Grocery Shopping Week Three

$500 Grocery Budget
Grocery Shopping Week One
Grocery Shopping Week Two

This week I find myself with so much food in my house. My parents were here over the weekend, and they left nothing short of a small feast in my fridge and pantry.

1/2 box cheerios
1 gallon of milk
some leftover beef tenderloin
a whole ham
1 box lettuce
some cheese grits
leftover gumbo
a ba-jillion potatoes

I'd be a fool not to make the most of it.

In addition to the food they left me, I have in my freezer one turkey meatloaf, two packages of chicken thighs, and a spaghetti pie (made from leftover spaghetti on week one). In my pantry I have various canned goods, pasta, and plenty of red sauce. I also have enough frozen vegetables to make vegetable soup and all the ingredients to make another round of pimento cheese.

Truly I did not need to buy many groceries this week. But I was our of trash bags and shredded Mozzarella cheese for our homemade pizzas - both big ticket items I like to buy from Costco.

When I set out to grocery shop at the beginning of the week I had $32.23 roll over from the previous two weeks. To that amount I added $100. My goal has been to spend $100 or less each week. If I stick to this plan, which I have so far! then I will have minimum $100 remaining out of my $500 monthly budget to stock up on goods for the month of March.

Tuesday I went Costco with $132.23 in my envelope. I spent $78.57. I also received a $10.99 refund for some chicken salad I returned because we did not like it, and Costco has an amazing no questions asked return policy.

Here's what I bought...

eggs 2.79
trash bags 14.99
rolls 3.69
bananas 1.39
huge bag of Mozzarella cheese 14.59
strawberries 4.99
frozen broccoli 6.49
cheese slices 8.99
orange slices 7.59
goldfish crackers 8.19
total with tax = 78.50

Because this experiment is going so well and I'm ending up with such a surplus of funds here at the end of the month, I decided to waver on a couple of my original stipulations and I bought Laurie's classroom snacks with the family grocery budget money instead of paying for them out of a different fund. She had the snack bucket and typically I like to pay for things like this out of a different budget category.

Also, I paid it forward and bought a $30 Publix gift card for a family in our community. I hesitate to share this here. It's so not Matthew 6:3. But you need to know where I spent that random $30. Also, one of the many gifts of being a good steward is having the freedom to give. What a joy!

My total spending so far this week comes to $108. 50. Plus, the $10.99 refund.
That leaves me with $34.72 to roll over into next week.

My meal plan this week has been very relaxed.

Monday: leftover beef tenderloin, salad, potatoes
Tuesday: church event
Wednesday: chicken (from freezer) and broccoli
Thursday: more leftovers or something from freezer
Friday: homemade pizza
Saturday: probably will grill out and make a quick trip to the store or get take out
Sunday: eggs, grits, toast or leftovers

The two biggest lesson I've learned so far are

1- Make good use of the food you already have. Don't waste a thing.
2- Map out a spending plan for the whole month. Pace yourself.

The reason I started this challenge in the first place is I always start off strong at the beginning of the month, keeping our grocery budget on track and organized. But by the end I (almost) always overspend. I get tired and I lose my resolve to finish strong. Everything competes for my grocery cash. $5 here for a pizza party at school. $2 for that drive through coffee. $10 I owe a friend. I have so much trouble behaving and using my grocery cash for groceries.

I'm gaining from this experiment exactly what I'd hoped - more deliberate, calculated, and controlled spending habits. I can't wait to carry over these lessons next month!

Stay tuned, one more week to go!


  1. I'm loving this series! You are inspiring, SB!

  2. ok question time again: do your kiddos do well eating all of the menu plans? my kids are finicky and hit or miss on food so i feel like i always have to have a backup plan for them or else they are waking me up at night hungry

  3. I am a newer follower and am enjoying hearing about your shopping. I find that I can glean from others when they share things like this. I am glad that you shared about the gift card. I don't feel like you were saying look at me see how great and giving I am... I find it an encouragement and a great reminder that when we are good stewards of our resources we are able to bless others.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. I have adopted a new life verse that applies so well to housekeeping and homemaking: Haggai 1:7 - Thus says the Lord of hosts, "Consider your ways." (Another translation says to "give careful thought to your ways.") You are the QUEEN of this, and I'm very inspired by you. I'm working on becoming a better budgeter without also becoming a Nazi. Keep the advice coming!

  5. Everything I'd like to say can be summed up in Nell's comment. You are so good at "considering your ways," and I'm inspired by your example!


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