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Grocery Challenge Update #2

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).

lot of receipts...


Do you ever use coupons? Do you think they’ve helped your budget?



9 comments to Grocery Challenge Update #2

  • Wow, only 275 on groceries? You are seriously the I’m bad at impulse buying too-that and buying soda. HA-I know I could cut down my grocery bill in half without soda. No really ha.

    • Amy

      my grocery bills used to be like, waaaay out of control. by used to, i mean last month. i’d spend like 100 bucks every week..sometimes more for just my husband and i. i just have so much fun grocery shopping its weird! haha

  • Cliff

    I am a huge fan of these posts

  • Man you are good! I need to start budgeting my grocery expenditures!!

  • I am going to have to keep track of my grocery bills in July. After seeing all these posts it is motivating me to evaluate where I spend my money. I am clueless!

  • um wow i need to learn something form you on saving money at the grocery store– i always go veggie crazy and end up spending wayyyyyyy to much then i should!
    trader joes is def reasonable tho— i just somehow always find ways to spend more and moree

    • Amy

      haha yeah trader joe’s gets me every time!! its easy to get carried away on groceries there..and kinda fun :). produce is tough too i think thats why i spent so much on my last trip. but i just love having fresh produce soooo i dont really know how to get around that one!

  • Katie R

    Using coupons and saving money is addicting! I’ve been trying to use coupons and shop the sales as much as possible lately, and I have a few comments on some of your purchases that might help you save money in the future.
    -right now, fresh strawberries are a great price ($1-2 / lb) in my area. If they are on sale in your area, you could freeze your own berries for smoothies.
    -as for the Fiber One Brownies (and other mainstream brand bars), there are almost always coupons for these products online. Check out or the bar manufacturer’s website for printable coupons. Plus, these products usually will go on sale every few weeks. In my area, $2/box is a great price for these bars, and $2.50 is a reasonable price. I won’t buy them if they are more than $3 a box.
    -similar to bars, different cereal brands usually go on sale every few weeks, so I only buy cereal when it is discounted (and then I stock up on my favorite brands). And there are usually coupons available online. For cereal, I generally won’t pay more than $2.50 per box.

    OK, this response has gotten long, but I hope my tips are useful. 🙂

    • Amy

      thank you so much!! such a great response! i can definitely see how using coupons gets addicting. it becomes kind of a challenge, which i definitely can’t turn down! i need to start checking my favorite brands websites for coupons. freezing berries is SUCH a great idea too especially for when they’re out of season. i usually don’t buy berries except in the summer time bc they’re too expensive, but freezing them is genius! thanks for the help!

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