$100 a Month Grocery Challenge Wrap Up

*After a couple of my friends asked me about how the month went, I remembered I needed to write an update on our totally (not so) interesting month of going cheap on groceries.

-Go HERE if you want to read my first post about challenge.

During the month of August I challenged myself to try and restrict our grocery spending to $100.  We normally spend $500 or more to feed our family of 5 a mostly organic diet (this includes bulk purchases, stockpiling what I can find on sale, etc.).  I knew that spending $100 was definitely going to require a different mindset.  Because the pantry and freezer was fairly full I knew we could do it.

Result? We came very close. I am guessing we went just a bit over $100. My plan to use cash did not work out well for accounting purposes because I was often buying non-grocery items in the same purchases and just ended up using our card.

Here are the main areas we spent our money this month.

1) Fruit! I am guessing we spent $45 on fruit. We go through lots and I did not want to skimp in this area.

2) Eggs-We go through a good amount of eggs. I even bought the cheap ones (gasp) a couple times.

3) Milk- We don’t drink a ton, but I think I bought 2 gallons worth of organic milk last month.

4) Small items to complete some meals.

 

One thing that gave us a little buffer was that we had a couple things to return to Costco last month (Jeans, Burt’s Bees Baby wash, and some electronic thing I can’t remember). This provided us with a little extra wiggle room and we bought whole wheat english muffins, organic olive oil, cheese, and some other small things I am forgetting.

Two areas that I did not count towards our $100 were a small party I planned for my daughter’s (very late) birthday party, and also a couple meals we took to friends.  I did not want to shy away from doing things like that because of a silly challenge.  Hubs said to go for it and not count it towards the $100. So we did cheat a bit.

Overall it was totally do-able and nice to not feel the pressure to go out and spend time grocery shopping.  It definitely freed up some of my schedule a bit and I was able to spend more time on Wednesday mornings (and other times) throughout the month doing other things. It was a nice change of pace. I almost feel like we could do it again for September.  We still have a pretty good amount of food in the freezer and my kids would not starve, but we need more variety again.

Where did I shop this month?

3 trips to Grocery Outlet

2-3 trips to Fred Meyer

1 trip to Costco

1 trip to Roth’s (Which might have resulted in me overreacting about my husband buying prosciutto and parmesan the first week of the month…”You spent how much on what???”)

 

What did we eat? Roasted chicken, white bean and tarragon soup (SO GOOD), chicken tacos, pizza, lots of homemade refried black beans, rice, pizza, parmesan and basil chicken pasta, beef tacos, and more.  See? We still ate good.

Meat for the above recipies included; 1 medium sized roasted chicken which we used the bones for making broth for the base of the soup. 1 pound of McK Ranch ground beef that we turned in taco meat and stretched with tiny diced zucchini and squash, and 1.5-2 pounds of chicken breasts for the pasta.

Now excuse me while I go prep for a Trader Joe’s trip.

Have you ever experimented with your grocery budget?

Fred Meyer Founder’s Days Sale. (Through Sun May 19th)

Here is what $43 got me at Fred Meyer last night.

This week is the Founder’s Days Sale at Fred Meyer. There are TONS of great deals. Check out their online ad to find more great deals. If you do not have an ad you can ask at customer service if they have any left. If not, they have a basket of coupons you can dig through to find what you need (the parkway location was out of ads last night when I checked after leaving mine at home). This trip shows how you can get good quality food for great prices when you watch the ad…even without spending tons of time preparing or clipping coupons.  I may even make a trip for more berries and cheese if I get a chance to swing back by.

Organic berries 2 for $4

Tillamook Butter 3 for $5 with in ad coupon (limit 3)

Tillamook Cheese $3.99 with in ad coupon (limit 1)

Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Detergent 40% off $3.83. (I recently bought a box with a coupon and a sale and we discovered we LOVE it).

Cascadian Farm Organic cereal 2 for $4.99. Also included were some great high value coupons on the back for organic products. (Will probably use this cereal for making snack mix since it is a bit sweeter than I like to give the tots for their breakfast).

Sparkle paper towels 2 for $9 with in ad coupon.

Pirates Booty 2 for $3

Dave’s Killer Bread $3.88. (A bit more than Costco, but we needed bread and have never tried it before.)

 

Organic/Natural deals in the NW (Week of Feb. 5-11th)

Here are a few of my favorite organic/natural deals for the week.  If enough people are interested in this type of post I will try to make it a weekly feature.

Fred Meyer (through 2/11)

Organic 6oz blueberries 2/$5

Organic Brown Eggs (Chino Valley) $2.99 -Great Price!

Mini Carrots 1lb 2/$3 (Not sure how good of a price this is. We don’t usually buy mini.)

Tom’s of Main Toothpaste or Deodorant 40% off.

Fred Meyer Butter 1lb 2/$5 (decent price)

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Zaycon just opened a SHORT NOTICE ground beef event.

Ground Beef, Lean (93/7) – 40 lbs at $2.99 a lb.

Deliveries in Eugene, Albany, Salem, McMinnville, Hillsboro, Gresham, and Oregon City.

The pick-up process is SO easy (just drive up and they load it in your car).

Deliveries will be Feb 9th, 10th and 11th.

This is not organic, but people said the quality is great and it is very lean and tasty.

Register (free) and then look under “events”.

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Safeway (through 2/7)

O Organics 3-lb. Bag Potatoes 3.49 ea- (Also check grocery outlet for a possible better deal)

Organic D’Anjou or Bosc Pears 1.49 lb (Not a hot price, but have not seen organic pears on sale for awhile.  Also check Trader Joe’s)

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Roth’s  (through 2/7)

Tillamook shredded cheese $1.99 with coupon (First 3)

 

Don’t forget to ask for rain-checks if they are out of anything! Usually most stores offer them on most sales.

Here’s to feeding our families well, for less!

Have you found any great deals this week?

 

 

Big Fred Meyers, Target, and Michaels trip! AKA The Best Bargain Trip Ever.

Fred Meyer (Keizer/Braodway)

(2) Bandon cheese $4.99 with in add coupon

(2) Organic Fresh herbs marked down 99 cents each

Croissants $1.49 marked down

Organic Kefir-Free after coupon (reg $4.39)

(2) Motts Natural 33 cents each (after 1.50 off coupon)

(4) Mom’s Best Natural Cereal 50 ish cents a box after sale and coupons

(6) Balance Bars 17 ish cents after sale and coupons

(2) Kroger bandages $1 after in ad coupon

(8) Organic Pumpkin $1.50 a can.  We LOVE making pumpkin chocolate muffins with this stuff and this is a super price!

(2) Edge gel 1@ 99 cents and 1 at $1.49 (couponing mistake on the second one)

(3) Kids Winter gloves (for upcoming trip) $5.99 x2 and $3.99 (they were marked down and an additional 50% off)

Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar $3 (the big size bottle) Great price!

(6) Towels $3.59 each. Marked down and then 50% off!

Store coupon savings $41.49. Manufacturer coupon savings $8.10. Total coupon savings $49.59

Things to check for here at Fred Meyer; clearance kids winter coats, gloves, etc an additional 50% off, clearance housewares (towles, rugs, bedding etc) and additional 50% off, the $5 off $10 Mega Event in grocery (Balance Bars, Moms Best, Edge,) and a the Bandon 2lb block for 4.99.

Target (Keizer)

(2) 264 ct Target baby wipes-$3.69 each after ($1 off a $3 or more Up&Up product) from target.com

Printer paper $$2.14 after coupon ($1 off a $3 or more Up&Up product) from target.com

(4) Method Dish Soap (3) at 99 cents and 1 at $1.99 (reg $3.99) after target AND manufacturers coupon

(3) Paper Towels FREE after $1 off Up and Up coupon on target.com (I think it is gone, but it might be back)

(2) Boys button down $3 (70% off)

Boys 3 piece set $7.80 (70% off) pants, vest, shirt.

Toddler Circo leggings $4 (sale this week). These are navy and white.

Womens Merona shirts 6o CENTS PEOPLE!!! (After $3 off Merona coupon)

Cherokee Sweater skirt $4.48 (70% off)

Cherokee Tights $1.50 (clearance) They even happen to match the skirt! Did not even notice it until I got home.

DUDE! THAT’S SOME GOOD STUFF!

Check for CLEARANCE EVERYWHERE! Tons even at 70% off.  They were marking things down around the store as I was shopping and it was like a dream! I don’t get out much people.  Sorry.

Go here to check out the Target coupons!

 

Michaels (Keizer)

There was no Michaels ad this week! Can you believe it??? BUT they had $2 grab bags.  The grab bag concept goes against just about every conviction I have, but they were HUGE and I could not resist.  This was at the Keizer Station store and there were quite a few more.  The lady even handed me a gorgeous wreath AND a very cool storage box to go with my grab bags that she found when she was getting rid of the last of the Christmas stuff.

Here is what was in the huge bags! Some of it was fairly worthless, but there was some totally cool stuff in there too! Have you ever seen so much stuff for $4?  It totally overwhelmed me, but I dealt with it right away and it is all stored,trashed, and organized.  There are some great things for the Littles to use for crafting too.

 

I want to give a shout out to Hubs for watching the kids (he had a glorious day off).  He even did school with the tots, worked on some of his stuff, did the dishes, fed them lunch and put them down for naps! Come ON?! He is just the best.

 

Wow! What a trip. I only do a big coupon trip like this every couple months.  It was so nice to have some time to do this yesterday!