Ok, Ok! I haven’t forgotten to post the final results from our November $100.00 budget grocery challenge, it’s just that we got so busy! And maybe I came in over budget and didn’t want to tell. If you are reading about the challenge for the first time, you can check out all the details here.
So week 2 I didn’t shop AT ALL! I had enough milk + eggs (those seem to run out first in our house) to last from that week 1 trip to Costco. I literally grabbed an onion one night to make fajitas and we survived without going to the store all week.
So Week 2:
Leaving me with a total of $42.25 for 16 days including Thanksgiving.
That’s when I panicked. I decided to give myself an extra $50.00 to buy food for Thanksgiving and so we wouldn’t have an empty fridge when our family came to visit 🙂
I decided on a less is more Thanksgiving. I usually like to make lots of appetizers to pick on. Then we have my favorite butternut squash soup. By the time the meal is served everyone is already so stuffed. This year I decided not to make the soup. Or salad. And to snack on we just had cheese and crackers, bread, pesto and hummus. And you know what? It was more then enough. We still had so much food to eat and tons of food leftover.
Here’s my shopping list totals after shopping Week 3
Butterball Turkey $.99/lb 18.6lbs = $18.41
Sabra hummus $3.99 BOGO + There was $1/1 coupons! 4 hummus = $4.00
Onion bag $1.99
Apple bag $1.99
Potatoes (white) $1.89
Potatoes (sweet) $1.63
Butternut squash $2.19
Lemons 3/$1 = $1.00
Limes 5/$1 = $1.00
Baby brussel sprouts $2.99
Chicken broth BOGO $2.29 Bought 2 = $2.29
Pepperidge Farm Stuffing $2.00
Green beans $2.50
French’s onions $2.99 (couldn’t live without those costly suckers)
Milk 2@ $3.29 = $6.58
Pita bread $1.99
Wheat Bread $1.99
Kraft cheddar and jack cheeses 2/$5 = $5.00
Ritz crackers $3.79 BOGO + $1/1 coupons Bought 4 boxes = $.90 each/ $3.60
Bruce’s Yams $2.69
Butter 2/$6.00 = $6.00
Grands biscuits $1.00
Napkins BOGO $2.29 Bought 4 packs $4.58
Dawn dishsoap 2/$5 = $2.50
Well, the shopping for Thanksgiving was over my planned $50.00 but that’s ok. Gigi picked up all the dessert fixings and my in-laws graciously brought plenty of wine 🙂 Another big thing that saved my budget for the Thanksgiving holiday was not to make huge side dishes. Usually I would have doubled the amount of green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole that I made. This year I just did single recipes of all of it. And you know what? We still had tons of leftovers. To think that I usually spend double and then end up throwing the leftovers out after we eat them all weekend is just like throwing money in the garbage.
Even with budgeting for the Holiday I was able to put out a big plate of snacks to pick on before dinner and a whole feast. We had turkey, and my father in law’s delicious gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted brussel sprout, green bean casserole, roasted butternut squash and apples, and stuffing. I mean what else could we have needed??
After that trip to the store my total was at $142.03 EEK! It was only 11/25! I still had 5 days left.
My last trip was super simple. I wanted to freeze a couple of pot pies (See photo below) with the leftover turkey breast and we needed milk. We always need milk in this house 🙂 PS Pot pies is a great way to utilize leftover turkey and roast chicken. Especially when everyone gets sick of eating the leftovers. I just assembled the pot pies really quick and froze them. We ate one the week after Thanksgiving and we still have another for a different day.
Last shopping trip of the budget!
Frozen mixed vegetables: $1.99
Eggs: $4.65 (eggs are so super expensive)
Pie Crusts: $2.69/pack. 2 packages: = $5.38
Ahhhh! I went over. But overall I’m super happy with the challenge results. It was hard! Really, really hard! And to be honest, I’m sick of sending peanut butter and jelly to school for lunch everyday. But that’s what worked in the budget. I have always been a frugal shopped in the grocery store, but even I learned a few things this month.
Utilize leftovers (pot pies!)
Save produce. A big trick of mine is when I don’t think I am going to use the produce that I usually overbuy, I chop it all up and roast it. Toss it all in some olive oil and S+P and you have given it a whole new life!
Don’t shop hungry
Buy in bulk when the sale is good. Did you notice I bought 4 packs of napkins one trip? Well the napkins were BOGO and we were running low. So I stocked up when the price was the best. And you know what? I likely won’t need to buy any more packages for 6-8 weeks.
Did you challenge yourself to a grocery budget this month? Try it! Let me know how it goes!! I hope you learned something, even if all you got from this was that I serve bruce’s canned yams at Thanksgiving. Ha! They are just so yummy, I’m not ashamed! If you have any tips or comments I’d love to hear them!!