parenting, productivity, personal finance

Grocery Shopping – Second Week of January 2018

Grocery Shopping – Second Week of January 2018

One of my goals for the first quarter of 2018 is to spend no more than $350 on groceries each month. This does not include household supplies like paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, etc. The first week of January, I spent $108.14.

Setting this goal and documenting my progress has been an interesting exercise. Based on my spending in the second week of January, it looks like we will go over $350 for the month. Initially, I was disappointed by this. Then I realized for the first time, I know exactly where I am going “wrong” with my grocery spending. I have the information I need in order to make better choices. For example, we don’t need to buy La Croix, Ruffles potato chips, or dark chocolate bark. But we enjoy these little luxuries and considering we haven’t eaten out AT ALL in January, I think we’ll keep them.

Meals for the Week

At the beginning of the week, the meals I planned to make were: BBQ chicken pizza, spaghetti, turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes, tacos, and caramelized Meyer lemon pasta. The BBQ chicken pizza used up leftovers. I already had the ingredients for spaghetti. Turkey chili smothered sweet potatoes just sounded good. Tacos would use up the ground turkey not used in the chili. Finally, our grocery store had Meyer lemons in stock. Years ago, we tried Blue Apron for a few months. Caramelized Meyer lemon pasta was our favorite meal, and we’ve since made it when Meyer lemons are available.

First Trip – Smith’s

Mr. MLM made our first trip to the store for the week of January 7-13. As I mentioned in the first post of this series, we had friends over that Sunday and I planned to make BBQ chicken pizza. Originally, we were going to make the pizza dough. Then we learned that it’s best to let the dough sit for 24 hours and we did not have that many hours left. Mr. MLM bought two cans of pizza dough (the Kroger brand is quite good!) and some pie crust that was on sale. The total was $5.57.

Second Trip – Smith’s

 My first trip to the store was on Monday, January 8. I planned to do our big shopping trip on this day, but I went to a funeral in the morning and it didn’t leave me with much energy. Instead, I ran in to get what we needed for another BBQ chicken pizza (crust, cilantro), some bread, and Butterfinger cups. The first pizza was so good we decided to have it a second night. The Butterfinger cups was an impulse purchase. The total was $5.82.

Third Trip – Smith’s

My second trip to the store was on Tuesday, January 9. Aidan and I walked there in the rain, which explains the state of my list below. I got the ingredients we needed for our planned meals and took advantage of some sales. The total was $27.92.

Fourth Trip – Sam’s Club

 On Wednesday, Mr. MLM went to Sam’s Club for milk and strawberries. The total was $16.66.

Aidan goes through a lot of this milk!

Fifth Trip – Smith’s

On morning Friday, I made yet another trip to Smith’s because I was out of tea. I drink iced tea every morning instead of coffee. I also remembered it was the morning I needed to drop off sack lunches at church, which meant I needed bread and fruit. Once a month, we make 5-7 sack lunches which include two PBJ sandwiches and fruit. At church, volunteers add other items to the sacks and then distribute them to the homeless. The total was $10.76.

Sixth Trip – Sam’s Club

The sixth and final trip of the week was to Sam’s Club to get Nature’s Bakery fig bars, which Aidan loves. I ended up with two impulse purchases: more Ruffles potato chips and some dark chocolate bark. The total was $17.86.

What surprised me the most this week was that we made six trips to the store! This isn’t normal. I usually make one big trip on Monday, followed by 1-2 quick trips if we run out of milk or I forgot an ingredient.

In total, we spent $84.59. This brings our total grocery spending in January to $192.73, leaving $157.27 for three more Mondays. In the past, I have definitely purchased groceries for around $52 for the week, but I’m not sure I can do it three weeks in a row. We’ll see!