Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Budget Goal: Fail

So less than two hours ago, I updated about my $50 grocery-food budget goal to be used for the next two weeks. Well, I failed. I know, I know -- I'm terrible. Why even make goals if you don't meet them? But I think I did pretty well, considering this the first time I really tried to be prudent. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I am one of those people that shops sans list and throws anything into the basket that looks good, but I definitely am not like a few of our friends that are able to stick to a $50 (usually less!) grocery budget every week. Honestly, I don't know how they do it. J. and I have scrutinized our grocery store spending so many times, but the things we are buying aren't crazy, and generally we aren't very wasteful...

In spirit of one of our friends, T., who blogs weekly with the theme "Thrifty Thursday," I decided to account for our purchases this week similar to her style.

BOGO Items
Whole Fruit Fruit Bars (Black Cherry) $1.80
(2) Publix Oven Roasted Turkey Breast (sliced deli meat) $6.19
(2) Mueller Pasta $1.43 (4) Wishbone Dressing $5.22
(2) Thomas Everything Bagels $4.49
Athenos Crumbled Feta $2.25  

Sargento Shredded Mild Cheddar (2 C) $2.50
Publix 2% Provolone (sliced deli cheese) $2.50
(2) Sweet Vidalia Onions $1.39
(5) Mangoes $5.00
Watermelon $4.99

Publix Spinach $2.49
(5) Bananas $1.50
Arnold Sesame Buns $3.49
Santitas White Corn Tortilla Chips $2.00
4-Grain Eggs (dozen) $2.69
Pineapple $4.99
Red Bell Pepper $2.19
Jalapeno Pepper $0.10
Edys Fruit Bar (Strawberry) $4.65
Arnold Wholegrain Oatnut $2.15  

Total Savings $31.15 
Total Spent (after tax) $64.65 

I was really excited about the Whole Fruit Fruit Bars being BOGO -- I had just mentioned to several coworkers that I have been craving these type of fruit bars. When I got to the store, however, I was disappointed to see that this brand includes high fructose corn syrup in the bars; Edy's brand, albeit more expensive, does not. I splurged and also purchased the more expensive (almost 4x the price!) brand in addition to the BOGO item. On the topic of HFCS, it's very disappointing that so many manufacturers of bread include this ingredient! It seems ridiculous to have to spend almost $4 on buns for our Boca Burgers, but Arnold is the only brand carried at Publix that offers a non-HFCS options. Other areas I splurged in: watermelon, pineapple, and Mueller pasta. I myself am not a melon fan, but I know my husband likes them. It's been so dreadfully hot out that I figured cold fruit would be very refreshing. We always stock up on pasta since it's an easy base ingredient for many recipes. I was planning on only buying one box since our pantry has several others right now from previous BOGO sales, but they had these delightful corkscrew-shaped pasta that I just had to buy. At any rate, I only went about $15 over my budget. And this is our spending for the next two weeks of meals (plus the bagels/bread will last us longer than two weeks). Woohoo!

How do you save on your grocery shopping? Does anyone do comparison shopping? Buy in bulk? Coupon?


Tiffany said...

I think you did great for your first go round! I had my budget all the way up at $75 for the first few months after I started couponing.

First of all, if this is for two weeks, then that's only spending about $30 a week, so that is great. Also, it looks like you've started stocking up on things (like the salad dressing), so you won't need to buy it everytime. We also rarely buy meat, so we save a lot of money there.

But I think you should be very proud of yourself :-)

ambuhhh said...

Yeah, we don't usually buy meat unless it's bags of frozen chicken (a rare purchase) or deli meat for J.'s lunches. (Occasionally we splurge for fish!) I know we save more money as a household because we don't buy too much meat.. but for what we are missing in meat, we make up in produce. It's amazing how much exotic fruits cost! *grumble grumble* However, I will say that Sam's Club offers great quality produce for the best prices if you're willing to buy in bulk (which we do about once a month).

I like to be *way* ahead on breads during BOGO sales, especially because the brand we like is normally very expensive on it's own. Salad dressing is always on sale, but like you said, we stocked up on it this time so it won't be an expense later.

I think planning meals is the best way to manage food budgets, at least for us. It's hard for me to get into couponing; we usually prefer store brand anyway and the time it takes to search/print out coupons ends up not being worth it. I did try it a few times, though, and I know lots of people (you included) that really know how to shop on a budget!

I am curious - how do you make meals out of the things you buy? What do you guys usually have for dinners, especially if you aren't buying meat? Future blog post, hmm? (:

Post a Comment