Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Miserly March: the groceries

Image: momnivore via Google

Since learning of my unpaid leave from work, I reduced our grocery expenditure to $200/month ($100 from my actual budget plus DD's "rent" of $100), saving me $200 out of my usual budget. What I've done to accomplish this:

-eating down the pantry/cupboards/stockpile/freezers
-keeping a sharp, eagle eye on food waste
-cooking from scratch
-bread baking at home
-preplanning the night before, taking ingredients out, tweaking menus as needed
-substituting ingredients with those already on hand
-allowing the household to run out of items, and offering alternatives when we do. No milk? have some tea, or water
-limiting our actual purchases to "must haves" Case in point, yesterday's (3/4) trip to PR: 2 jugs cat liter (tallied separately), celery, 2 doz eggs, 1 gal milk, 2 fzn OJ, 1 pkg hamburger buns.

March 2014 grocery budget expenditures to date:
carry over from Feb: $ 15 (estimate)
2/25 Price Rite $35.25
Price Rite 2/27 $ 5.66
Price Rite 3/4 $11.23 

My budget is to cover food, personal care, cleaning products, paper goods. I am feeding 4 regularly, plus DS # 1 and his GF at least once a week for Sunday supper.

$67.14 spent, $ 132.86 remains. I hope not to purchase anything else until next Tues, when I will again be in the city, and near Price Rite. I'd like to limit any purchases next week to $32.86, thereby giving me $50/week for the last 2 weeks of March. At this point, I anticipate needing milk, onions, butter/stick margarine, OJ. Menus are set, we continue to eat well

Bfst this week:
oatmeal w/ choice of brown sugar/maple syrup, spices, dried fruits
cream of wheat with above accompaniments
pumpkin spice-chocolate chip muffins, hardboiled eggs/Greek yogurt
OJ/pinapple juice, Ovaltine made with canned milk/coffee/tea available daily
fried eggs, homefried potatoes
toast w/ choice of p butter, jams. butter/margarine

leftovers for DD and myself, twins toting sandwiches: bologna and cheese, zesty Italian marinated and sliced BSCB and Swiss, PB & J. Also had cold, Italian dressing topped, 3 cheese tortellini salad. All bread is homemade, drinks are choice of home brewed iced tea or generic Koolaid made with reduced sugar. DD and I tend to have tea/water.

any home baked good: pumpkin spice-choc chip muffins, gingerbread cake, oatmeal raisin cookies, From Aldis: saltines, tortilla chips with homemade salsa, grahams. We also have popcorn, yogurt, fresh apples, pears,mandrarins. Canned apple sauce

beef stew with dumplings, horseradish encrusted Pollock w/ brown rice, steamed cabbage, steamed fzn Zuke & Summer squash; baked ham with pineapple chunks, au gratin potatoes, beets, Winter squash baked with butter, cinnamon, maple syrup; 2 l/o or scrounge something up nights-including tonight, so I have to come up with something, black beans burgers, steamed kale and carrots; 1 16 mixed bean soup made with a meaty hambone, crackers on the side.

Desserts currently available:
any baked good (pumpkin muffins, gingerbread cake, oatmeal raisin cookies), fruit, yogurt, vanilla pudding (2 servings remain). I have plenty of ingredients on hand to make more, as desired.

 Healhty and varied, IMO.


Tracy said...

Very healthy and varied, I agree!

Lili said...

you have a large supply of pantry and freezer foods that should really help with variety to get through this lean month.
I've found that with our super low grocery budget that variety makes a huge difference in how we perceive our meals.
But, this IS a difficult time of year to find bargains at the grocery store. (I find some of the best deals at our local markets in the fall and just before Christmas.) So, good luck with the shopping this month.

CTMOM said...

I stocked up on baking flour, yeast in Feb, carrying that over to March, the month that I'd be using it. I also stocked up on basic produce at the end of Feb, in anticipation of my planned meals, taking advantage of good prices at Price Rite: 10 lbs carrots, 10 lbs potatoes, a huge cabbage, 99 cents/lb apples, 49 cent/lb bananas etc. Those charges were also carried forward to March. that said, yes, I am relying very heavily upon what is physically on hand to keep my expenditures in check. I do strive to provide variety, so as not to feel deprived. As much as I'd love some fresh berries, it's simply not happening. This low budget will carry into additional months, at least thru April. Once I receive my teeny tiny 2 checks on 3/15 and 3/30, I'll know just how much income I lost due to unpaid leave, and can move funds accordingly. My early Spring CSA is to start the end of April, Spring greens will certainly be welcomed. : )

young77 said...

I get so much inspiration from you. You are amazing! Wishing you & the kids the best.