakes that put you over...

  2. I was telling Lissa at Humblepie that I really need to do this grocery budgeting for my family. The cash in an envelope really must be the trick. I really like when you do the grocery store posts. Keep 'em coming....I need to learn some tricks from you! I need some snack bar recipes...I feel like I am wasting tons of money on these prepared boxed snack things!! Help.
    I have one child in middle school and one child in elementary school and they have all of a sudden taken hungry! ;)


  3. giosmama26@yahoo.comJanuary 9, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    YAY!! It IS a good Sunday. SO excited to see this post. I sure have missed it as you know. I love looking over your shopping list. I get a kick out of the things that I see you buy. How do you determine your weeks grocery shopping buys? Do you plan your meals for the week on a certain day and then go? If so, how do you plan your meals? I am trying to do this in the new year but I work a trillion hours a day it seems. I need things that are healthy and will keep the family coming back to the table! ;)

    What would you say if I told you I just spent about $350.00 total in groceries at Costco and Trader Joe's in just one weekend? Yup, I sure did and I am ever so mad at myself. But one thing is certain, I am very influenced by "new food items" and the way :food: looks in the store.

  4. I budget $60 a week for food. I get ALL bent out os shape when I have to pick up a cleaning supply at the grocery store and it comes out of my grocery budget. I like to keep those things separate. No one else really cares about that except me. I love your grocery store posts. Feel free to add more as needed.

  5. I love reading your grocery posts because i slave over my own grocery budget and ways to stick with it. Last week i did great with $ to spare but we were still eating leftovers from christmas. Gross? I'm already behind for this week. Anyway...thanks for sharing yours!

  6. I am doing a pantry challenge with myself for the month of January. I posted about it a few posts back. My challenge is to eat from our stockpile and spend no more than $25 a week for the month. I did this last year and it worked great. Love seeing how creative when can get by the end of the month.

    Good luck with your shopping.

  7. I love that the grocery store confessional is back... I guess that makes me kind of strange or stalkerish or something....????

    Actually I find it entertaining. I must admit, I'm one of those people at the grocery store that like to see what other people put up on the "belt" when they're checking out. Maybe it's from living with "plain eaters"... I can live vicariously when I see you buying all those things that my men don't eat!


  8. Ooooh, so many things vying for attention. Where to start, Farmgirl?
    1. Love seeing Velveeta on your list. Isn't it sad that fake food is one of your more expensive line items?
    2. I see you have boxed chicken stock on the list. I'm sincerely trying to decide if it's really that much better than gool old bouillon and water. I pretend I see a difference, but I kind of think I may be faking it. Are you a true believer? If you are, I will be too.
    3. How in the world do you score four avocados for $1.56? That, my friend, is a Christmas miracle.
    4. Don't ya just love Campari tomatoes in the wintertime? Have the Costco box in my kitchen as we speak.
    I think I'm done now. Carry on, Farmgirl.

  9. I chuckle at your grocery posts because I too am trying to keep our grocery budget low. Of course, I have more mouths (and boys) to feed, but my goal is $100 a week, same as yours, but with all four kids in school, I don't have the lunches during the week.

    Yesterday, my hubby accompanied me to Aldi's. I hadn't shopped for 2 weeks. The total was $141.59. He was shocked at the price, until I reminded him that I didn't grocery shop last week & the price of that same food at Martin's would have easily been over $200.

    Then he was happy. Of course, I buy no beef or pork since I have a freezer stocked with it from our 4-H animals, but nonetheless, I was thrilled.

  10. Groceries are ridiculously expensive! I've got 6 in my house (4 are 17 and up, with 4 boys), and am also shooting for $100 a week. That's a tall order. Here's wishing us both luck!!

  11. I have a confession: this is ONE of the reasons I started reading your blog...I LOVE THESE! We budget out of necessity as well and it seems that though I try my hardest, I go over 11 times out of 10...but we have a new plan...and I'm hoping it works...keep these comin', they're great!

  12. Wow are soooo good...really! You inspire me to do a better job around here...I always tend to go overboard in the grocery department..I always shop when I am hungry. oxoxxo

    Monday hugs. xoxo

  13. I really, really want to be a better grocery budgeter so I am a little overly obsessed with how others spend their grocery money. I must ask though, where's the meat? 1 lb of turket and a pack of chicken isn't that much. Were you already stocked up in the freezer? Mead is such a budget killer for me and I can usually only get away with 1 meatless meal per week when Jim is not out of the country.

  14. I gotta tell ya girl... you are my inspiration! DH and I only have our two mouths to feed and I'm sure we spend not much less than you, but every time I read these posts I think, "Gosh, the money we could save if we created a meal plan and ate at home more!" I also have to agree with Teresa - total score on those avocados!

  15. Our daughter-in-law who works in a certain chain grocery store called this evening to say " chuck roast" just went up to 5.49 a pound! Menu Planning & Budgeting & Shopping the Ad's is definately in everyones interest...sigh

  16. This is my first time reading "Grocery store rconfessional". I enjoyed it and will be back for more. My situation is quite different I feed me and occasionally a small child or two who I care for. My shopping habits are, buying what it on sale from the meat counter when the levels drop in my freezer. Every friday I buy fresh veggies from the farmers market, basicly what ever is in season. I have started baking my own breads and cakes and such. My food budget is about $150 a month. I am not above buying marked downs or day old bakery goods with a monthly income of $845 I really need to pare that back to less than $100 I will be watching and taking notes


  17. If it is any consolation your food prices are so cheap in comparison to my UK supermarket (chicken about half the price), but even so I think you make your week shop go a long way. Hmm, I need to address my grocery shopping methinks!

  18. Maybe I should try this on my blog. We are going "cash only", but the predicted ice storm and subsequent stock-up threw off the budget.

  19. It's impossible trying to keep a budget right now.

    I went to 3 grocery stores this weekend trying to find good, but cheaper meat (pork chops, chicken breasts, steak if possible). No such luck. Our roasts are almost $12 a pop. It's insane right now...we are almost vegetarians. Me no like.

  20. well I'm just the little commenter now (:

    1. MY GROCERY BILL... a pain in my side
    2.we are up to that benji mark too!!!
    3.I need help..share all you can (:
    4....oh aldi artichoke hearts..mmmm we just stocked up...

  21. Wow!! I am in awe. We have a family of seven, and I spend $1200 a month on groceries...I need to pay closer attention to this!!

  22. I find it oddly comforting to read someone else's grocery list. It seems like such a huge part of my life...the grocery. Blech.

    And you bought salt and vinegar chips. I love you for that.

  23. good luck on that:)
    groceries is one place that i would love to cut back the bill, but the need is always growing. that is never going to equal costing less. i feel like i am butting my head against a wall! i have never been to aldi, so i may check that out.

  24. I am scratching my head reading your list, thinking what is that girl gonna do with ONLY 4 fuji apples?? well I suppose I have more kids BUT still... we keep 2 large bags of apples in the fridge each week. When your kids get older or you add more to your family, try costco. I am in L O V E with costco! It's like the garlic, I just feel like a good mom when I get home from costco, my pantry over floweth. OH... I chuckled at my last trip to costco, I bought a huge bag of garlic bulbs and thought you'd be so proud! I have a really yummy potato/garlic soup recipe that contains a TON of garlic, but it is to long to write out, so if you want a copy let me know :)

  25. had me at the receipt!

  26. You too had me at the reciept, I was so excited!! I really need to shop at Aldi's more, I'm trying to keep my budget low as always. Clipping coupons really helps, I'm also planning my garden so I'll have lots of delish veggies for nearly free.

  27. you would DIE if you saw our grocery bill. it's a lot! i would love to have an aldi. we live in kind of a snobby upper class area and they wouldn't think of having something like an aldi. oh how i miss it. we used to go there and get a cart full of food for $50.00.

  28. I don't think I could do it... there's only two of us and I still manage to spend over $100 at the grocery store. I think if I paid more attention I could get it under $100 :)

  29. I knew when you were talking about trying to spend $50 per week that you would have to think differently when child number 3 arrived!!! I have 3 girls and I KNOW there is no way I could keep groceries at $50!! But hey, you are doing great to have a $100 goal. I currently don't know for surehow much we spend. My hubby stops and picks up what we need after work - sometimes several times a week. $20 here, $10 there... I really need to get a budget going:)

  30. I am amazed you can find the receipt. The cashier hands it to me and it forever disappears! Kudos chickie, kudos!

  31. Oh grocery budgets. I used to do soooo good. Brought my calculator to the store and everything but now I'm just tired. Tired I tell you. You go girl!

  32. Love, love love the Grocery Store Confessional! Why? I have no idea. Maybe it's kind of like peeking in someone's medicine cabine . . . I'm oddly intrigued by what other people buy.

  33. I buy my chicken stock at Aldi where it is MUCH cheaper than at Meijer. Just a thought.

  34. love your blog, and someday when you go to Grandma's Pantry tell her Lucy said hi! ( she's my sister, Anna Mae) :)

  35. I'm crazy about these entries too, like everyone else! I'm nosy, so now you just have me wondering what your meal plan is to go along with this list...and where is the sour cream? :) $100 seems similar to our weekly goal to feed our five. However, pampers? Always puts me over. Anyone know how to potty train a 15 month old?

  36. this seems like a fitting post for my first comment here.

    first, we are a family of five, too, and i shoot for $100 a week. it's harder than you think, right?

    second, aldi. i've only been once and i didn't realize that you have to have a quarter to get the cart (at least here you do) and i didn't have one and i had a cranky toddler. it resulted in me running frantically around the store, toddler on one pants leg, filling my arms with just whatever. i've been too skeered to go back.

  37. Buy your paper towel, milk, pudding, OJ and yogurt from Aldi to and you'll save more. :)

    Me? I've gotten to the point where I can get almost all of my groceries at Aldi. Their frozen green beans are delish when you saute them with onion, garlic and italian seasoning. Kids over here eat them like french fries. :) My new favorite thing is to cook a meal for my family for less than $5. I live an exciting life, I tell you....

  38. $100 a week is a goal I have for our fam. as well - I sure do try!! ;) I'm so lucky to live just 2 blocks away from an Aldi - that helps!!

  39. Oh man you made me feel good today! I used to think oh shoot dang how in the world does she do this on such a budget?! I go every 2 weeks and spend $200 *usually more :( * but that is my goal and with Aldis I do a lot better! It's that darn Walmart & dog food that does me in every time! Thanks for sharing - I also realized you cook a lot better than I do! I should learn to love vegetables - can you help me? Right now I focus on just the beef - oh holy beef.

  40. Too bad we can't find everything we need at one store. Budgets suck, but you gotta have one!

  41. Normally I don't spend the same amount each week. Because some weeks, I just need more stuff. Like if I have to stock up on condiments, baking stuff, etc., I won't have to buy that the next week. You must have a stockpile in your pantry and freezer because this doesn't seem like enough to make meals every day and night. Or you are really crafty. ;)

  42. you do not want to know what I spend in our grocery budget.

    but, I'll tell you anyway. $750 a month.

    Now, I do have 3 kids...boys are 10 and 8..but still. it's CRAZY.

    Now, that $750 is groceries AND cleaning supplies/toiletries/candles when I need them...etc...

    How much would you say you spend on those kind of things?

    I hate the grocery budget.
    I'm determined to figure out how much I spend just on food. You've inspired me.

  43. You are a stickler for your list so this may not apply to you, but I have found myself saving lots of money by buying for 3 weeks of meals at a time. I go once a week for milk, bread, and any other small item we might have run out of, but I've been buying bulk paper towels, toilet paper, etc. because the unit price is lower. I was spending way too much each week and can spend the same for 3 weeks on what it was costing me for 2 weeks. Just a thought! I love reading your posts. They make me smile because I can just hear you saying some of the funny little one-liners! Miss you. :)

  44. Good job posting all of that! I am a SAHM to 3 and like you it's two boys and a girl. 10, 9, and 6 and they eat every single morsel of food I buy. I told my husband that I need to get a job at our local (tiny) grocery store for the employee discount. I can't keep up and it's only going to get worse! We live in a rural town of 3,500 and the nearest Super Target, Wal-mart or major grocery is 40 miles away. Yes, you read that correctly. FORTY MILES! I need help. :) Only spending $100/week is awesome.

  45. Oh this so sounds like what I do. I set a goal for myself for weekly grocery and the first week I go way over it. Lord help me!! You probably do better than I do. ;)

  46. Thank God for Aldi's! I get so much from that store. I wish we could get everything from Aldi's. I end up having to go to three pretty much all together. I am not a fan of Aldi's meat :( I have to go to a local meat market. :) I try so hard to set a goal for my shopping but I always go over because when Aldi's has their "in store specials" it never fails it's stuff we can use. Like milk for $1.99 a gallon?! I have to buy three at a time. Every little bit helps. I just wish I could live 2 blocks from Aldi's!