Sunday, January 11, 2015

Grocery Shopping

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping for the first time this year (had been eating from the fridge, freezer, and pantry up to that point).

My grocery budget doesn't include pet food, toiletries, household products, etc.  Those items are budgeted separately; mainly because I like to know exactly how much I spend on various categories.  The grocery budget is only for food items for my daughter and myself.

When my daughter was living at home full time, I set the grocery budget at $150 per month.  Now that she's away at university, I am budgeting $75 for myself for the month, although, very often, I share what I've bought with her.

Yesterday, I shopped at one of the regular chain supermarkets (as opposed to the ethnic market).  In addition to the groceries, I bought pet food and household products (3 air fresheners); if I include everything I bought, I spent a total of $65.97.  Of which, $24.20 was for pet food, $2.40 was for household products, and $2.60 was sales tax on the pet food and household products (no taxes on food).  So, the non-food items came to $29.20.  Deduct $29.20 from the $65.97 I spent and it means I spent $36.77 on food items, which included soda and bottled coffee drinks which are treats.

Here's what I bought and spent:

1 gallon milk: $2.99
2 pkg. skinless/boneless chicken breasts @ $1.99/lb.; $4.30 + $4.94 = $9.24
2 pkg. sausages, @ $1.79 minus $.50 coupon = $1.29@ = $2.58
1 doz. large eggs ($2.99; free with coupon) = $0
3 jars peanut butter, $.99@ = $2.97
2 4-pack bottled coffee drinks, $4.99 + $.20 redemption value@ minus $1 coupon = $3.99+$.20@ = $7.98 + $.40 = $8.38
1 64-fl.oz apple juice, $2.99 minus $1 coupon = $1.99
2 boxes rice/wild rice mixes, $1@ = $2.00
2 cans fruit (peaches), $1.25@ minus $.20 coupon = $1.05@ = $2.10
1.45 lb bananas, $.69/lb = $1.00 
3 2-liter soda, @ $.98 (includes $.10 redemption value) = $2.94
1 2-liter soda @$.98 minus $.40 coupon = $.58
1 17-oz. box cereal ($3.99; free with coupon) = $0

= $36.77

$75 - $36.77 = $38.23 balance left in this month's grocery budget.

Oops!  I forgot to include the $0.04 I spent on 2 cans of tuna at the drug store, the other day!  Yes, that's right, I spent all of 4 cents to buy 2 cans of tuna!  They were on sale for $.77 each and I had a "bonus cash"-type coupon for $1.50, so my final cost came to $.04!

So, total spent on groceries in January, so far:  $36.77 + $.04 = $36.81 and I have $38.19 left in my grocery budget.

The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a convenience food of sorts for me; I usually try to pay no more than $.99/lb for chicken, which usually means whole chickens or legs or, occasionally, chicken breast halves with skin and bones.  But $1.99/lb. is the best price for b/s chicken breasts in my area and an occasional splurge for me.

I might send some of the peanut butter with daughter when she returns to university this week, along with the free box of cereal (her favorite kind).

The canned fruit will go in the pantry as part of the emergency food store (I live in earthquake country).  I only bought bananas as fresh fruit because I have fresh oranges from the garden and apples and grapes and pomegranates (also from the garden) in the fridge.

I do need to buy some fresh vegetables for the week, because I only have carrots and tomatoes on hand.  But fresh vegetables tend to be on the expensive side at the chain supermarket; I will be passing by the ethnic store on my way to pick up my friend, today, so I will stop by and get some vegetables from there.

How is your grocery budget set up?  Do you include pet food and household/toiletry items in your grocery budget?  Or do you separate them out the way I do?


  1. Hi Bless, I was just reading through some of your posts. You did really great on the grocery shopping! My budget is set up similar to yours. Grocery budget is only for food for DH and me. Pet food, household items, and toiletries each have their own categories. I don't feel I can get a true picture of what I'm spending to eat if I lump so many other items in with groceries.

    1. Greta, thank you for your comments. Yes, I want to know just how much I spend on various things and that's only possible if I separate by category.


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