Yes, I know it's Friday. Sorry this is late.
It's been a busy week for us, as we had a funeral yesterday for a friend of the family. It was sad, though her death was expected because of a brain tumor. I must say, it was probably one of the most uplifting (almost happy) funerals I've ever been to. The woman who passed away was such a selfless, friendly person and I think her family was relieved that the fight was over. Her grandchildren sang, we sang a song she wrote with a choir that got together Wednesday, and the mood in the room was peaceful and celebratory. It felt like we were all patting her on the back whispering "Good job, Linda" in her ear.
Anyway, despite the busy-ness of the week I was still able to get our grocery shopping done. Here's our meal plan for the next week:
W Tortilla Soup (Got moved b/c of the funeral- we ate at Stephen's parent's house)
T Bean Burritos (Also moved b/c of the funeral- ate at In n Out, which is covered by a separate $20/month eating out budget)
S BBQ Chicken Strips, Potato Salad, Green Beans
M Mac & Cheese, Smoked Sausage, Sauteed Spinach
T Chicken Fajitas
Juice for Ben
My estimate for the week came out to exactly $40 (woot). However, I realized that I was nearly out of butter, and I use butter frequently. I have no shame about this. There is nothing tastier than a creamy, slightly salty addition to vegetables or baked items. Also, butter is my preferred fat for sauces, soups and gravies. The cheapest butter I found listed on sale was for $3 a pound! Ridiculous! Since when is that a sale?! At Costco I was able to purchase it for $2.32 a pound, but I had to buy 4 pounds. That set me back nearly $10, but it will last over a month if I limit my baking. Another thing that set me back more than I would have liked was a cereal sale at Albertsons. They were selling cereal at $1.75 a box, but you had to buy 4. That should last me 1-2 months.
Total for the week: $54.62
Not great. So, where did I go wrong? I spent the following:
Sprouts (produce) 9.13
Costco (diary, juice) 28.06
Albertsons (cereal) 7.79
Stater Bros (meat, grocery) 9.64
I think it's safe to say that Costco is the bane of my existence. Speaking of Costco, I had the following conversation with the clerk at check out:
"Has anyone offered you the executive membership yet?"
"Yes, I'm not interested."
"Um, you spend a lot of money here!"
"I know. I'm trying to change that."
"You have 2 babies! That's not going to change. Every time you eliminate one expense something else will come up. You should really think about getting the executive membership."
"Yeah, I'm still trying to be better about my spending..."
That whole experience made me want to NEVER get that executive membership. And slap her. I really am trying to do better. I mean, I only bought 4 things at Costco and I'm trying to only purchase necessities, like eggs, milk, cheese, or potatoes. Things that are always less expensive there. I could probably eliminate apple juice, but I'm trying to water it down so we go through it more slowly, and if I got rid of it I'd have one angry toddler. Anyway, I still want to smack that lady for telling me that I can't get any better with my spending habits. It reminded me of those lap band billboards that say, "Diets Fail! Lap Band Works!" I hate those- really, what a downer.
I think my grocery budget will have to come down to an average of $40 a week so that when I need to buy a lot of something, I can. After the month is out, I'll know for sure if I can do this and if it's realistic.
Let me explain why I go to so many stores. Firstly, I have the time to go to them. Secondly, it is less expensive for me to drive around than to ignore the deals and only shop at one store. Sprouts is amazing and has double ad Wednesdays, when their ads overlap between weeks and I can get consistently great prices on fresh produce (bell peppers at .77 each and heads of lettuce for .50, etc). Their produce is quality and some of the best I've seen in the area. However, I will never buy other items from them because they specialize in organic/whole foods. They are expensive. This is the case for the other stores I shop at: good prices and quality for some things, yet terrible prices or quality for others. If there was a store that existed with great prices and good quality for every item I needed I would go there, but there isn't a place like that where I live. It only exists in my imagination.
I do not coupon because I generally try not to buy prepared foods and that's usually what coupons are for. I always try to use them if they are in a grocery ad. I will use them for specific items items I need, like face wash or toilet paper, but I sign up for specific newsletters for online coupons. That's the extent I go.
Lesson learned for the week: It's only a good deal if you would normally buy the item. For example, if soda were on sale next week for .50 a liter (in my dreams) I wouldn't buy it even though it's a fantastic price. Why? I don't usually purchase soda, so I'm still spending extra money for something I wouldn't buy anyway. If I were planning a party in the near future? Then I would purchase it because I would have bought it in the near future. Root beer... yum...
Happy shopping and happy weekend!