I decided to give myself a challenge. I got $100 and told myself that that was all of the money I had for groceries for the next two weeks. This meant that if I found a great sale I had to figure out how to work it into that $100 and not go over. I was aware of about how much I spend on groceries, but we have been eating at home more since Michael’s arrival and I wanted to see how much I could get for the $100. I only allowed myself to use that cash. I couldn’t use my debit card or credit card. I did allow myself to “reimburse” that money for household purchases – like the $5 I spent on toilet paper at Martin’s.
I do want to note that I probably spent more at Martin’s than I normally would. The two weeks that I gave myself the challenge I had received coupons from them for $10 off of a purchase of $50 or more. I saw the coupon as a way to stockpile on meat and to save 20%.
I didn’t take pictures of my haul from last week. I only made one trip to Martin’s. I got groceries for $35.40 including pork chops and a whole eye round roast (~5.25 lb) in addition to produce and other odds and ends. I didn’t get a chance to use the pork chops before their sell-by-date. I pulled them out of the refrigerator that morning to freeze them and noticed a foul smell when I cut open the plastic wrap. I took them back to Martin’s and because of the double your money back guarantee I got $7.94 back. That gave me $72.54 to buy groceries with the next week.
I did buy a few things that aren’t pictured, but here are the pictures from my big trip to Martin’s Thursday night:
- Multi-Grain Cheerios - $1.50
- (2) Ziploc Freezer Bags - $2.09
- (4) Coke Fridge Packs - $9 (For Steve to take to work)
- (6) Campbell’s Tomato Soup - $1.98
- Tazo Tea - $0.49
- Bananas - $0.41
- Red Grapes - $2.13
- (2) Cucumbers – $1
- Sweet Onion - $2.01
- Romaine Lettuce - $1.76
- Butternut Squash - $2
- (10) Dole Smoothies – FREE
- Pork Loin (10.05lb) - $18.89
- Spare Ribs - $13.18 (Manager’s Special)
- (8) Nestle Nesquik – FREE
- Zone Bar - $0.25
- Luna Bar – FREE
- Think Thin Bar - $0.75
Shelf Price (before sales, coupons, markdowns, bag credits, or tax): $158.63
Final Price (after sales, coupons, markdowns, and bag credits): $47.29
Total Savings: $111.34 (70%)
As part of my challenge I also had to include tax in my $100 – I paid $2.11 tax at this visit leaving me with $23.14 for a few things at Kroger and if I wanted to get a few more sale items.
Here is a picture of what I picked up at Kroger on Friday night:
- (3) Quaker Oatmeal - $1.50
- (4) Maruchan Yakisoba Noodles – FREE
- Dole Asian Salad Kit- $2.09 (Manager’s Special)
- (2) Pita Bread - $2
- Best Life Buttery Spread – FREE
- (2) Organic Milk - $5
- (2) Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup - $1
- Kroger Banana Peppers - $0.99 (Manager’s Special)
- (3 dozen) Kroger Medium Eggs - $1.50
Shelf Price (before sales, coupons, markdowns, bag credits, or tax): $37.39
Final Price (after sales, coupons, markdowns, and bag credits): $14.08
Total Savings: $23.31 (62%)
I paid $0.51 tax at Kroger leaving me with a balance of $8.55.
I spent $2.01 on a loaf of my favorite grilled cheese bread at Martin’s when I returned the pork chops.
I also ran into Martin’s on Saturday and spent $4.94 for some pepperoni and ham from the deli for our pizza night along with 8 more cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup.
The final amount spent: $98.40
I was proud of myself and I think I bought a good selection of stockpile items (oatmeal, sodas, meat, and soup), produce, and dairy. In case you are wondering what I am going to do with 10 pounds of pork loin. I am going to cut off a portion of it for a roast. I plan to grind the rest of it. I am going to make and freeze sausage with some it and freeze the rest of it in about 1/2 pound portions to add to ground beef for things such as meatloaf, meatballs, chili, or hamburgers.
Do you use a cash only grocery budget? How do you budget for things such as unadvertised sales, manager markdowns, or items you want to stockpile? How do you keep a tally of how much you have in your cart? Any tips, ideas, or advice are always welcome. :)