I am posting this one day early as I will have another post tomorrow morning. Anything that I spend on groceries today or tomorrow will fall into April's budget.
Going into March, I have $343.65 for the month (this includes last month's surplus, plus my allotted $190 budget).
March 3. Stopped at WinCo after an appointment in that town. I remembered cash, this time, but forgot my bags. I could have saved 18 cents with my own bags! Oh well, next time. I bought a lot of fruit this time. I am hoping that this will be enough fresh fruit for 3 weeks. It may be. I bought an 8-lb bag of oranges for $5.78 (72 cents/lb), a 5-b bag of fuji apples, and a 5-lb bag of gala apples, each at $3.48 (69 cents/lb), 13 bananas at 48 cents/lb, a 5.25 lb bag of tangerines for $5.98 ($1.13/lb), and 1.72 lbs of red grapes, at $1.47/lb. The tangerines and grapes were not on my list, but I really wanted some variety in our fruit. The benefit with the tangerines is that they are so small that 1 bag has a lot of servings, in comparison to navel oranges. I also bought 1 bundle of celery for 78 cents. In the bulk section, I bought .41 lb of baking cocoa, at $3.08/lb, .86 lb of raw sunflower seeds, at $1.70/lb, 1.49 lbs of raisins, at $1.79/lb. WinCo's white vinegar is cheaper than Cash & Carry, so I bought 1 gallon of vinegar, at $2.38, plus a 72 ct package of corn tortillas (also cheaper than Cash & Carry), and a 5-dozen pack of medium eggs, at $4.48. I could have done better on the eggs, by about 20 cents, and for a larger size, at Cash & Carry, but I didn't have time to stop at C&C and I was low on eggs. Even at 89 cents/dozen for mediums, eggs are a cheap protein source, and easy for other family members to prepare for themselves. When I go to Cash & Carry, later this month, I'll pick up the other 5 dozen eggs that I need to get through a month. For all of the above, I spent $39.10. It sounds like a lot of money, to me, compared to many of my other shopping trips, but I did get a lot for that money. I filled 3 paper sacks, and didn't bother bagging the vinegar, oranges or eggs. If I had also bagged those items, I would have had about 5 bags of groceries.
March 7. Senior Discount Day at Fred Meyer, 10% off all house brand groceries, plus health and beauty and housewares. Milk was on sale, and we were very low, so I bought 7 half-gallons of 2% milk at 89 cents each, and 2 gallons of 2% for $1.80 each. I also bought 4 half-gallons of orange juice for 89 cents each. Right next to the dairy coolers are the markdown bins. Today, there was a lot of bread on markdown. I bought 2 packages of hotdog buns, 1 package of hamburger buns, and 6 loaves of a variety of bread, all at 59 cents per package. In addition, they had raisin English muffins for 49 cents per package. I bought 2 packs. I don't normally buy bread, but these were close to my price for baking from scratch. I froze almost all of it to use during a busy week coming up. Also in my cart today, 3 10-ct packages of flour tortillas (89 cents/package), 2 7-oz bags of pistachios (marked down to $2.49/bag, saving these for Easter baskets), a jar of powdered pectin (marked down from $4.99 to $2.99, good for another 2 years), 2 8-oz containers of sliced mushrooms (marked down to $1.29), a 3-pack of green bell peppers (marked down to $1), Chips Ahoy cookies (freebie), Lindt Easter egg (freebie), almost 18 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, at $1.47/lb, 2 half-gallons of soy milk (on sale, plus used 2 coupons, plus got my discount, so $1.79 each). Total spent on edible groceries -- $63.63.
So far, for the month of March, I've spent $102.73
March 8. I was looking at my packages of chicken breasts that I bought yesterday, and I discovered that they overcharged me. I dug out my flyer and double-checked. I did the math, and it was nearly $7.00. I knew that I would be driving right past Fred Meyer later in the day, so I tore the labels off of the packages (3), and brought those, plus my receipt and the flyer to the customer service desk. The lady was happy to refund me, not the exact amount, but a rounded up amount, of $7.00 in cash. So, that brings my spending for the month down to $95.73. I love the customer service at Fred Meyer.
March 10. We really need a few items from Cash & Carry (laundry detergent, paper baking cups, plastic cling wrap, plus some food items). I bought 50-lbs of brown rice ($19.67), 28 bananas (42 cents/lb), 10 lbs of carrots ($4.08), 10 lbs of potatoes ($1.47), 1 head of Romaine lettuce ($1.47), 3 large heads of cabbage, around 3 lbs each ($1.28/head), two 3-lb boxes of frozen spinach ($3.08 each). I spent $41.26 on food items.
So far, this month I have spent $136.99 My refrigerator and freezer is very full. I might be able to get through the end of the month with only buying eggs and maybe cheese!
March 22. No shopping, but as I was thinking about what is still on my want-to-buy list for the month, I realized that we were gifted cheese last weekend, so I can do without buying that item. I will be buying eggs on Friday, though, and maybe more fresh produce.
March 24. Stopped by WinCo (and I remembered cash, and I had put two bags into the car after the last trip there). I bought 24 bananas, at 48 cents/lb, 6.57 lbs of gala apples, at 88 cents/lb, 1 large bundle of celery, 98 cents, a little over a pound of raisins, at $1.79/lb. I received a bag refund of 12 cents. Total spent, $12.67. Eggs were $4.98 for 5 dozen medium, which was more than I wanted to spend on eggs, so I skipped them, and will get eggs at Cash and Carry, another time. I've been reading some of your egg prices, and $1 a dozen for medium seems high to me. We still have eggs, here, so I'll just wait for a lower price. At the worst, eggs should be on sale for 99 cents/ dozen, large size beginning on April 9. I may even find more frozen eggs, as I rummage through the freezers.
While shopping at WinCo, I kept in mind that my produce stand would be opening in a week, so there was no need to buy too much produce. WinCo had asparagus for $1.88/lb. I'll wait to see what the produce stand has for asparagus before buying at WinCo. Broccoli was $1.99/lb at WinCo. I'm pretty certain that I can buy it for less at the produce stand. We still have carrots, celery, cabbage, onions, garlic and potatoes, in the fresh veg dept at home. Plus canned tomatoes, frozen spinach, canned yams and pumpkin. Lots to work with still.
Month to date spending is now $149.66
I've been thinking about this budget, for when my son and his fiancee get married. I will be lowering this budget to $160, I think. I know he doesn't eat from home as much as the rest of us, as he is often with Angie; she cooks for the two of them and they eat out occasionally. Even so, I'm pretty certain that we can manage with $160 per month, for four of us.
This is where the spending ends for the month. Woo hoo! $149.66. That's under $5 per day, or 97 cents per person, per day. I'm $40.34 under budget. I'll roll that forward in the surplus; this gives us a surplus of $193.99. I'll add that amount to next month's budget.
What I Bought
8 lbs of oranges
16.57 lbs of apples
5.25 lbs of tangerines
1.72 lbs red grapes
2 bundles of celery
3 green peppers
2.60 lbs of raisins
4 half-gallons of orange juice
1 lb of mushrooms
10 lbs carrots
10 lbs potatoes
1 head of Romaine lettuce
3 heads of cabbage
6 lbs of frozen spinach
18 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 dozen eggs
7 half-gallons milk
2 gallons milk
2 half-gallons of soy milk
.41 lb of baking cocoa
.86 lb of raw sunflower seeds
1 gallon white vinegar
72 corn tortillas
30 flour tortillas
6 loaves of bread
2 packages of hot dog buns
1 package hamburger buns
2 packages of English muffins
14 oz of pistachios
1 canister of pectin
1 package of Chips Ahoy cookies (Friday freebie)
1 Lindt Easter egg (Friday freebie)
50 lbs of brown rice