Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Spending Report 2.21.14 and How do I keep my Grocery bill down?

It's that time again in which I report my weekly expenditures.

Groceries: $78.28
Gas for me: $52.66 (darn car!)
Gas for husband: $29.91
Internet: $48.43
Electric: $159.51
Basal Body Thermometer: $8.95
(for future Natural family planning- did not want a used thermometer)
Milkshakes with son @ Pennsylvania Dutch Farm Market : $9.01
Take out: $13.77 (this was husband's but I ate some of it)
Birthday Gift (cash) : $50.00
Total:  $450.52

We had some extra money so I paid up my electric bill and internet for the next month!

I have had people ask me how I keep my grocery bill down low. Well, we usually get take out once a week-  I won't lie. I have a 3 month old baby and I still have one foot in that "newborn survival" mode. Which also brings up the point that even though we are a family of 4, one of those members exclusively breastfeeds, so I am not actually buying any food for him.

My husband is celiac (gluten free) and my son eats about 5 different things (literally). I was a vegetarian for a long time but now do have the occasional fish and fowl (the gluten free/meat free thing can get hard- I can only handle so many beans.)

I would say the most savings come from not going to the store unless I absolutely have too. I will eat out of the pantry/fridge/freezer until things are bare (I am Old Mother Hubbard here). Not going to the store automatically means you will not spend money. This sometimes means husband and son have to suck it up and eat boring stuff, and the same stuff over and over.

I usually go to the store once a week. Before I go, I check the pantry and the sale flyer for whatever store I am going to (I do not go to more than one store. I have no interest in driving to more than once place with a baby and/or kid). I then plan 4 meals with a day for leftovers. I tend to improvise with recipes and substitute things i already have on hand.

I also do not use coupons unless someone gives me one. I do not get a newspaper and right now do not have time to look for deals. I buy store brands or whatever is cheapest.

I do not buy much packaged food, and a lot of times I do not buy organic. I prioritize organic by what we can afford in this order:

1.) Meat (if we cannot afford it I skip the meat)
2.) Milk
3.) Produce

I do not buy beverages other than milk and coffee. My son takes a water bottle to school. At home he likes to have "vanilla milk", which I make by adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of sugar to his milk.

What are some things I buy? -

-dried beans/peas
-brown rice
-canned tuna/salmon
-GF pasta
-popcorn kernels that we pop on the stove
 -frozen fruit/vegetables
-fresh produce that is on sale

For one of our first Christmas's together my husband gave me a bunch of herbs and spices. I loved that, and since then I just buy them as they run out.

I get some weird thrill in spending as little as possible and making do a long as we can. I also do not enjoy going to the store (especially in this wintery weather).

Anyway, that's all I've got for today.

Have a great weekend!



  1. I'm surprised you will opt out of meat, only cause nowdays I think of it as pretty important to my health, namely my iron levels. But I totally acknowledge it's a huge expense!

    I realised how little of the 'inner aisles' I use at the grocery store this week. The only things I brought were tinned tomatoes and pulses/lentils, some tinned tuna and some washing powder (special whitener, otherwise I make my own). Occassionally I'll buy pasta or similar in those aisles. It's nice to know pretty much everything else is healthy and natural.

    1. I was a vegetarian for a while but now I eat poultry and fish- red meat gives me bad indigestion. I do sometimes have trouble with iron- then I try to up the leafy greens!