Monday, January 10, 2011

Budget Review, Second Week of January 2011

The theme for this week's budget is Stocking Up. It's also a really long post, so prepare yourselves.

Another wrinkle: I am making the kids' lunches instead of letting them eat hot lunch at school, so my grocery expenses are going up. I'm going to have to make a budget adjustment. I was spending $160 each month on the school lunches, so clearly that's going to have an impact on my weekly budget. I don't expect there to be a corresponding increase in the budget (in other words, $40 a week), but I'm going to watch and see what happens in the coming weeks before I settle on a number. Maybe an extra $20 each week? What do you think?

Okay, on with the show.

First of all, there are a LOT of stores on the list this week and a lot of trips to Whole Foods. This is not normal. I didn't prepare properly for making the kids' lunches or for the fact that I'm back on my Mellman plan.

Whole Foods. This week I made three trips (one mid-week, one Friday night and one Saturday -- don't ask). The first trip totaled $55, the second one $45 and the third $44.

I don't have the receipt for the first Whole Foods trip. Why, you ask? Because it was in my purse. On the floor of the passenger side of my car. And I put my full cup of tea on the dash to open something for my daughter while I was driving.

The cup of tea (with sugar and soy milk in it) slid off the dash, flipped over and landed inside my purse. Totally not kidding. I'm still trying to figure out how to clean the lining of my bag. But that's another issue completely. The receipt was a casualty of my stupidity.

Trip Number 1. I know that $55 included a lot of eggs. I don't remember what else.

Trip Number 2.
  • White Cheddar Rice Crackers, $2.50
  • Organic Fruit Leather, 2 at $.59 each
  • Canned olives, $1.99
  • Stonyfield Yogurt, $3.99
  • Sea Salt, $6.99
  • Goat cheese, $8.00
  • Prepared chicken salad, $5.99
  • Naan bread, $3.49
  • Tortillas, $1.99
  • Organic apples, $2.33
  • Grapes, $3.19
  • Watermelon chunks, $2.55

Trip Number 3.
  • Organic Valley Eggs, $2.79
  • Cheddar Crackers, $2.50
  • Clif's Twisted Fruit, 2 boxes for $7.00
  • Organic Yogurt, $3.49
  • Hummus, $1.50
  • Bulk Chocolate Nut Crunch Trail Mix, $1.76
  • Florida Crystals Cane Sugar, $4.99
  • Ground buffalo, $10.55
  • Organic Valley italian blend cheese, $4.99
  • Goat cheese, $5.99
  • Corn tortillas, $.99
  • Grapes, $3.09

I saved $4.70 using coupons.

Amazon.Com, $16. I bought boxed water (like a juice box but with water instead) to put in the kids' school lunches until the Laptop Lunch Boxes (and water bottles) arrived. They've also been drinking them while at home.

Target, $38.83. We use a lot of oatmeal in our house, so I bought some oatmeal coupons on ebay. 20 of them, in fact. (They cost me $7 total.) Target was having a sale on oatmeal. I stocked UP. I also found some Kashi apple bars on clearance (plus, I had a coupon for free produce when I bought Kashi products).
  • 9 boxes of Kashi apple bars
  • 12 - 18 oz cans of Quaker oats
  • 2 boxes of Tazo Chai Latte concentrate
  • Corn Meal
  • 5 pounds of Cuties (little seedless oranges/tangerines)
  • Fresh black berries
I saved $21 using coupons.

Tom Thumb, $27.92. I went to Target to get coffee creamer (on sale) and found some great deals and coupons scattered throughout the store.
  • Actual somen noodles (the kind used in ramen, but just the noodles), $2.65
  • Organic soy sauce, $3.49
  • Rice vinegar, $2.09
  • Sparkling water, $4.50
  • Dijon mustard, $4.59
  • 3 bottles of Coffee Mate creamer, $5.97
  • Organic soy milk, $2.49
  • Organic bananas, Not sure, I was charged $0 from a coupon
  • Almond slivers, $2.50
  • 2 bags of sweet butter lettuce, $4.00
  • Bag of organic red apples, $3.00

I saved $7.65 using coupons.

Dollar General, Less than $2. This was the first time I'd ever been to this store. I couldn't resist free oatmeal. I also got a lamp and paper towels, but those don't count towards my grocery budget.

  • 6 bags of oatmeal (5 servings each), $6
  • Can of coffee, $1.75
All of the oatmeal was free after coupons (I saved $12.50 total, but not just on oatmeal).

GRAND TOTAL. The total is, give or take some change (I didn't have my calculator), about $213.

I definitely have a lot of lunch items that will last beyond this week and the oatmeal should last for months.

I spent a lot this week, no question. I blew the weekly budget, but I stocked up, which will help lower my future expenditures.

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