Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Frugal Challenge - Grocery Spending Update and Living From Our Pantry

Last week I spent less than $120 for all shopping for our needs. That included pet food and paper products as well. I am keeping well under my goal. I am hoping as my stock pile grows to lower the weekly amount I spend. In fact this week I need to pick up a few things we are running out of but though the fridge looks sort of bare, we are eating well.

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner. Some sausage from the freezer and my super fluffy pancakes. We are out of milk and eggs so I will make a stop tomorrow and redeem my $7 I earned from Fresh and Easy. I picked oranges from the yard tonight to make up sliced oranges for lunches tomorrow. Free! We are actually planting a couple new fruit trees in the yard this spring to extend our free produce from the yard. I get all the compost and chicken manure I need from the chickens.

Having stocked the pantry better has allowed me to start whittling down our grocery budget. Because I make lunches everyday for the two youngest and my husband, I do like to keep a variety of snacks and drinks to put in them. To some this may seem wasteful, maybe they could drink water, but I feel we save a great deal by not buying lunches out so it is nice to have a treat of a special drink or some chips and other goodies. I keep a stash hidden so that these are not consumed at home by the kids. They tend to make more homemade snacks in the house so that I can treat them in their lunches.

Juice boxes at the lowest price I have seen were bought and stocked in the pantry. These have lasted me over a month. Try and calculate how much your family will need for say a month, then maybe three months and then six months. When you see something you use at rock bottom prices stock up big. When I saw pasta at the lowest price I have seen in years I bought enough for a year. I know they thought I was strange checking out but we eat a lot of pasta dinners with meat as a condiment and I make lots of salads which are great in lunches and homemade mac and cheese for dinners. I swear by the pantry principle.

Remember this is Super Bowl weekend. Watch for low prices on condiments and snacks they might have on special and stock up.


  1. Elaine, I am loving your tips...

    And I totally agree about the treat in the lunch, it makes it all seem worth it doesn't it?

    Unfortunately our produce, and food costs are now at a all time high...and they are predicting food costs to rise again. They have been telling us that a frost in Arizona is causing this.

    It's a challenge, sometimes, but we have learned to eat what's in season.

    Love your hints.


  2. I went to Kroger two weeks ago and spend $250, saved $60. I was sort of upset that I had to spend that much, but I was really stocking up ... so last week I went to Kroger and only spent $100, and it's been a week already and we still have food left.

    Remember last summer when you told us about mustard, ketchup and other condiments being at their lowest price right then? I stocked up big and we're still using those rock bottom price items.

    Wish you would mention when something is at rock bottom prices so I'll know when to stock up. I am trying to learn this method slowly.

    Congrats on your great savings!


  3. Great tips Elaine. I take advantage of the sales at our Kroger. They are always have the 10 for $10 on things you can combine and get really cheap and if you luck up and have coupons too, it's awesome. Last week I bought colgate toothpast for 50 cents a tube. They had it for a $1and I had .50 cent coupons for 4!! SCORE!

  4. What a frugal shopper you are. I agree with Mary - if you could let us know when some things are at their lowest price, we could all stock up,



  5. Wow, good for you. You are amazing! 120.00 is not much for a family the size of yours. I have also been working hard at whittling down my grocery bill. I purchased 3 lbs. of lean ground meat today for $5.99. That is very good for Canadian ground beef.
    I have been baking my own bread and making cakes and snacks from scratch as much as possible. My refrigerator is also bare. :) But we're eating well.
    Have a good day!

  6. Really great tips. I'm impressed that you were able to spend so little and come in under budget!

    One area I've found we need to try to cut back on is chicken feed. Our guineas have learned how to get into the chicken coop so they help themselves to the feed. We're going through 200 lbs of feed per month! I decided to try to switch them over to pellets from crumbles for less waste and hopefully less feed.

  7. You are doing a great job lowering keeping to that budget. I know that you will be lowering it in no time.

    DH's and kids need treats once in a while. I have been drinking nothing but water and one cup of coffee a day since I went on WW's. I can tell you that I feel so much better now that I drink so much water.

  8. Elaine, that's great! I have been slowly restocking my pantry too. I'll try to post a pantry update tomorrow. blessings!

  9. Good tips. Have you thought about ditching the juice boxes, and buying small re-useable containers? Rubbermaid, etc., make small, kid sized containers. Helps the environment and a big jug is usually much cheaper, serving-wise.

  10. Hi Elaine-
    great job on the $120.00 budget!
    I agree with you on the homemade snacks and lunches. It can get expensive eating out. I think most people can find something healthy and wholesome to take in their lunches; food that might otherwise go to waste if not eaten. Just taking the time to pack it up!

    great tips...and this week I'll be picking up the last of the items needed for the Month of February.

    ...have a great week!

  11. Thank you so much for your frugal articles! Food is the one area I can cut back on...not eating but watching the sales etc. I do make my own bread and yogurt, I can't have chickens and for just me I probably won't but it seems I still spend a lot. I like your price book idea...I have to do that! Keep this up please as it's a big help!

  12. I love posts like this! it inspires me to get back into couponing...and frugality. I am running low on toiletry item I have stocked up on from a few years ago...down to my last body wash...can u beleive I have not bought body wash in 3 years? or razors! but then I got lazy and out of the habit, so thank you for reminding me to stock up!!!