It’s incredible how much I’ve learned already from watching our grocery budget more closely. I am planning a whole post on what I’ve learned and and what I’ll do in the future, but for now, the budget continues!
I had to stop by Harris Teeter on Friday (before the week was over) for a few essentials.
Essentials would be eggs, cheese and wine. You know, just the basics!
I also picked up some cauliflower, bringing the total to $36.02 thanks to the remaining coupons I had for Red’s frozen burritos and quesadillas.
I mentioned that David worked Saturday, so I switched things up and meal planned that morning.
I planned out my meals, then mixed the days up again. But tentatively…
Sunday– Sweet Potato Chili
Monday– Shrimp Fried Quinoa
Tuesday– Chicken Salad Sandwiches, sweet potato rounds, roasted broccoli
Wednesday– Grilled salmon, green beans and roasted potatoes
Thursday– Pulled Pork BBQ (from freezer) and salad
Friday– Burgers on the grill, grilled corn and kale chips
Since it was a weekend, we took a relaxed approach to grocery shopping and filled up the whole morning. We grabbed a few items at the Davidson farmers market.
Local, free range eggs $3.50, Corn $0.50 each, Peppers $1.00 each, jalapeno $0.10
We then headed over to Healthy Home Market to take advantage of the bulk bins. Watching the budget more closely has turned me into a price detective.
I learned I could save almost $3.00 a pound by getting cashew pieces instead of whole cashews!
Raw Cashew Pieces $2.18, Dried Organic Black Beans $1.25, Almonds $2.87, Craisins $2.18, Organic Vegetable Broth $1.69 each, Tuna Fish $2.99, Organic Pretzel Bunnies $3.49, Organic Quinoa $1.30
Then, to Target…
…where the big kid carts made Hailey’s entire day!
We finished off the list here, though we made a few swaps along the way. $5.00 for asparagus just isn’t going to fly with me right now, so we opted for green beans instead. We left off the jerky because it just looked so sad in its prepackaged state. Thinking of making it myself next week if the budget allows.
Buttermilk $2.44, Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese $2.24, Fage Greek Yogurt $5.99, Goat Cheese $3.99, Target Cream Cheese $1.99, Frozen Wild Caught Salmon $10.94, Frozen Wild Caught Shrimp $9.59, 100% Grass-fed Ground Beef $7.99, Target sour cream $1.04
Parsley $0.69, Kale $0.99, Bok Choy $1.30, Sweet Potatoes $2.09, Lime $0.39, Green Onions $1.29
Cucumbers $1.28, Green Beans $1.89, Organic Carrots $1.09, Organic Celery $2.69, Organic Broccoli 3.49, Cherry Tomatoes $2.99
Organic Grapes $4.99, Red Potatoes $1.59
Total Target bill was $74.43.
Like I mentioned yesterday, I did some food prep on Sunday.
I had frozen English muffins and sausage leftover from a couple weeks ago and used those to make a batch of Mom McMuffins. I also made black beans, which went into the sweet potato chili after I saved a few. I made a batch of quinoa and boiled eggs, too.
The grocery total for this week, plus the essentials pick up last Friday brings the week total to $138.57.
We are almost halfway through the month and so far I’ve spent $278.64. When I factor in my $20 mis-steak, I have $261.36 left for the month.
Also, I totally forgot to buy chicken for the chicken salad sandwiches. Meal planning FAIL. David ended up having to be away for work last night, so I just ate salad stuff and popcorn for dinner. Now I’ll sub the shrimp fried quinoa for the chicken salad sandwiches. Flexibility for the win.
These budget posts… love ‘em or hate ‘em?
You are totally inspiring me to create a better budget. I can’t wait for your post on what you have learned!
Love them. We have always lived by a strict budget, because I am so cheap. I find it quite fascinating to see the prices for things I buy here in our area compared to in your area. Some are cheaper and some cost much more.
Thanks for sharing
Andrea Seaner says
Love the food budget posts! My hubby told me I need to seriously reel in our food budget so I am definitely looking for some tips! In fact I now have a notebook dedicated to the food budget where I can keep track of prices at different stores so I know what to stock up on. Going to try to take advantage of farmers markets in the area, although the times/locations in which they’re held are not convenient. Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you? I find that they have lower prices on organic items then the regular grocery store. I do my weekly food shopping there and then usually go to Target to pick up supplemental items (name brand foods, toiletries, etc).
Brittany Dixon says
We don’t have a Trader Joe’s near here. Perhaps I should swing by and take a closer look at my next trip to Charlotte. Thanks! 🙂
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
Nice job on the budgeting! I’ve been keeping a close eye on my budget too (which means packing leftovers for lunch! That’s a big one!) and it’s amazing how much money you can save!
I’ve been watching what we spend in groceries as well. I’ve been doing Aldi for milk, bread,etc and all produce & meats come from Whole Foods. I’ve been trying to stay around $100-$120 a week as usually it was around $200 which is just WAY too high for me for a week’s worth of food. I love the budget posts!!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey says
LOVE budget posts. Keep them coming. 🙂
Sweet potato chili sounds delicious! Not sure if you already know this but Target has awesome mobile coupons such as $1 off vegetables or $1 off fruit, $1 off target brand food item etc. If you weren’t aware it seems like you could save a few dollars at Target based on your purchase. Also, it seems like you buy a lot of organic items but I dont think I saw any organic dairy.
I was wondering your philosophy on organic? I am always trying to figure out what my organic priority beyond the dirty dozen should be. I also haven’t seen any milk? Does Hailey not drink milk or does she have her own food budget?
Brittany Dixon says
I downloaded the Cartwheel app but haven’t looked into it enough to use it yet. Thanks for the nudge. I’ll have to do that!
I also need to address the milk question because a lot of people are asking. A month or so Hailey stopped drinking milk. She only wanted water. I’m not too concerned that she isn’t drinking it. She eats a lot of fats and protein and probably more yogurt and cheese than she should 😉
I’ll still offer it to her sometimes, and if she wants it, I’ll get it again, but it began to be a waste of money since David and I don’t drink it.
As for organic, gah, I’ve been pretty inconsistent lately 🙂 I prioritize fruits and veggies (and quality meats) as organic because of the pesticides and prefer to buy organic yogurt when I can, especially if it’s for Hailey. I’ve been buying H organic cream cheese, but Target didn’t have it, so I got regular. If I can’t buy organic, I try to look for dairy products that are rBHT (like Smart Balance Milk) because I’m comfortable with that. As much as I’d like to buy all organic and GMO-free all the time, it isn’t realistic with our budget and lifestyle. I certainly try to vote with my dollar by buying those items as often as possible.
Great questions and sorry for the novel!
My daughter wouldn’t drink milk for awhile unless it was a peanut butter banana “milkshake” and I was all worried but my ped said it was fine as long as she got other dairy. As you said I wouldn’t worry about it if she’s eating the yogurt and cheese . I hear ya on the not wanting to waste $! I was buying organic cheese(multiple brands) and my daughter wouldn’t eat any of it then I bought some Kraft and store brand on vacation and she loved it. So I just decided its probably better for her to get the cheese than not. I give her organic milk and yogurt though unless she steals my Chobani 🙂
I’ve been reading your blog for several months now, but have never commented. I’ve really been enjoying the budget posts! My daughter is two months younger than yours and I am pregnant again. I appreciate seeing a week of balanced meals and how to best shop for it. We’re trying to keep our budget low, but still provide everyone with their proper nutritional needs! Keep ‘me comin!!
Love them! They’re full of good product and recipe ideas. I’m sure they’re time consuming to pull together, but I really do find them helpful 🙂
Love them!! Have def inspired to do better and watch the budget. I have a question about what H eats…does she eat whatever is leftover from the night before or does she eat dinner with you guys?
Brittany Dixon says
We usually eat after she goes to bed because of David’s work schedule. She eats leftovers from the night before or simple pulled together meals from the fridge (quinoa, grape tomatoes, etc). Sometimes I’ll make her the organic Annie’s mac and cheese with carrots and peas. Her dinners are usually pretty simple 🙂
I love them! I’m almost shocked by at least one thing. Like bulk bins. I had no idea I would save so much! And with only 2 in our house it makes it easier to buy the right amount instead of a HUGE box we’ll never eat!
If you cook with a lot of spices, it’s also REALLY worth your while to buy your spices from a store that carries them in bulk. You can even take your own containers, have them weighed ahead of time, and fill them up. Inexpensive spices like parsley will literally cost you pennies compared to $3-5 at grocery store spice-aisle prices.
I’ve never bought into the bulk bins budget tip b/c I had Whole Foods prices in mind but looks like you’re really getting a deal at the other market! I don’t know of any other bulk bins in my area and I don’t know if I can stand adding another store to my rotation, haha. My 8mo old loves the grocery store but maxes out pretty quick!
Love your mealplanning and budget posts. I don’t do either but I really should!
Love the budget posts! I am a new stay-at-home mom, and my husband and I are finding how important it is to now create and stick to a grocery budget. Your tips have been very helpful! Please keep them coming!
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says
LOVE budgets and LOVE food = LOVE these posts! 😉
I’m obsessed with these posts – please keep them up.
One thing that surprises me is how different the prices of some things are for me in Philly. I bought 2 sweet potatoes from the market yesterday and they were $6. Meanwhile you got 3 for $2. I wonder where I’m going wrong. My green beans were $4 and we got less than you have in that bag. I might have to venture out to the suburbs to see if it’s just a center city thing or if I’m just shopping incorrectly.
Brittany Dixon says
I doubt you’re shopping incorrectly 😉 I love hearing price comparison from around the country and Cananda- it differs quite a bit it seems and I’m sure you’re right that between city and suburb, things differ.
My sweet potatoes weren’t organic- that might make a difference? I feel like sweet potatoes are the cheapest things I can buy. We should eat them more often- haha!
Sabrina I hope I save you a trip to the suburbs! I work in center city but live an hour north so Im out in the burbs. Prices definitely differ but not enough to warrant a trip out here. It’s all so minimal. When reading these posts, I always am confused about how much cheaper the food is. I just paid $2.50 per pepper + got 2 sweet potatoes for $5. Sad trombone for Philly.. 🙁
Kelli H says
I am lovin’ the meal planning/budget posts. I always love seeing how much food costs where you live vs. where I live. It seems to be about the same. Maybe your milk and eggs are a little cheaper, but not by too much.
I hate when I forget something at the store! At least you can think on your feet to make something else. I’ve totally had salad for dinner and then popcorn afterwards in a pinch.
char eats greens says
LOVE THEM!!! Gah. You are a brilliant budgeter :). Our budget for the week is $200 and we came just under, so I’m hoping everything we have will last the whole week (minus bananas, those are definitely something we always need to replenish mid-week and maybe almond milk). I think these posts definitely help me and I’m honestly ready to meal plan for NEXT week already! haha
Brittany Dixon says
I’d love to see a detailed post of your grocery shopping! You eat so well 🙂
Love them. I actually reading about anything personal finance related as I’m trying to put myself on a budget as well. Mine is more to do with shopping than food though 😉
I can’t help but notice that you buy so many veggies and just a little bit of fruit. I’m the total opposite. I can down fruit like its nobodies business, but veggies are more difficult. Again, you are my food shopping role model!
Brittany Dixon says
I prefer vegetables for less sugar. Is that a health nerd answer or what? I’m really working on balancing my blood sugars right now, so the less sugar (even natural sugar) the better. 🙂
Love the budget posts. Can’t wait to read your post on what you have learned to pass along to all of us. Good job! I wish I had a few of your stores.
Love these posts! So far I haven’t acted on anything, but I enjoy reading about your adventure 🙂 I’ll spring into action one day. My husband and I eat pretty healthy (80/20), and we meal plan, but not based on sale items…we just go with what sounds good and works with our schedule. Which equals spending a ton.
Casey @ Salted Plates says
Please keep posting about the budgets. Good work on finding nice bulk bins and I can’t believe all the things you can buy at your Target. I could maybe get green onions and lime but that is it for produce.
Curious, do you take that list/notebook to the store as your grocery list or do you write up a list for each stop/department? I always have trouble with this part… the actual grocery list part and wonder how other people do it.
Brittany Dixon says
I bring the notebook with me! I start by shopping where I’d prefer to get items and save the catch all (like a Target or Harris Teeter) for the end. I know I can usually find any items I need there, so I save it for last 🙂
Danica @ It's Progression says
Again, I love these budget posts!
This is our first month setting a grocery (and eating out) budget – so while we’re not exactly sure about the amount we *should* set it for – I’ve already used over half of it up!
Erin G. @ Treats and Sneaks says
I’ve been loving the budget posts! I actually found myself paying closer attention to my own budget this past weekend which can only help. Thanks!
Elle @ The Clean Project says
I love the budget posts. We’re on a tight food budget, so it always helps me to see how other people are making their budgets work and doing their meal planning.
I love posts like these! This pregnancy has knocked me on my a**, so I haven’t done much cooking, but I really need to!
Love these budget/meal planning posts. I also really love meal planning and prepping food ahead. I find I really need to now with a 1 year old! I have to have food on hand ready to go for him and I like us to eat healthy so planned meals always work out better. When I don’t plan we end up eating not as healthy of course 😉
Matt @ The Athlete's Plate says
Love the posts. I need to learn to budget my food shopping! I’m such an impulse buyer.
Avery @ YoungAspirations says
Love love loveee these posts. Your first one really had some great tips that I plan on using next time I shop! Keep ’em comin! 🙂
I live in Canada and have a different budget (prices are so different here!). But I love these posts. I’m that person who’s looking through the flyers/internet to find the best prices, and of course try to buy local when I can. I make a list and try to stick to a tight budget while aiming to get the best quality/healthy food I can afford. Your posts are always very useful to me! Keep ’em coming!
Great post! I’m mostly super jealous of the amazing prices at your markets it feels like everything in nyc is 2xs what it should be! That exact same fage container is $9 near me.
Have you considered adding more meatless meals to trim the budget? It looks like you get great organic eggs from the farmers market and a frittata dinner always feels very french and chic 🙂
Ohsheglows.com always has inspiring meatless recipes too.
And wine a definately an essential!!
I absolutely love these posts! Please keep them coming!
Neil Butterfield says
Lots of healthy choices here.
I was wondering if there was a way I could find all your “mealprep/grocery/budget” posts in one area? Im new to the site and I really enjoy them.
Brittany Dixon says
I don’t have them organized into one area yet, but I’m working on categorizing my posts so they can be easier to access. I’ll step up the pace! Thanks so much for reading and I’ll work on getting better organized soon! 🙂
In the meantime, you can search in the left sidebar for meal planning and that should bring some up!
Love! So interesting to see how you meal plan and shop! I’m definitely trying to improve at this myself.
Meal Planning and budgeting are a little intense for some of us!! 🙂 hehe! Do you have an idea of how much things cost and then balance out the week? How do you know if you are close to budget before actually shopping for the items? For ex. you know steak is on the menu one night, fish the next so you balance the more expensive nights with meatless nights?
Outstanding read, I merely passed this kind of onto a colleague who had previously been doing a tiny research on that. And he actually bought myself lunch because I found it regarding him smile So allow me to rephrase that.
Jillian @ Baby Doodah! says
Love them! Seriously, so much motivation comes from just seeing how other families manage their budgets.
I’ve been trying to cut down on the amount of fruit I buy. Before, I would buy, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Then nectarines, apples and cherries (veggies don’t seem to be a problem)…and I’d eat a good chunk of it, but a significant amount would go bad and get tossed. The last two weeks I cut it down to one berry and 1 other type of fruit and it’s all gotten eaten.
Unfortunately, those weeks we needed a lot of paper/cleaning products so our bill didn’t actually decrease on the screen, but I did remind myself that it would have been $30 more w/ the added fruit. So… Win?
Anyway, I love these posts! Please continue to share.