Sunday, February 28, 2010

Goal achieved! I think?

After a month of actually logging my groceries for the entire month of February (this is ridiculous. I never stick to things this long), I think I may have achieved my goal.

Turns out, even with my crafty Excel spreadsheet-making skills, my math was wrong throughout the month, leading me to think I had more leftover in my budget than I did. The total bills weren't adding up correctly, so I ended up spending $102 total. This was including all toiletries, which was a debate that I had with myself at the beginning of the month since, to me, groceries mean "food"! For this reason, I decided that I met my goal of meeting/staying under my $100 grocery budget.

After splitting up each of my receipts into categories, I learned that:

  • My biggest expense category this month was alcohol at $11.66 total. Ok, not fair, because that was only 3 bottles!
  • Coming in second and third were peanut butter (3 jars--natural-- totaling$6.69) and fruit ($7.06). Yes, I like peanut butter.
  • My smallest expenses were cheese (8 cents!) and cereal (2 boxes totaled $2.67)
  • Using loyalty cards and coupons, I saved about $26.00. Not too much, but that means about 20% of my groceries were free. Remember, I'm only shopping for one! However, I also go with store brands quite often and there is no record on the receipt of how much you saved in comparison to the name brand... I think the amount I saved would be ridiculously higher if so.
  • I made purchases 13 times throughout the month! This seems absurd, but keep in mind my job consists of traveling to a gajillion area grocery stores, so I'm always able to hit--literally--EVERY sale.

Other interesting things I learned over the course of monitoring my groceries more closely:

  • Meijer has some fantastic produce sales.
  • I am no longer intolerant of latex-related fruits! I have struggled with "allergies" to melon, avacados, and bananas for years and years... only to discover that I can eat all of these things now!
  • I eat... a LOT... of peanut butter.
  • I don't really eat meat.
  • I went through a $6 container of honey in almost 4 weeks... by myself.
Now... can someone tell me why it's mixing up fonts in my posts?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Week 3 and New Goal Subjects for March!

So by now, I have nearly bored myself with this blog already. Partly because I'm not sure of all the ideas I have for it, and mostly because there are no readers. It's beyond me how someone attains so many readers of their blog unless readers simply stumble upon it. Do you market a blog? If so, how? I'd love to have more ideas on this as well as make my goals inspiring to the next person.

As for my update on spending, I put all my receipts together and actually made a spreadsheet to break down what I buy. Peanut butter, sadly, is its own category. So far this month, I have spent a total of $54.26. Not bad! That also includes toiletries, over the counter medicine, paper plates, etc. I even included food and wine that I bought as gifts. Apparently my goal of $100 will not be so challenging after all. Buying for one isn't so bad!

Here are a few future goals that I'd like to try. I might do a weekly goal, a monthly goal, etc. And they won't always have to do with food or money!

  • Eat vegetarian for 2 weeks.
  • No sweets for a week. (You don't understand how much I give in to sweets. I work for Kraft and can have basically any Nabisco product any day of the week. Oreos and Fig Newtons are the most tempting! And the holidays brought out ALL my temptations and I didn't hold back one bit.)
  • Hit 4 workouts a week for a month.
  • Run 15 miles a week for a month.
  • Train for a 10K.
  • Cook 1 new recipe a week for 4 weeks.
  • Cook 1 new recipe a week for 4 weeks, but they all must be ethnic foods.
  • Groceries in under $80 a month.
  • Don't buy anything other than food/toiletries for a month.
Some goals may overlap. Some goals may become lifestyle changes. Some goals may be impossible to achieve with my work schedule.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week Two!

Week two receipt count!

Kroger: $10.67
Kroger: $ 3.48

Now is the question of what I include in my grocery bill exactly. Does it mean all toiletries? "Gifts" such as a few rolls of cookie dough that I'm making to give away or for an event? Hair dye? Nasal spray? Wine? These things have all come up, and for now, I'm just going to include them....

This means that at mid-week two, I'm just about to $55. Sounds just about right if I can make it last!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Considering I just got back from vacation, I needed groceries. My goal will start today!

I ended my work day at a Dorothy Lane Market, a store for those with 1) a more selective palate and 2) no need to look at a price before purchasing an item. Ironically enough, I received a newsletter in the mail with some fantastic coupons just yesterday, simply for signing up for their card. I don't even shop there! I took them with me just in case, and voila! Look what I got for $5:

Raisin Bran, 5 yummy Yoplait yogurts, a wedge of Saint Paulin cheese, and an entire roll of sushi (which originally cost $6.50 to begin with!)

And so shows the power of finding coupons that match sales! The cheese cost me 3 cents, and the yogurts were 19 cents. I'm hooked! Now if only the Sunday paper would actually show up on my doorstep, I could crank out some more deals...

After shopping at Kroger afterwards, my total spending for the day is $40. I planned to only spend $25 and break it down week-by-week, but the beginning of the month is the worst. Besides, February is a short month anyway, right?