Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grocery Shopping Breakdown: Week 1!

Weekly Grocery Trip Breakdown
This week I’ve decided to start a new feature about my weekly grocery shopping trip.  I hate overspending on food, especially on items I could make myself.  So I’ll be sharing weekly what I paid, and including a budget breakdown when possible on recipes.   Hope you like it!
My weekly target is $100 for groceries.  This typically includes:
·         5 dinners, with leftovers for lunches (I don’t plan for the weekend because we are usually out.)  When we have dinner parties, we take that out of our entertainment budget as needed. 
·         Breakfast (usually a banana or toast)
·         Housecleaning/toiletries as needed
·         Beverages (seltzer, milk, OJ, etc)
Although there are just two of us, we typically have company for 1 or 2 meals a week.  Our family all lives close to each other so we spend a lot of dinners together (which I love!) And even if we do have a quiet week, I try to make things that freeze well so we don't waste food (which we do, a lot, but are trying to cut back on!)
The goal is to keep our meal budget as low as possible, and definitely under $100.  I also want to keep track of prices & see where we are spending our money most.
So this week, our meal plan is:
-          Ratatouille (with chourico, OMG delicious! Recipe and pics to come)
-          Taco salad (a weekly occurrence at our house!)
-          Eggplant “parm” with feta (this is a recipe from “Make it Fast, Cook it Slow,” which is an awesome slow cooker cookbook
-          Honey Orange Tofu served over brown rice (Another recipe from “Make it Fast, Cook it Slow”)
And our grocery total came in at….
Not too shabby!  Plus, as you'll see, I bought some things in bulk, and some items that I didn't really need (hello $6 worth of apples for apple butter)
There were a few factors in our low food budget this week:
-          One night out, so no cooking (or cleaning = awesome!)  But, even if we were in 5 nights, we have so many leftovers that it doesn't really matter. 
-       Eating what's in season! We bought mostly fresh produce this week, which can be pricy, but not if you are smart about what is growing around you.  The winter is definitely tougher but hopefully we'll have enough good food frozen that it won't matter too much!
-          We are eating vegetarian two nights (great budget tip- it can be really inexpensive to eat this way.)
-          We were able to pull some ingredients from the garden (tomatoes for two of the meals)
-          We had some ingredients on hand (Orange juice, honey, etc.)  Before I make my meal plan, I assess what I have in the cabinets, or the fridge.  I would not have picked Orange Honey Tofu if we had to buy everything for it. 
Without further ado, here’s our grocery shopping trip breakdown! 
Ground beed 85% lean $3.09/lb
Chourico  $2.99/lb
Romaine hearts (pkg/3) $2.00/pkg
Gala apples $0.99/lb
Red peppers $2.99/lb
Tofu, extra firm $2.19/pkg
Green pepper $1.49/lb
Zucchini $1.29/lb
Crown broccoli 1.29/lb
Sleeve garlic  $0.25/bulb
Eggplant $0.99/lb
Vidalia onion $0.89/lb
Bananas $0.39/lb
Shoepeg corn $1.00/16 oz pkg
Shredded mozz (RF) $2.00/8 oz pkg
Crumbled feta $2.69/6 oz pkg
Butter $2.69/pkg (4 sticks)
Shredded cheddar (fancy) $1.89/8 oz pkg
Sour cream $1.19/16 oz pkg
Tortilla chips $5.99/32 oz pkg
Tuna $1.25/can
Brown rice  $3.99/80 oz
Vegetable stock   $2.99/32 oz pkg
Lentils $0.99/16 oz pkg
Bleach $1.59/gallon

I know it's a bit difficult to read.  I'm working on formatting the list to be more user friendly.  I shop at Market Basket (best prices ever.)

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