Sunday, April 19, 2009

Almost $34.00 Worth of Groceries

This is what close to $34.00 worth of carefully selected groceries looks like. I looked at the sales and my shopping trip took me to 4 different stores and took over 2.5 hours from the time I left my house until I returned. I was never more than a couple miles away from my door but in order to make the most of my $s, this is what it took. I believe I made a couple mistakes and I think there will be a couple of caveats to the week but this is where we are. Below the photo is the list broken down by what I purchased, how it was packaged, the cost per unit and the extended price plus the subtotals from each store. I even have a single item of $.24 from one store but it is the only place I know to buy bulk yeast so I could bake bread but more on all that later...

Item Package Qty Price per unit Extended
Potatoes, Russet 5# 1 $2.49 $2.49
Flour, White unbleached 5# 1 $2.50 $2.50
Apples, Fuji bulk, ea 7 $0.10 $0.70
Onions, Yellow bulk, ea 3 $0.10 $0.30
Strawberries 1# 1 $1.59 $1.59

Subtotal - $7.58

Pasta, Fusilli 1# 1 $0.99 $0.99
Cream, Whipping 8oz 1 $0.99 $0.99
Marinara, Organic 25oz 1 $2.29 $2.29
Milk, Organic 1% 64oz 1 $2.99 $2.99
Canadian bacon 5oz 1 $2.29 $2.29
Chicken, Whole 4.58# 1 $5.91 $5.91

Subtotal - $15.46

Broccoli, Crowns bulk, # 0.8 $0.99 $0.79
Carrots bulk, # 0.9 $0.99 $0.89
Garlic bulk, # 0.14 $3.99 $0.56
Mozzarella, Shredded 8oz 1 $2.59 $2.59

Subtotal - $4.83

Yeast, Baking bulk, # 0.07 $3.49 $0.24
Subtotal - $0.24

Eggs, Cage free Dozen 1 $1.99 $1.99
Oats bulk, # 0.47 $0.90 $0.42
Canola Oil bulk, pt 0.5 $0.28 $1.42
Peanut butter bulk, # 0.29 $3.31 $0.96
Sugar, Evap cane bulk, # 0.21 $1.21 $0.25
Chocolate chips bulk, # 0.22 $3.66 $0.81

Subtotal - $5.85

Total - $33.96

So I'm not sure how this is all going to look with the lists and the spaces and whatnot so bear with my limited publishing skills but I'll do my best to update you all each day on our progress along with the recipes we're using. Here are a few things to keep in mind...

Henry will be with me all week and according to "da rules" we should get $12 per day which for the 5 days of the challenge would be $60 or for 7 days would be $84. We are targeting living on the $35 limit for 7 days for both of us with the following caveats -
Henry can have BBQ sauce - Although it did not fit in the budgeted $35, we buy a brand of BBQ sauce that contains no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS going forward) and feels he can make anything taste better with it. The price per 18oz bottle is $2.29 but he and I will work out a limit as to how much he can use.
I receive coffee in numerous forms as a benefit of where I work. I won't be giving this up but will limit myself to plain black coffee - no espresso or espresso drinks, no dairy or sugar - and only 2 cups per day.
I have herbs growing in my yard and will use these as I consider these to be found items and are free. These herbs are rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano and chives. I will use no others in keeping with "da rules" as those would have to be purchased or given to us by others.
Henry can have 1 non-HFCS soda this week - it will cost more than the $1.04 we have left by about $.15. He can choose when and where to have it but it is his choice and is a weekly treat that I will continue to allow him.

I know I'm bending a few of "da rules" but since this is a 5 day challenge, I believe we could do this better if we were doing 2 full weeks or even a month as we could purchase a few items in less packaging (it killed me to use so many plastic bags yesterday @ the bulk aisle and produce for such wee quantities) and I understand that Basic Food supplements don't arrive in 5 day increments (not sure what the frequency of delivery is but would suspect no more that every other week at the most, if any of you know please enlighten me) but I believe we will do our best to purchase less than $35 the following week as well in order to see if we can extend this. I'm certain we will still have some quantity of the items from this shopping trip leftover at the end of the week.

I'm baking some bread today, getting prepared for the week. I would suspect I'll spend more time writing about the week than actually cooking which I want to keep track of as well understanding that many people who do receive Basic Food supplementation don't have a lot of time to spend feeding themselves and their families.

Anyway, that about wraps it up for today. Bring on the challenge!



  1. looks like you are off to a good start. Goo dluck!

  2. You bring up a good point about this being only a one week challenge and how that can actually make some things tougher.

    It's not a perfect system -- we just want to raise awareness around this important cause, which you are doing!

    Thanks so much!

  3. RE: how food stamp recipients get their money. It's now a debit card which is loaded once a month, so you swipe it in the checkout line just like you would your debit/credit card. Your receipt shows your purchases and the amount remaining in your account. You can also look up your account online to see what you have left.