16 April 2008

Grocery Cart Challenge - Failure

I love Gayle's Grocery Cart Challenge Blog, but I think I belong in the hall of shame. Our budget is exceedingly tight, and has gotten even tighter as I have been trying to save money in order to afford the trip to WV that we are hoping to make in May. It is just no use. She manages to spend only $50 a week, and I can't manage to stay under $100. I checked my pantry first, and then made a list and menu to see how little damage I might do, and hoped to stay under $100.
Applesauce - $1.68
3 pkgs. Jiffy corn muffin mix - $.36 each
Pepper Jack cheese slices - $2.28
1 lb. lean ground beef - $3.54
1 gallon Foremost milk (no antibiotics or hormones) - $5.22
1 pint half & half - $1.32
2 jugs of drinking water - $.68 each
American cheese - $3.68
1 lb. butter - $2.28
10 lb bag sugar - $4.22
rump roast - $10.90
large 36 pkg. of eggs - $4.66
Mustard - $.67
Flour - $2.44
Bananas - 2.51 lbs @ $.64/lb - $1.61
Plums - 1.60 lbs @ $1.50/lb - $2.40
2 tomatoes - $1.46
12 pk. hamburger patties - $6.27
Sliced chicken lunch meat - $2.98
Chicken breasts - $6.97
Sliced ham lunch meat - $3.98
1 pkg. 10 tortillas - $4.22
Grapes - $3.70
Dried red beans - $1.08
Tomato sauce - $.78
2 boxes pop-tarts - $2.92 each
Refried beans - $1.54
Cumin - $1.96
Vanilla yogurt - $1.76
1 can diced tomatoes - $.52
1 can green chiles - $.78
Brown rice - $.98

Suave Shampoo - $1.97
Suave Conditioner $1.97
Glass cleaner - $.97
Trash bags - $2.94
Fine point Sharpie markers - $1.42 (needed for Science projects)
Pencils - $1.50 (on clearance)
Pens - $.92
3 handsoap pumps - $.88 each
Dawn - $2.47 (I don't compromise on this)
2 tubes of Colgate toothpaste - $2.88 each
Our one luxury item - 2 liter Pepsi - $1.38

My meals for the week consist of:
Hamburgers and fried potatoes (I already have them)
Salmon patties (I already have the salmon - and I'll use bread crumbs from stale bread)
Minestrone soup
Pot roast and potoatoes
Chicken tortilla bake
Taco ring made with homemade crescent rolls
At least one night of leftovers - or a soup, sandwich, quesadilla, cereal, pancake, whatever night!

I also have to feed five breakfast and lunch to five people. My husband's standby is poptarts for the morning, and other than eggs I didn't get any "breakfast"foods. I do have extra hamburger patties for a lunch one day, and a couple of Ramen noodles and mac & cheese in the pantry for some other lunches. I am also partial to egg salad - which is great on toasted bread. All of the food here will be consumed in a week. My groceries totalled $120.80.
I will likely have to go back to the store mid-week for flour as Kaitlyn accidentally baked my crescent roll dough that was rising with the bread I asked her to put in the oven. (Ugh!) I am also hoping that the 4 rolls of toilet paper that we have in the closet will last the week. Maybe we can just run to the corner store to use their restroom if we run out! I am just going to refuse to go back to the store no matter what. That is another big money drain - you walk into Walmart and magically walk out $20 - 30 lighter.
I really, really want to get it down below $100. I need some suggestions on how to do that. The bottom half of the list is technically "household" items and not grocery and it adds up to about $20 - but I would still like to keep that under the budget.
Meatless meals aren't an option for hubby. He is also a big eater, and I'm not telling a hungry man that he can't eat until he is full. Fresh produce is not optional. I know I could save $2 automatically if I just bought the hormone and antibiotic laden milk, but I just can't. We haven't gotten away from the meat yet, but we're working on that also. So here's what I'm dealing with, and I'm so frustrated because I can't seem to balance healthy and frugal.


  1. You are off to a great start! The more you do it, the better you'll get at it so don't give up yet!

  2. I think you're doing pretty good. With my family of 4 I spend close to $150 a week, but that does include diaper, wipes, formula, baby food, etc. On food alone I usually spend between $100 - $120 a week. Unfortunately the items I would suggest you change in order to save are those items that you are unable to change: milk, produce, etc. You're probably already doing this,but I by off brand and in bulk. Too me you're doing a great job!

  3. Holy cow....50.00. Are you kidding me? Between milk, eggs, fresh produce, and bread I can spend 50.00 easily. My grocery bills are always 180.00 and upwards to 250.00 for one week for 4 people. We aren't fat. Stacy and the kids are super skinny. I'm chunky. 20 # overweight. I call it my baby fat. We do not eat out. This is food for breakfast, lunch and dinner for us all week. And for friends/family that drop by.

    I have no suggestions. Like you, I won't compromise on good quality milk, eggs, meat, cheese and produce. I want my family to live long healthy lives.

  4. I have no idea what she is eating or how many people she is feeding...
    Like Tina we spend $170-220/week at Whole Foods and probably another $100 at Kroger, I will not buy meat with nitrates or hormones/antibiotics anymore.

    We also have guinea pigs and dogs :)

    I want to spend less but with growing kids, they just keep eating...

    They all literally grew since last month we have a measurement wall :)

    Food costs too much period :)

    We don't have a lot of money either but we have to eat.

  5. Your store sounds VERY expensive! Is there no where cheaper? I guess even the price tags are bigger in Texas!

  6. It's hard to save on milk and fresh produce but I've been learning a lot from Money Saving Mom http://www.moneysavingmom.com/
    I've recently gotten 5 tubes of toothpaste, 3 bottles of shower gel and several boxes of Excedrin for free and lots of other stuff really cheap.


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♥ Juls ♥