June is almost over! That means I’m almost done with my challenge of only spending $275 dollars on groceries. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely plan on extending this challenge to the next several months (if not years) of my life. But one month at a time!
I tried a different grocery store this week. Since being in Cleveland, I’ve really only been to Trader Joe’s, which is reasonable, and Heinen’s, which is more high end. I knew there had to be an in between; a “normal” store somewhere in the Cleve! I think I found that “normal” store: Giant Eagle. So, on Monday I headed over to Giant Eagle but not before checking out their sale items of the week. That’s right, I checked the sales! I’ll give you some background on my sudden need to check sales/coupons:
Saturday night I was doing lots of cool things, i.e. watching t.v. with my husband and I came across a show called Extreme Couponing. This show is awesome! Basically, it’s about people who cut so many coupons, their groceries are usually free or around like, $10 bucks. Oh and if they didn’t use coupons, they would have spent like $800 dollars-pretty extreme! Anyway, it inspired me to check sales and cut out coupons, if I’ll actually use the products! (I just re-read this paragraph and I sound like the biggest nerd ever. I swear I’m cool!).
So, I checked the sale items and made sure to mark the items I would actually use. This really only came down to produce, unfortunately. I think it’s easy with coupons or sales, to buy things just because it’s a “good deal,” but if you don’t use it, it’s not worth it! Most items that are on sale are nonperishable goods which I only buy every so often. So, my sale/coupon strategy didn’t do much for me the first time around, but I haven’t given up on it yet!
When I cruised into the checkout lane at Giant Eagle, I started to panic. I had a lot of items in my cart, it can’t add up to over $100! Well, it didn’t. But it got dangerously close at $87.36. I was still a little disappointed because that just seemed too high. Here were some of my more expensive items:
- Chicken Breasts- $11.36 I know I told myself I’d try to stay away from buying proteins (since we already have some), but I had a few chicken recipes I wanted to cook this week. At this price, I probably should have bought a bag of the frozen chicken breasts. You usually get more chicken at around the same price.
- Frozen Strawberries- $3.99 Are frozen fruits usually this expensive? Maybe they are and I just haven’t noticed before. I like frozen fruit for my smoothies but I think next time, I’ll buy them from Trader Joe’s. I checked one of my old receipts from TJ’s and frozen strawberries there are $1.69. That’s a significant difference in price!
- Fiber One Brownies- $3.99 Okay, I admit it, these were an impulse buy! I’ve never seen Fiber One brownies before (they’re clearly new since they were on display) and I love anything sweet and somewhat “healthy”! I caved!
- Grapefruit- 3/$4.50 Seems a little pricey for fruit. I probably should have searched around more and picked another fruit.
- Fiber Plus Cereal- $3.99 This cereal was definitely cheaper than other’s I had my eye on. Healthier cereals are just more expensive, that’s the bottom line. So, I think with cereal I just need to pick a few I like, then compare prices when I’m at the store and buy the cheapest. Cereal’s are an item that go on sale pretty often so I’ll have to watch for sales too!
I didn’t go over my budget, but this grocery trip left me with only $25.26 for the rest of the month, which luckily, is almost over. I think this will definitely be enough to get us through next week, but it won’t be easy! I love having fresh fruit and greek yogurts around to snack and snack on them, I do! They always go fast in my house/senior living community. But since they’re a little pricey, I might have to just get a few or try something else.
By the way, picking a few sale items did save me some money: a whole $1.35! I’m pretty sure I can’t even buy gum with that. I actually did buy gum during this grocery trip and it cost me $1.39! So, nope, no gum with those savings! Although my “savings” are laughable, I’m still going to check sales and look for coupons on items I buy. I think it’s just something you have to work on to get better.
So here’s a breakdown of my spending so far for June:
Total Spent So Far: $249.74
Amount Left: $25. 26
7 days left in June (counting today).
Do you ever use coupons? Do you think they’ve helped your budget?