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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Grocery Shopping Journal

So, this is the month that I need to cut our grocery spending, even though my son is still living here. We have had a slew of heavy bills in the last couple of months. Bad, pretty bad. The only way to make the monthly budget work is to cut all areas of spending. I've set the grocery budget at $150.00 I also have a surplus that I can use of $221.17. So that brings my amount that I can spend up to $371.17. I don't want to spend all the surplus in one month, though. So I will endeavor to be careful with spending, once again.

May 2. Senior Discount day at Fred Meyer. I wouldn't miss the opportunity to save a few dollars. So, what I bought. The large box of powdered milk (makes 20 qts. least expensive per pound of the powdered), $13.76, vanilla soymilk, 1/2 gallon, $2.25, 8 oz mushrooms, 99 cents, 6 gallons of 2% and 1% milk (4 of 1, 2 of the other), $1.79 each, 5 lbs carrots, $2.69, 2 8-ct packages of cheap hot dogs, 80 cents each, 2 10-ct packages flour tortillas, 89 cents each, 80-oz jug of orange juice, $1.52, 1 dozen repackaged eggs, some large/some extra-large, 80 cents, 4 1-gallon pails of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, Neapolitan, rainbow sherbet), $2.69 each. Yes, I know, that is a lot of ice cream. In summer, when this brand goes on sale at our Fred Meyer, the price is usually $3.99 each. So, I bought the summer's supply now. Also bought gardening supplies, for $22.72. Total spent today, $69.61

I also bought lightbulbs, feminine hygiene supplies, and a gift while there. I spent just over $100, and the checker thought I did well, considering I filled a large cart. It felt like a lot of money to me, for not a whole lot of food (except ice cream). I still need to buy some produce and an assortment of other items that I pick up at other stores.

May 5. Stopped by WinCo and bought a 72-ct package of corn tortillas, $2.18, 1.35 lbs of cocoa powder ($3.08/lb) for $4.16, a few tablespoons of chili powder, at $3.52/lb,  23 bananas, at 52 cents/lb, 10-ounce bag of grape tomatoes, 98 cents, 5-lb bag of mandarin oranges, $5.98, 1.27 lb of raisins, at $1.79/lb, a handful of circus animal cookies for 55 cents, and a small amount of double dark French roast ground coffee, for $1.47. Total spent $22.53.  (Those last two items were a treat just for me. I didn't do anything for my birthday in April, so this was a belated birthday treat for me. Hopefully, I can do something with my family to celebrate my birthday at some point. Everyone is so busy, though, I don't see when this could happen.)

Total spent this month so far, $92.14.

May 6. My husband forgot to tell me he needed a RX picked up when I went out on Tuesday. So, I swung by Fred Meyer this afternoon, and while there, I got my two Friday Freebies -- a 10 oz bag of tortilla chips and a Yoplait Yogurt Dippers. I also bought a 2-lb container of strawberries for $2.88, a bottle of flavored water for $1 and a bottle of V-8 juice for $1.34. One daughter was with me, and we were going to have lunch out together, using a giftcard, at Panera. So, we picked up our drinks while at Fred Meyer. We usually have water to drink, but we splurged this time (yeah, shocked my daughter too). Anyway, total spent -- $5.22

May.11. Getting gas at Fred Meyer, and picking up a little more gardening supplies. Spent $9.37. Then also bought 1.39 lbs of asparagus at $1.99/lb. Total spent on garden and asparagus, $12.14.

Month to date spending -- $109.50

May 14. Cash & Carry, mainly for the last day of the butter on sale for $2.38/lb. I bought 14 lbs of butter, enough to last until early fall, I hope. I also bought a lot of produce: 10 lbs carrots ($3.98), 3 bundles celery ($4.40), 10 lbs potatoes ($1.57), 2 32-oz bags of chopped frozen broccoli ($2.27 each), 3-lb block of frozen spinach ($3.08), 2 heads of green cabbage ($1.36 each), 2 5-lb bags of Pink Lady apples ($4.03 each), 23 bananas (47 cents/lb), 1 gallon canola oil ($6.37), and 1 5-lb block of mild cheddar cheese ($10.67). Total spent $82.01

month to date spent -- 191.51

May 24. My son stopped at Cash & Carry for me and picked up 5 lbs of Pink Lady apples, $4.03, and 17 bananas at 42 cents/lb, for $2.59. Total spent $6.62

Month to date spent -- $198.13

May 28. Fred Meyer to pick up a lunch to finally celebrate my birthday. One daughter came with me and we chose a chocolate-raspberry torte, a prepared Caesar salad mix, a container of strawberries, a deli Asian chicken salad. I also picked up 3 freebies, the Ritz cracker chips, a Lindt truffle candy bar, and a pint of Silk soy creamer (supposed to be almond creamer but they didn't have it, so I asked if they would sub the soy). Total spent $18.28.

Total spent for the month -- $216.41

I had a total of $371.17 to spend, and I spent $216.41. That leaves me with a surplus of $154.76 going into June. I had a couple of splurges this month. Hopefully in June everything will be more normal. At least I have a supply of butter again.

What I bought:

individual yogurt (Freebie)
large box of powdered milk
1/2 gallon soy milk
6 gallons milk
1 dozen eggs
4 gallons of ice cream
5 lbs cheddar cheese
14 lbs butter
Soy creamer, 16-oz (freebie)

16 hotdogs
Asian chicken salad, prepared from deli

1 individual bottle of V-8 juice
3 lbs strawberries
8 ounces mushrooms
15 lbs carrots
80 ounces orange juice
gardening supplies for the veggie and herb garden
63 bananas
10 ounces of grape tomatoes
5 lbs of mandarin oranges
1.27 lbs raisins
1.39 lbs of asparagus
15 lbs apples
3 bundles celery
10 lbs potatoes
2 heads of green cabbage
4 lbs of frozen broccoli
3 lbs of frozen spinach
one container of Caesar salad mix

1 individual bottle of flavored water
10 oz bag tortilla chips (freebie)
20 flour tortillas
72 corn tortillas
1.35 lbs cocoa powder
small amount of chili powder
a handful of circus animal cookies
small amount of ground coffee
1 gallon canola oil
Lindt truffle bar (freebie)
Ritz cracker chips (freebie)

I bought a lot of produce this month. There were few treats, too, but not a lot. $33 of the budget was spent on butter. That butter should last through the summer. I'll be shopping again in just a couple of days. I seem to have fallen into a pattern of a big one or two shops at the beginning of the month, and then not a whole lot for the rest of the month. Anyone else find they do that, too? My thinking is it is in part a mental thing of not wanting to overspend the budget, as the month progresses, combined with the Senior Discount day which is early in the month, and I typically buy a large share of our food that day.

I feel like I didn't do a very good job of cutting spending.


  1. You may feel that you didn't do a very good job in cutting your spending, but isn't one of the things the overage is for is helping out on lean months? I think you did a great jobs.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Yes, it is. It feels like a struggle right now, though. We'll have to see how June goes. Have a great day, live and learn.

  2. Lili!

    I think you did a wonderful job and $216 for the entire month for a family of 5! Look at what you got! I don't get anything near what you get and I spent an average of about $350 plus.

    I'm going to tally my receipts tonight and I want it to be under $200 but it probably will be exactly what it is every other month (too much!).

    My son has helped tremendously since he has been home from college. He learned how to use my pressure cooker and is happy to make meals in it. He learned how to use our percolator coffee maker since our Bunn died.


    1. Hi Alice,
      That is wonderful about your son helping with the meals. Hopefully this will be a significant help to you, so you can just come home and enjoy a hot dinner.
      I hope your spending came out as well as you are wishing. Have a great day, Alice!

  3. Wow, I think you managed to get a significant amount of items for the money you spent, and it will result in numerous healthy and tasty meals for your family, especially when you also add to this the items you already have at home. Plus you've factored in a few treats. I say WELL DONE Lili!

    1. Hi Jayne,
      It feels like we went through just about every bit of what I bought, except the butter. Our pantry is looking more and more empty, and the budget is going as far. I'm hoping that things go better this next month. Thanks for the support. Have a great day, Jayne!

  4. I'm sorry you have had heavy bills. Unexpected expenses are no fun. From my standpoint, I see very little "fluff" in your spending. Seems to me you stayed on track. With your garden producing more and more, I bet you will be able to come in under budget the next few months, which will balance things out.

    It must be the season for unexpected expenses. I told my husband he needs to stop going on Boy Scout trips. Every time he does, something breaks--first, I got a flat tire and had to replace that, and then our sump pump died. He has another overnight campout this weekend--should I be worried???

    My kids are sad that Victorian Slum House is over, especially my son. It was nice to have a family-friendly show to watch.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh no! Let's hope nothing happens this weekend!
      I haven't watched the last episode yet. These shows have such a short run.
      Yes, I'm hoping our garden helps with the budget this next month. I have a few things which could be harvested in June. We'll have to see.
      Have a great day, Kris!

  5. I think you did a GREAT job as always! You always get so much for what you spend and stretch it so well at home. So what if it wasn't your personal best month ever--you still do better than pretty much everyone else with this.

  6. Yes, we have had huge heavy bills also in April and May and now again in July and August. Not liking it at all.

    Our food costs for May was about $325. Much higher than I would like it to be but it is what it is.


  7. I was discouraged, too, by my grocery spending. I didn't go over budget, but I had hoped to come in under. I came in a smidge under, but not much. I encouraged myself with the fact that it was a five week month, we hosted a dinner with 10 guests, I bought a ton of chicken at Fred Meyer for .87/lb, which should last us awhile and the Lord really provided some nice deals of food & other things our family needed.

    We, too, have had big bills. In the meantime, my other kids still have piano lessons, etc. that need to be paid for. And they need to eat. We've had some signicant stress with my husband's family & my own, so there were a few times during the month when I just threw something into the cart at the store because we needed it (even though it would have been cheaper somewhere else) & I just said, "Lord, I'm going to have to let you cover this."

    Anyway, I gave myself a little pep talk at the end of the month. Our Lord always provides and He seems to specialize in the kind of impossible providing we couldn't possibly do for ourselves. That's what our family needs right now. I know He'll do it, in His way & in His time.

    Have a great day, Lili! Melissa


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