shopping for deals complicates the grocery budget

November 10th, 2007

Shopping for deals complicates the grocery budget

So once upon a time (at the end of last month) I set our weekly grocery budget at $90. Then I stockpiled diet Mt Dew and spread the cost over the whole month so I reduced the weekly budget to $87. Then I went to Kroger and stocked up on chicken, and CVS to stock up on toothpaste, and I am spreading the cost of those combined (about $18) over the rest of the month, so that reduced the weekly budget to $81. Then, finally, since I am trying to cut back as much as possible due to the loss of an income stream, I’m reducing my weekly budget by another $5 which brings up to $76/week. This is starting to look like the August budgets that never worked out

Well, I went out today with my $76 budget and I spent $74.93 on groceries – $54.62 at Aldi and $20.31 at Walmart. I bought two impulse items – Halloween funfetti frosting for sugar cookies for $0.99 and butterscotch chips for some oatmeal scotchies for Thanksgiving dessert for $1.39, so a total of $2.48 or 3.3% of my total spending was impulse items. So definitely under the 5% target. Yay!

One big thing that contributed to staying under budget this week is that dairy products seem to have come down slightly in price here – milk, cheese, and yogurt were all a little bit less than they were last week. I don’t think that is a trend I can count on but it was nice now, anyway. There was nothing in this week’s Kroger circular on a big sale that we usually buy so the budget should stay at $76 for next week too. I printed out some internet coupons for next week’s trip to Walmart… hopefully they let me use them and don’t complain. I am going to have to start paying attention to which cashier is in each line, some complain more than others.

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4 Responses to “Shopping for deals complicates the grocery budget”

  1. Wow, $74 with only 3.3% impulse buys is really good. So far so good.

    Hopefully after a few weeks, bulk buying will sort-of even out. Because you may still be buying something in a greater quantity than you’d planned but you aren’t having to buy all kinds of other stuff. (At least, that’s what my brain is telling me.) Good luck with it!

  2. Do you plan meals before you shop? I’ve started doing that, make a list of things I want to make, list what I need, and what I have in terms of ingredients, and take that to the grocery store. It’s so obvious, yet so useful. It makes budgeting so much easier, and I feel less constrained. I’m also trying to stock up on basics every time I go (frozen veggies, cans, pasta) to create a food emergency fund of sorts.

  3. Our milk actually went up again! It’s now 4.59 a gallon for the cheapest.

    i did get some yoplait yogurt for .36/each with coupon + sale price. My kids are stocked for yogurt!

  4. Looks like you’re doing great with the grocery budget. I’ve started the overhaul of ours lately (to help with the new scrapbooking habit that DW picked up) and seem to be saving some real money. One of the things that’s really helped is joining The Grocery Game ( It just keeps a database of the sales at your local stores and the coupons that come out each week in the paper and the mail.

    You get an updated list each week showing which items are at their rock bottom prices to stock up on. I just started about a month ago (using the $1 trail) and have saved about 50% (amount saved/shelf price) so far. Pretty cool stuff. If anyone tries it, I would appreciate a referral ( Hopefully this will help in your quest to reduce the grocery budget.

    Thanks for all the scrapbooking posts too; nice to see that someone else has beat what we’re going through. I’ve forwarded a couple to DW already.