The Grocery Report – Weeks 17 & 18

Welcome to weeks 17 and 18 of the grocery report! If you’re new, this is the weekly recap into my household and grocery budget. I have trimmed our monthly food/household budget to $260 a month and have begun shopping weekly. My goal is to stay under $65 a week for all food/household related items we need for that week for a household of two adults.

Usually, I segment the budget by having a weekly food budget of $55 or less for each week (considering 4 grocery trips per month) and less than $40 on household goods for the whole month. It’s difficult to fit the household items into the weekly amounts because they often blow the weekly budget since these are usually bulk items that cost $8-20 (toilet paper, air filters, trash bags, etc.)

For September, though, I’ve switched it up a bit. I am much busier these days and am finding it difficult to find the time to put together a weekly list and go get the groceries. For this month, I have decided instead to shop biweekly and only do two grocery shops that will each have a $100 budget each and still have the $40 household budget for the month. This is a bit leaner than usual, but I’m hoping to use the extra $20 to stock up on some items for our deep freezer.

This week, I spent $97.09 on food that we’ll consume and $44.02 on household items. I buy new filters for my Brita pitcher once a year and it was that time. I could have purchased one filter for $5 and change or 4 filters for $9.88. This pushed me over budget a bit but I will compensate from the grocery side on the second trip later this month.

What did I buy?

$2.71 zucchini – 3
$0.98 Ambrosia apple – 1
$0.76 red onions – 2
$0.95 yellow onions – 2
$0.78 cilantro bunch – 1
$3.96 Sliced white mushrooms 8 oz. – 2 packs
$1.00 Great Value frozen chopped spinach 12 oz.
$3.28 Great Value oven roasted turkey breast mega pack – 22 oz.
$2.48 Great Value thin sliced roast beef – 7 oz.
$1.52 On the Border cantina salsa medium – 16 oz. (2 jars) *substituted
$1.74 Great Value thin & crispy cantina style tortilla chips – 13 oz.
$1.51 Great Value 0% milk – 1/2 gallon
$2.62 Great Value 0% milk – 1 gallon
$0.98 Rotel fire roasted diced tomatoes and green chiles – 10 oz.
$2.93 Great Value Honey Nut O’s cereal – 21.6 oz.
$2.97 Simply Perfect russet potatoes – 5 lb. bag
$2.76 Clear American sparkling water peach- 12 cans
$2.78 Great Value beef & bean burritos – 8 ct.
$4.88 Totino’s Pepperoni Party Pizza Pack – 4 pizzas
$0.98 Great Value garlic salt – 5.7 oz
$2.28 Badia ground cumin – 7 oz.
$1.87 Great Value original sour cream – 24 oz.
$1.98 Land o Lakes garlic & herb butter – 6.5 oz
$4.73 Great Value all natural frozen chicken thighs – 4 lb.
$3.98 Great Value mild guacamole mini cups – 6 ct
$1.84 Great Value deli style sliced provolone cheese – 12 ct.
$2.08 Great Value pepper jack cheese block – 8 oz.
$2.12 Great Value sour cream & onion potato chips party size- 14.75 oz.
$3.56 Chi-Chi’s burrito style tortillas 8 ct. – 2 packs
$2.94 International Delight hazelnut coffee creamer – 32 oz.
$1.33 Great Value butter flavored syrup 24 oz.
$3.96 Great Value multigrain crackers 12.7 oz. – 2 boxes
$1.68 Great Value twist & shout cookies – 15.35 oz.
$2.48 Lay’s Stax original potato chips 5.5 oz – 2 cans
$5.36 Sara Lee original artesano bread – 2 loaves
$2.14 Hain pure foods sea salt – 21 oz.
$0.82 Great Value penne pasta- 16 oz.
$2.54 Great Value large white eggs 18 ct. – 2 boxes

Household items
$1.97 Great Value all purpose clorox clean up cleaner – 32 oz.
$2.64 Great Value distilled white vinegar – 1 gallon
$15.88 Filtrete air filters -2 pack
$10.72 Great Value ultra strong toilet paper – 12 mega rolls
$9.88 Great Value brita pitcher filter replacement – 4 pack
$2.93 Great Value spring mint antiseptic mouthwash – 50.7 oz.

For the two week shop, I purchased two of all of our staple items instead of one (tortillas, bread, eggs, lunch meat).

As part of the ongoing Walmart brand experiment, I decided to try the Walmart brand of guacamole, their version of honey nut cheerios, and the multigrain crackers. All of these items are winners and will go into our regular rotation.

What meals will we cook?

So far, we’ve made a large pot of our favorite bacon spinach pasta. We’ve made this every month since we first tried it. We cook two entire boxes of pasta and use a whole pack of bacon for it. It only costs us about $6-7 for this huge pot of pasta that feeds both of us 3-4 days.

I also have these recipes on dock:
one pot chicken and rice with mushrooms
chickpea tacos
roasted chickpea pitas with avocado
taco chicken bowls
zucchini hummus wraps
quesadillas (so many varieties – chicken/spinach, zucchini/onion, chickpea/onion)
a big pot of lima beans with cornbread

It’s not likely that we’ll get through all of the recipes but I tried to choose 2-3 large pot meals, several weeknight meals that are quick and easy to put together and then a couple of freezer options. I try not to buy a lot of frozen freezer things like frozen pizzas, etc. but every once in a while when we’re not into cooking, it’s still a better option than ordering delivery.

Weekly/Monthly Progress

So far, I’m a bit ahead on the food side and bit behind on the household item side. They nearly even out so I will plan to stay around the $97 threshold for groceries on the next trip and the numbers will work.

Initially I liked switching to the weekly shops because it seemed so much easier to plan for 7 days as opposed to 14. After this shop, though, I think I like the larger dollar amount to work with. The main point here is that it doesn’t matter what your method is, as long as your numbers work. Whatever works for you and your household is what you should do. I’ve always pulled inspiration from seeing other people’s routines and plans and tweak as I realize what works and doesn’t work for me personally.

You can see all of the recipes that we’ve tried and decided to add to the regular rotation on my Pinterest board – here.

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