Monday, January 12, 2009

GCC Shopping Round Up

I just want to remind myself (and anyone else out there) that this budget wasn't just a fun project. This crazy $60 a week budget is simply what I have to feed my family right now. It has a purpose. There's a goal to be reached. No pity party here. We chose to start a business. We knew it was going to take some sacrifice and creativity. We were committed that I stay home to run the house and teach the kids. (It's growing well by the way. Every quarter is better than the last)

I say all that as a reminder to myself because It's such a temptation to overspend. A lot of times I stand at an aisle and look at the shelf and justify, "Well, it would be cheaper to buy the bigger size." But if I fell for that every time my budget just wouldn't stay at $60. It would grow and grow and grow. So my goal is to fit all that I need JUST FOR THE WEEK into my $60 budget. Sometimes that means buying ONLY the smaller carton of whipping cream that is a little bit more expensive than the pint because that is the only way I can make the puzzle pieces of my grocery budget fit together to equal $60 and still get everything else on my list. And sometimes I still go slightly over. (It would be so nice to be perfect, wouldn't it?)

Ok. I'm done with my personal pep talk. So here's how it went...

3 loaves of bread $2.82
2 bags of bagels $1.88

3 cans pineapple chunks $2.37
3 cans mandarin oranges $1.67
3 cans tomatoes $1.17
Cranberry Sauce $.49
Men's Deodorant $.99

4 double rolls TP $2.99
Garbage Bags $.99
Conditioner $.99
Shampoo $3.49
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil $3.99
Peanut Butter $1.69
32 oz Frozen Strawberries $2.98
Feta $1.59
Shredded Parmesan $1.99

5lb Potatoes $1.68
2.4 lbs Bananas $1.39
Dozen Eggs $1.59
Frozen Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrot Mix $1.48
Graham Pie Crust $1.12
Green Pepper $.58
1/2 lb bulk rolled oats $.18
1/2 lb bulk Johny's Seasoning Salt $.84
Shredded Mozzarella $1.91
1/2 lb bulk powdered milk $1.57
1/4 lb bulk Crispy Rice Cereal $.43
1.75 lbs bulk Quick Oats $.75
1/3 lb Bulk Baking Cocoa $1.04
Margarine Tub $.89
Unsalted butter sticks $1.98
2 lbs cheddar $5.48
1/2 lb dried pineapple mango
Margarine sticks $.86
2 lbs plain yogurt $1.78
Whipping Cream $1.58
Emergen-C (fights off colds)$9.98

Grand Total $69.79

To see what's cooking at our house this week with all these ingredients, go HERE.

If you'd like to link up please remember to link directly to your post (not your home page) and include a link back here. I look forward to seeing how everyone did this week.


Katherine said...

Sometimes is it very difficult to remember what our goal is! I often have found myself going WAY over budget by stocking up on "deals." We, too, have made a choice that has put us in the position that we are in and only we have the ability to make good choices to improve our future. I am proud of you for remembering way you are doing what you are doing instead of just looking at the price per unit! Congratulations!

Mrs. Querido said...

Well, I totally blew my grocery budget this week. I am still adjusting to shopping every week rather than every two weeks. It's a steep learning curve...and slightly more expensive for now. I know I will find my groove and save more soon.

Way to go on keeping the heart of your mission uppermost in your mind. And how cool that this budget project has brought you some extra income by garnering the attention of the press! Your news articles are great reads!


rachelg said...

Its amazing what a family can do within a budget if they work at it. You are a great inspiration thank you for doing this!

my little corner said...

I have been waiting to see when you would buy toilet paper! Also glad you posted how much dry milk you bought and at the cost. I have been hunting around and marking the price of dry milk to my price book. There is a huge range in pricing and packaging. Funny thing was this past week, I went to three bulk store and not one of them had dry milk in stock. I think we are seeing a recession trend here!


Jacquelin said...

I love this blog and seeing how everyone really works to stick to their budgets.
Thanks for inspiring me!

Monica said...

We use Emergen-C here, too! I swear by it. I really does work.

Latte said...

Sorry Gayle I know the rules for this and dumb old me forgot to make sure I had the shopping trip on their and not the menu plan day. So #4 is not the shopping trip but the menu plan. You can delete it if you want.

Thanks for letting us join you on this!


Terri and Bob said...

As always, I bow to the master! I visited everyone on Mr. Linky. There were some awesome shoppers out there!

N. said...

Hi Gayle. I saw you bought Emergen-C to help with colds. I have a 5 year old who has always had a compromised immune system and is sick from about October - March. He typically has several URI's, goes through much prescription cough medicine and ends up with pneumonia about twice a year. This year, at the prompting of my mom, I started giving him an Immune Booster by Lil' Critters called Immune C. It has Zinc and Ecchinacea in it. We have had tons of illness in our area and he has only had a very small, minor cold through it all. And this is with starting a pre-k program with tons of germy kids. My doctor said that there have been new studies on the effectiveness of zinc and to keep it up. It costs me about $5 every two weeks to give enough to both of my little ones, but it has saved used TONS in doctor visits, I can assure you. Just wanted to pass that along.

Also, I'm with you on having to reel yourself in from actually getting a better bargain when you are trying to stay under your budget. Sometimes we just have to buy tp 4 rolls at a time.

Keep up the awesome work!!

Laura Beth Fletcher said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful blog...I love your menus and your creativity in your budget. I just discovered this blog last week. It was mentioned on a blog last week (LPM) when a post about budgeting for groceries came up! I'm so thankful!
I've been making a menu and budgeting for a while now, but using some of your helps I was able to reduce our grocery bill even more this week.
I've shared this blog with some other friends as well!
My family really enjoyed the tortellini soup last night!
Thanks again!
Laura Beth

gloria said...

Yesterday I was telliing my Tom how impressed and amazed I am with you young mothers who are taking the time to buget; cook; homeschool and so much hat is off to all of you. I grew up in a very old fashion household and I believe Family is our first priority. I married young and while my children where in grade school went back to college...some weeks we had no money or time actually to food shop....we ate a lot of pasta....we all gained weight that year..ha ha ..but we survived. Today I could get away with spending a bit more but I don't..once you get use to being frugal it's in your blood! I am proud of you girls.

Trish said...

Oh how I long for a WinCo.
And bulk bins anywhere. :sigh:
Good for you for keeping your motivation in mind.
We are under the constraints we're under because of some BAD choices. But the goal of debt freedom is what keeps me keepin' on!

Anonymous said...

Yes its great to have a self pep talk and I am glad to hear the business is doing well.

I have trouble sometimes with our budget as well glad to know i am not the only one. Keep up the good work.

Jillyn said...

It's funny that you should write that on your blog this week. I have been doing so good but last week I was just sick of penny pinching and being poor and just bought stuff. Now I have to work more hours and I didn't even get some of the stuff I needed.

nan said...

I finally did the challenge and cut my groceries down by about $30 dollars. I know some places to improve on and I'm already thinking about next week. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I think if you look at your average you are still at $60 per week. Great Job!

StrusaD said...

I'm so excited to get start a new month with a new goal of sticking to my budget. I've done poorly in the past, but your article that said, "Frugality is not a lifestyle of deprivation. It’s making choices with a goal in mind." really has me inspired! Thanks so much!

cooking like a frugalite said...

I gave you an award. Check it out at
Congratulations!! Jennifer @ Cooking Like A Frugalite

Sasha said...

I think your blog is great. I tell everyone about it. I was wanting to know if you have ever thought about buying some of your items such as shampoo and deodorant from Avon? You can really get some good deals, I have found sometimes cheaper then the store? Also a perk is having it sent to your house? I was just wondering. Thanks again Sasha

Danielsen5 said...

I too want to grab the "biggie" size to save money. You said it best, "just get through to next week". Amen

Blessings, BEth Ann

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

All this time, I never quite realized how little the bulk cereal at WinCo is. I just noticed that it only cost you cents for 1/4 lb. Why have I not been doing that?

Katrine said...

Good job on sticking with your goals. I read your blog all the time to remind me to stay in budget!

noahandlylasmommi said...

That is awesome. I am feeding a family of four and can never seem to spend under $60. Today I spent $80!

SmrfChic said...

Hi Gayle,

I was just wondering if you knew that WinCo pays you to bring your own bags? I was happily surprised by that this week! We have some bags that we got for free out at the county fair two years ago, and have a few more that we bought for 99c at various times. I decided that I needed to start using them more often, and when I got to the checkstand the woman asked me how many bags I had, and then proceeded to give me a 6c credit for each bag! That was 30c off my order just for remembering to bring my bags into the store. Now, you can of course make your own reusable grocery bags (there's tons of free online patterns and tutorials), from fabric or even old clothes that you have on hand... But even if you decided to purchase bags at 99c + tax, you would break even in just 18 trips!

Anonymous said...

how did you find your discount grocery in your area ... they seem so hidden I can't find one and I live in Wichita, Kansas!

Val said...

I’ve enjoyed reading your blog through RSS for awhile now, but recently the articles are continued in feedburner and in order to finish the post I have to click on the title and read it on the actual blog. This takes away from the convenience of using a feed reader. Is this something that can be changed or temporary?

Kara said...

We're a family on the same budget and I'm so inspired by your lists and your shopping! I'm a very visual person, so your photos and your item by item lists are really helpful to me and I appreciate the time it takes you to post & share that.

I'm so glad that I found your blog! Times are tough, for sure, but I truly believe that we can inspire & encourage each other and blogs like yours are going to be a key in doing that.

Best Wishes,

Jennifer said...

I prefer to stock up on things to lower my out of pocket costs over the long haul. but when I have a limited grocery budget I have to remind myself as well that I just need whatever it is for the week. Not that I usually have an unlimited amount, but I budget for 2 weeks at a time (our pay period) and the first week I always tend to do more stocking up than the second week. Anyway, I think you do a wonderful job making your $ stretch, I am always impressed.

Melissa :) said...

I see you often buy Mandrin Oranges. My kids gobble these things up! Do you do anything special w/ yours? My kids eat them straight from the can. :)