Friday, February 1, 2019

January Grocery and Eating Out Budget Review

Every month, I set a monthly budget of $160 for all of our household goods including groceries and anything else we need for our house.  I shop sales, use coupon and stretch my monthly budget as far as I can.  We have a $40 eating out budget so that the total spending is under $200 for the month.

I was looking for some deals this month but didn't know exactly what we should get because I didn't have a clue what my list looked like or my meal plan.  I knew that some meat deals would be great but those are always hard to count on.  I just knew that I was going to work harder to be farther under because the month started out with a lot of eating out expenses that I felt like I had to make up for.  Check out below what I got and all the break downs of what I paid.

Harris Teeter $13.42

I went right after vacation which seemed to bring out the throw it in the cart even if it wasn't the greatest price because I was exhausted.  Maybe not the best plan but I still think that it worked out okay.  I got free Hershey's Gold bars, WeWalka Pie Crust and Individual Pizzas.  The Cascadian Farm cereal was $0.50 per box.  The Cherios were $0.77 for each box.  The Nature Valley and Fiber One bars were $1.47 per box.  The Fruit Gushers were $0.97 per box.  I paid $0.99 for the Poise pads and got a rebate for $3.00 and $0.25 any item through Ibotta.  I ended up getting back $3.00 from Saving Star in rebates too for cereals, Nature Valley and Fruit Gushers.

Harris Teeter $5.49

I got free Skinny Pop, Hormel Bacon Bits, WeWalka Pie Crust, Land o Frost Ham, Stoneyfield yogurt, Screamin Sicilian Pizza, Hershey's Gold bag and bars. I paid for $0.29 for the Finish which was a great deal to add a few more to the stockpile.  I bought the three Mexican Cheese for $1.99 each after coupon and turned them in for $1.75 rebate each.  I also got a $0.25 any item rebate which equaled $5.50 which is more then I spent on the whole transaction.

Harris Teeter $16.23

I got free Skinny Pop and Hormel bacon bits but everything else cost money in this transaction.  The Skippy Peanut Butter was on sale for $1.12 each.  The granola bars were on sale and I had a coupon so they were $1.50 each.  The Finish was $0.29 for each bag.  The Cheez-Its were $0.49 each after the coupons that I bought with my Kelloggs Family Rewards.  The Chex Mix was $0.50 but a family favorite so I grabbed them for our trip snack bag.  The Muir Glen Tomatoes were $0.25 per can. The Cheese Raviolis were $0.24 per bag.  The pork chops were on clearance for $4.60 and I split them into two bags and froze them for two dinners.I got a rebate for the Tomatoes for $0.50 and the Chex for $0.50 from Saving Star.

Harris Teeter $1.91

I was hoping to make it to Super Doubles more this week but I didn't get a chance with a crazy schedule.  I got free Yakisoba noodles and Cooked Perfect meatballs.  The Muir Glen tomatoes were $0.25 each.  The Cascdian Farm cereal was $0.50 per box. The Mahatma Rice was $1.00 per bag.  We were getting low so I thought it would be a good price.

Aldi $2.45

My husband and son were sick and out of saltines which are a sick food staple in our house so I went and grabbed two and chips just in case they wanted to sweat out the cold with some chips and salsa.

Giant $4.22 

I went to the store to get the freebie Kind bar and decided to get more Motrin because we were running low and the price was lower then CVS.  I also grabbed the Ocean Spray because they drank all of the juice in the house and didn't tell me.

Giant $0.07

I went to the store to get two things and this store didn't have inventory...because they never do.  I grabbed my freebie and left. I had to ask where to find it because I looked through the store but it was in the back of produce...weird right?

Safeway $0.00

I went to the store to get my freebie of 32 oz bag of rice since I sadly missed the soy sauce deal I had loaded on my card.  They give you such a small window and the store is a little more of a hike to get there.  There was also a $1 coupon off laundry detergent, open nature store brand, frozen item, and produce.  I decided to get get the produce and frozen item.  The laundry detergent was still pretty pricey so I passed on that one.  I read the one coupon wrong but the cashier overrode it and added another discount for me so that all of the stuff was free.

Giant $5.95

I went to my second Giant of the day to get the Gerber.  I don't know why I do this but I check my sales flyer on Thursday night and then go to the store and things aren't on sale anymore because this is the only store that resets sales on Friday.  They Gerber was on sale the day before but then when I calculated, it was only $0.02 off each one so at least it wasn't a big difference.  After I checked out at the first Giant, I saw another freebie that appeared on my app so I got that and I used a coupon to get the second one free too!!  I actually got a little bit of overage to from the freebie Lara bar so that saved me more then the sale price.  I also turned in the receipt for $0.25 back on Ibotta for any protein bar and $0.50 from Saving Star.

Wegman's $20.48

I needed macaroni and cheese and ground beef.  The mac and cheese was on sale for $0.33 on the individual boxes so it was cheaper to get those then the family pack.  Ground beef is up to $2.49 per pound but still my favorite ground beef and this was divided into 6 bags to make 7 meals.

Aldi $25.92

My last stop of my epic shopping day that I barely made it through my list.  I grabbed a few things that we need and a few treats.  I decided to grab another cake mix for my son's birthday party so that I don't have to make cupcakes from scratch.  I already have the frosting from before for the cake and the cookies for the party.  I also got the chicken that was on sale for $1.49 per pound.  I have to cut it up and freeze it tomorrow.  They were out of gallons of milk so I have to go back another day anyway.  I made the one mistake of not looking downstairs in the freezer because I already had more chicken fries so we are extra stocked with those.

Harris Teeter $0.37

I got a weekend freebie of the cottage cheese and butterfinger.  I had two coupons to get the Tic Tacs and I have been waiting for a holiday special one to get for my son on sale so those were free.  I got the Hershey's bars for free after the coupons. I am not sure what happened but I ended up going in the negative with the coupons so I added the Hershey bar before adding the last coupon.  I mostly just paid tax and I have the presents for my son's Valentine's present.

Aldi $9.53

I went to get milk because we were totally out.  My son told he me that he needed the ice cream so that could choose each night which treat he got for dessert.  I laughed but it is dairy and he likes it so I got them both.  I grabbed a few more cheese because we are running through them quickly so I didn't want to run out.  They probably weren't needed but good to be safe.


Harris Teeter $3.01

I went to the store to get eggs last week and they were out so I had a rain check to use for these.  I also got the Taste and Tell added free to my card for the Chocolate Milk.  I know I should be upset that the guy put a senior discount on the deal but I was excited to save another $0.15.  Got 4 dozen eggs for almost the price of one so it was a great deal which was helpful to start winter baking.


Giant $2.06 

I got a coupon on my app for $1 off the Pink Cranberry juice and we were totally out of the Cran Grape so I knew that my husband would enjoy it until I get some Cran Grape on sale.  I turned in the receipt to get $0.20 back from any item.

Safeway $0 

At the same time there was a freebie added to my app so I stopped and grabbed that deal too.

Aldi $0.21

I went to the store and had to return a bag of mini marshmallows that were stuck into a huge solid mass when I opened them for my son's birthday.  I took them back and got my money back and a replacement.  They didn't have any other mini ones so I got regular ones.  I got a head of lettuce to cover the money back so I only had to pay $0.21.


Harris Teeter $9.98

I went a little crazy with the first day of super doubles with free bacon bits, Cooked Perfect meatballs, finish dishwasher tabs, oatmeal cups, Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce and Franks Stingin Honey Garlic Sauce.  I got Kahiki egg rolls for $0.50 per box.  The Franks sauce was $0.50 per bottle but my husband's favorite brand so even though I have a bunch of Texas Pete, I grabbed some of them because he will enjoy them.  I got the Children's Motrin for $3.99 which is a great savings off the $7.99 shelf price.  The best deal is the Cacique mexican cheese which was $1 each after sale and coupon and there was a $1.75 rebate so it was a money maker and I got $0.20 any item rebate.  There was also a $2.50 rebate on Checkout 51 for the Hormel Bacon.  My total rebates was $7.95!!


Harris Teeter $0.08

I got 6 packages of bacon bits and only paid tax.  I did it as a second transaction because I had a few more coupons left on my card because some coupons didn't double so I didn't want to let anything go to waste!!
 Harris Teeter $2.40

I went to the first Harris Teeter of the day and didn't find a lot of deals that I still had coupons for but I got the free meatballs, oatmeal and bacon.  I grabbed two cans of honey roasted peanuts which were $1.09 each.  Then I realized that there were a ton of rebates that I didn't even know I had but I got $1 back on the peanuts from Ibotta for buying two.


Harris Teeter $0.08

I got a few oatmeal cups to add to my total coupons used up to 8 because of the meatballs were fixed by my cashier.


Harris Teeter $5.84

Went to another Harris Teeter to check their stock after printing the Cheez It coupons from my Kelloggs Family Rewards but I only had enough points for two boxes.  They were $0.50 each after coupon.  The Godiva was on sale for $3.50 and there was a $1.25 coupon so they cost $1.00 and there is a Ibotta rebate for $1.25 each back.  I got free Hormel bacon and oatmeal cups.  More coupons had to be fixed so I was well below my coupon limit but it was time to go home and there weren't any more deals to be had.

Total Retail $586.32
Total Saving $456.62
OOP $129.70

I went to a bunch of stores in the beginning of the month and then took a whole week off.  I made a list of all the deals and decided to hit lots in one day because my son was at a friends house so I had a bunch of time to accomplish it all in one day.  I spent $96 in the first half of the month so not as much as I wanted left for the end of the month.  There was a rumor of super doubles at the end of the month so I was trying to spend very little so that I could have money to get whatever deals were available.

I turned in a lot of rebates and ended up with a total of $27.75 from Ibotta, Saving Star and Checkout 51.  I don't subtract it out of my budget because we transfer that money to PayPal and we consider that more like our "free" or "found" money so we don't want to double count it.

Left on the list is to get Cran Grape, soda, and potatoes.  They are all on sale at Harris Teeter so I will get them at the beginning of the February with the new budget.  We have finally run out of a bunch of stockpile items so I will need to figure out what else needs to be added to our February list.

Eating Out

January is always the hardest month for us because it is my son's birthday and we often get together with others which means more eating out.  We have a monthly budget of $40.  We went to the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg when we were on vacation.  It was $9.43.  We went to Delia's with my parents and we picked up the bill for $68.55.  We had lunch with friends at our house and we got Pizza Hut and we paid $15.90.  We went on a weekend trip for my son's birthday and got Pizza Hut for $8.93.  Then we had my son's birthday party and got Pizza Hut (see it is the month about my son and pizza) which was $31.80.  The total spent for the month was $134.61  which is way over budget.  It is hard to justify but we were basically giving Christmas presents through meals with friends and family instead of getting presents so it happens frequently in January and we eat lots of meals with home cooked food through picnics and more when we could have eaten out so it could have been much worse.


  1. As always I am in awe of your shopping skills! Your comment about the cashier giving you a senior discount made me laugh.....because it happened to me too a couple of weeks ago - although I got $3 off. LOL I came home almost in tears and my husband, not missing a beat, said "Why are you upset? It saved you another $3!" =)

    1. I felt like I should be more upset but I only saved $0.15. My friend said she got it and I went to the same cashier and didn't get it. I will take it to the save the money but I certainly understand that upset. I think that the cashier was young and sick of asking people so just gave it to everyone so they didn't have to ask people their age ;)


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