April 5. Senior Discount day at Fred Meyer. I bought a lot today, but not much in the food section. I bought 1 box of vegetable garden fertilizer for $3.93 using the senior discount, 4 half-gallons of whole milk and 2 half-gallons of orange juice for 89 cents each, using an in-ad coupon, plus the senior discount, 6 15-oz jars of natural-style peanut butter for $1.35 each, on sale and using the senior discount, 11.5 oz can of decaf coffee, for $3.23, using a coupon plus the senior discount, and a freebie of 3-oz package of Doritos chips snack mix. I spent $20.60. Not many food items I needed this month, there.
April 6. Had to go to Home Depot, so stopped at Imran's ethnic market just down the street. I bought 24 Pink Lady apples at 49 cents/lb, 9 bananas at 49 cents/lb, 5 green bell peppers at 5/$1, 1 bunch of celery at 99 cents. Spent $7.39
April 11. Dollar Tree for my once per month visit. I buy 2 quarts of soy milk, 1 box of graham crackers (for making s'mores) and 1 package of Ritz-style crackers. Spent $4
April 12. World Market for Olive Oil. I'm not picky about many brands. However, olive oil is another story. I have a favorite brand California Olive Ranch. WM has some of the best prices in town on olive oil, especially when on sale. I bought the 750 mL bottle (about 25 oz) for $6.74. It's reg. price at WM is $8.99, still a great deal. spent $6.74
April 13 Trader Joe's for bananas and cocoa powder. I buy 15 bananas at 19 cents each, and 1 9-oz container of cocoa powder at $2.49. I spent $5.34
April 13 Just down the road from Trader Joe's is WinCo. While there I check the cocoa powder in the bulk bins. It's $3.08/lb, $1.35/lb less than Trader Joe's. I've just found my new place to buy cocoa powder! Even though I just bought 1 container of cocoa powder at TJ, I went ahead and bought just over 1/2 lb of bulk cocoa powder. It's dutched, so I thought I'd do a comparison with Trader Joe's, which isn't dutched. I also buy about 1/3 lb gluten, at $2.61/lb (for improving my homemade bread), 3/4 lbs of rye flour, at $1.13/lb, 1 1/2 lbs of raisins at $1.79/lb, and a 5-lb bag of carrots at $2.28. I spent $8.61 (I also bought a supply of bathroom tissue here, the 20 roll Scott's 1000 sheet. These were bonus rolls, so each 20-roll package was the same amount of tissue as 22 rolls. I bought the last 2 bonus packages. Price was $12.97 per package.)
Total spent for the month, so far -- $52.68.
April 16. Stopping in at Albertson's to pick up eggs (99 cents/dozen w/coupon, limit 2), and 1 lb of strawberries for my cake. $2. Total spent $3.98
Total spent month to date -- $56.66 This is pretty awesome for mid-month. And it covered a birthday dinner! We'll see how much I need to spend in the next 2 weeks.
April 19. Stop at Safeway for 99cent/dozen eggs, limit 2. Spent $1.98
Also go to Fred Meyer, for 99 cent half-gallons of milk, limit 6. I also pick up a gift card (with 4X fuel reward) for Mother's Day, and my 2 freebies from the last couple of weeks, a flavored water, and a dip for chips. these freebies will be added to my other freebies to give to my husband, as a treat on his birthday. Call me big spender! On groceries, I spent $5.94.
April 21. At Home Depot picking up garden supplies, so I stopped in Imran's (next door) and bought 13 Pink Lady apples (at 49 cents/lb), 5 small yams (at 79 cents/lb), 3 avocados (59 cents each) and 1 bundle of celery (99 cents). I spent $6.37
April 22. Cash & Carry, for laundry detergent (on sale, in the huge buckets. Last tome I bought this it lasted 6 months. This time I bought 2 buckets, hoping to not think about laundry detergent for a year. If these last 6 months each, the cost will be around $2.61 per month, more than melting bar soap for laundry use, but less than buying Dollar Tree's Sun laundry powder, almost 1/2 price of Dollar Tree's Sun powder.) Also wanted the sharp cheddar cheese on sale in 5-lb bags for $9.48 (I bought 3 bags), and 3 bunches of bananas at 44 cents/lb. On food, I spent $31.60.
Went by the mall and got my free bagel at Panera, to give to my husband. No charge. My daughter was with me. She also had Panera's free bagel, every day in April, on her card. So, she got one, had it split and toasted, and the two of us shared her free bagel, with free butter and free glasses of water. After, we walked over to See's to buy a small bag of 4 chocolates for my husband's birthday. We each got a free chocolate, as samples. The birthday chocolates are part of my husband's gift, so don't come out of the grocery budget. I managed to get 4 bagels at Panera, for free, over the course of the month.
On to Fred Meyer. I've been using my Home Depot gift card purchased there earlier in the month, to pay for pavers for the yard. Fred Meyer has had a 4X fuel reward on gift cards the last couple of weeks. This offer is only good fro another day, so I wanted to take advantage of it one more time. I also get my Friday freebie (a bag of gummy worms, to go with other freebies to give to my husband), and bought 5 half-gallons of milk and 1 half-gallon of orange juice, each 99 cents w/ coupon, limit total of 6, and a 1 lb container of fresh mushrooms on markdown for $1.79. Total spent on food, $7.73.
For the month, so far, I've spent $110.28
And that's where the spending for April ends. I had a surplus of $123.48 going into April. Add to that my $190 budgeted amount, for a total $$ available of $313.48, for April. I underspent by $203.20. Going into May, I'll have $393.20 for the month.
Last year, in May, I spent about $176. Some prices were higher, last year than they've been this year, like with beef. I was paying about 50 cents more per pound for ground beef last spring, compared to about a month ago. Egg prices seem to be coming back down a bit, from their high last fall. But many other foods are either at the same level in price, or increased, in our area. It's getting harder to find great deals on produce. And coffee prices have steadily risen over the past couple of years.
I'm having to shop around a lot more than I used to. But that's all part of the challenge. I'll do my very best.
We were fortunate, this month, that there were so many freebies available. Many of these items were "treat" items, things I'd never buy. So feelings of deprivation never arose. But also, having a couple of birthdays in the month meant more homemade cake and pie. Having home-baked treats around, although not good for my waistline, really offsets any feelings of doing "without". I'll have to remind myself of this in future months.
What I bought:
no meat -- I can't believe I went the whole month and didn't buy any meat at all!
3 half-gallons orange juice
37 Pink Lady apples
5 green bell peppers
2 bundles celery
1 1/2 lbs raisins
5 lbs of carrots
1 lb fresh mushrooms
15 half-gallons milk
2 quarts soy milk
4 dozen eggs
15 lbs sharp cheddar cheese
6 15-oz jars of natural-style peanut butter
11.5 oz can of decaf coffee
3-oz package of Doritos snack mix (free)
1 box of graham crackers
1 box of Ritz-style crackers
750 mL olive oil
a little over 1 pound of cocoa powder
1/3 pound of gluten for bread-baking
3/4 pound of rye flour
individual bottle of flavored water (free)
package of spinach-artichoke dip for chips/crackers/bread (free)
4 bagels (free)
2 See's chocolates (free)
4 oz. package of gummy worms (free)
1 box of veggie fertilizer