Friday, July 20, 2018

July Almost Middle of the Month Shopping Update

My budget for our family of three is $160 per month.  I normally shop sales, use coupon and do every thing that I can to stretch that budget to get as much as possible.  I have started making a better effort to also do rebates but I don't count those back into my budget.  I am always amazed at how much I can get for very little with a little work to get the best deals on the food my family wants to eat. Many of our foods are made at home like bread, rolls, breakfast treats and more which means less trips to the grocery store because we need something urgently. 

We make most of our meals at home to get yummy home cooked foods and because we prefer it.  Eating out is something that is more of a treat because we do it less often.  We found that we were eating out before and not even enjoying the food or the time out so I find that the food always tastes better when we are looking forward to it.  I budget $40 per month on eating out which is detailed below.

I went a little past the middle of the month because I totally forgot that it was the middle of the month. Vacation seems to have killed my sense of time and any idea of what day it is.  Below is the groceries that I have gotten for the first half of the month with a breakdown of the different items.

Harris Teeter $2.04 

I went to get the Pringles for vacation with a coupon that I bought on Kellogg's Family Rewards because they are my son's favorite.  They worked out to $0.47 each.  I got two more tissues while I was there which were free.

Harris Teeter $0.06

I used up two coupons on the tissues and was excited for more free tissues.

Harris Teeter $0.06

More free tissues.

Giant $0.00

We went to the store to get my freebie and they didn't have it so they subbed out any one and my son picked this one which he real enjoyed.

Harris Teeter $18.42

I went to go get more tissues and saw the Cran Grape was on sale so I grabbed a bunch.  We were down to the bottom of our stockpile so I was excited to stock up.

Harris Teeter $0.06

More free tissues and the last of the coupons.

Harris Teeter $4.51

I went to the store with my $2 catalina in my hand to spend on groceries.  I had a quick list written down and we were leaving for vacation that morning so I knew that I needed to shop quickly but it was super doubles and it was impossible for me to pass it up!!  I got the 4 Nature Valley Granola Bars and 2 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks in order to get the free milk.  I paid $0.50 for each salad dressing after sale and coupon and turned it in for $4 from Ibotta on rebates and got $0.25 any item rebate.  I also got $0.50 from Nature Valley and $0.50 from Betty Crocker from Saving Star.  I got the free drink from my evic card which I think someone drank at the beach but I didn't try it.

Harris Teeter $0.31

This was my most amazing transaction because I don't know what happened but I think that the cashier put extra coupons on my account so I needed to find more items to go on the transaction to make it go positive.  The amazing bonus was that I turned in $3 rebates for the Hershey's Bites.  My husband wasn't a big fan but they were like little cookies and not the fluffy doughnuts that they look like on the box so we probably won't get those again.

Harris Teeter $1.36

I still had my catalina from my Nature Valley transaction and wanted to make sure that I had enough to checkout over the amount without having to scramble to get more.  I went and grabbed the 4 bottles of Newman's Own Salad Dressing and 4 of the Organic Ones which were all $0.50 after sale and coupons.  There was a rebate for $1 on each one.  I got the big Dawn bottles for $0.50.  I used to get the small ones free all the time but that isn't normal anymore so I stock up when I get a good deal.  I also got two more pizza crusts which are our new favorite once a week dinner.

Giant $6.96

While we were on vacation we needed ice cream because it is one of the major food groups on vacation.  My husband went to the store by himself and got 4 boxes of cereal with coupons for $0.50 per box and 3 ice creams that were on sale.  It worked out to more of an amazing deal because we got $1 back from Saving Star for the cereal and $3 catalina to spend on more groceries. We enjoyed the ice cream on vacation and then the cereal mostly at home!!  We were totally out of cereal so it was great to find a good deal!!

Total Retail $230.31
Total Savings $196.53
Total OOP $33.78

I think that I did pretty well so far this month which included staying out of the store a little bit and picking up some great deals.  I already turned in $17.75 in rebates so that is a huge chunk of money back on my very limited spending.  I still have a $3 catalina to spend on a few groceries which will stretch to get some more deals this month.  

I have been working on using things from the cupboard, freezer, and around the house.  I did a great job bringing lots of meals and snacks on vacation with us so I didn't need to do any more shopping.  I cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner so we got lots of yummy meals without having to buy lots of expensive last minute groceries or meals out.  Hoping to dig through the freezer tomorrow and plan out the rest of the month with what I have left and see what other groceries I need to grab.  Currently the list is tub butter, stick butter, lettuce and ice cream sandwiches but I am going to try to figure it out what else needs to be added.

Eating Out

We were out on vacation which we try to maintain the same budget for eating out as we do every month which is $40 but we normally go over.  We spent $57.66 so just a little over.  We don't plan on any more eating out for the month.  The great thing is that  being under on my grocery budget usually makes up for the difference so I am sure that it will be the case this month.  Crossing my fingers that it works out at the end of the month on track for our budget.


  1. LOL, I spent more on ONE meal for two on vacation than you did your whole vacation so well done! But for me, a vacation means that I don't cook and I don't clean so it was definitely worth it.

    I see you were able to restock on your husband's Cran Grape drink. It'd been a while since there had been a sale on those, no?

    Congrats, as usual, you are the queen of bargains and the rest of us can't do anything else but envy you :)

    1. I cook almost every meal when on vacation and even did it this time for extra people because we had 4 more joining us but I dragged everything from home and had a menu plan and everything!! We get pizza by the pool one day which means ordering out which I used coupons and deals to get 7 pizzas for $45 to feed 12 of us and we have enough to eat at least three times but my cousin paid for that meal. My parents took us out once and they paid. I paid for the group once which was my total so we ate out a lot more then we do when it is just us but probably spent a little more then we normally would. We prefer eating food we like at home with splurges on meals we don't eat a lot. As long as I get some alone time in the house between meals to cook and someone else helps wash up then I am good!

      It is always long in between sales on the Cranberry Juice and I try not to be greedy but they don't often have CranGrape so I grab all that I can. It is crazy expensive otherwise!!

      I thought I got so many good deals but I know that I missed a bunch of deals that we really wanted because of vacation and not being able to get to the store. I am hoping that we can get back into the groove but it usually doesn't happen until my son goes back to school.

  2. I was wondering if you have a separate budget for fruit/ veggies or if you garden? This is not a criticism at all, just wondering how you account for it. In my family we spend a large portion of our budget on veggies and fruit but I know that every family is different.

    1. Nope everything is included in the budget. I normally get things in season and pop them in the freezer to use through the months when things aren't as fresh. I currently have blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, raspberry, blackberries, asparagus, edamame and more in the freezer to use. I have lettuce and corn in the fridge planned for this weeks meals. I had grilled pineapple the other night and actually used canned pineapple so I make do with whatever I get great deals on. I make it a point to buy whatever is in season to get it for the lowest price so we only have strawberries when they are supper cheap and the same for corn on the cob even if we love it. I have frozen homemade applesauce and pureed pumpkin to make bread through the summer when the supplies are unavailable. Every family is different and does things differently. If fruits and veggies are something super important for you find cheaper you can always look into CSA or farmers markets to see if you can get more veggies cheaper. My family is super picky so I get the things we enjoy eating in bulk when I find a deal.


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