Monday, March 07, 2011

The Great Grocery Budget Challenge

When I announced this project, I didn't think about how it would affect my thinking when I'm actually in the store. Usually I relax, buy, and don't think too hard about what I'm putting in the cart. This week? I had a complex. I picked up things, wondered what readers would think, and put them back. I felt guilty about a few seemingly 'indulgent' purchases, and wondered if people would criticize what I bought, or tell me "of COURSE your bills are high if you buy THAT. Who do you think you are, buying $4 Greek yogurt?"

There's nothing like the eyes of the Internet to give you a complex.

What I'm cooking:

-Marinated Greek Chicken with home made Pitas and salad
-French Onion Soup
-Prawn and Crab salad w/ meyer lemon dressing
-Quinoa Chicken Salad
-Burgers (weekend meal)
-pumpkin oatmeal cookies (for lunches)
-lemon curd tarts
-cheesecake brownies

Grocery Budget Crunch Week 1

The most ouch-worthy item was the Swiss Cheese. At over $5.00 for 200 grams, it's a specialty item that I almost never buy, but I have some French onion soup in the freezer that needs to be eaten. Of course, I forgot the french bread. We'll make do with whole wheat.

I chose to buy the Emma Tomatoes over a cheaper brand because they have no calcium chloride or salt added, and I was willing to pay the extra $.60 more for that. My food philosophy is if the better quality or healthier item is only a bit more, I choose that one.

Also, Kashi crackers are usually out of my price range, but they were on sale this week and I LOVE them. Greek yogurt is something I buy often-but if I do, I then forgo buying yogurt for me to take to work. Can't really afford to when 500g costs $4.29.

The shampoo and conditioner were a dilemma-our usual brand (Pantene) was $7.99 a bottle, so I picked up the store brand at $4.49 each to see how they would fare. A clerk at Shoppers told me that she loved their store brand products, and that if I didn't like it I can always bring it back. Wow! That's standing behind your product!

I couldn't find lactose free milk. It's not a huge deal because Kevin can drink small amounts of regular milk, but it is a bit of a pain. I usually have a hard time finding the milk. Fingers crossed that they have it next week!

I forgot eggs, which could prove to be a problem if later this week I need some and have to pick them up. In that case, I'll add them on to next week's grocery budget and will have less to spend. Yikes!

Totals, from the receipts?

$73.56 (IGA)
$18.79 (Shoppers)
$23.44 (Extra Foods-I just noticed that I was overcharged $2 for the prawns, they were $7.99)
$37.25 (Claytons)

Total: $153.04

$5.12 (IGA)
$30.92 (Shoppers)
$9.98 (Extra Foods)

Total: $46.02

I really hate going to four different stores, too. Would be nice if I could get everything in one place.

How did your shopping go this week?

Update: I had to run back to the store for eggs! And lettuce! And then toilet paper was on sale and I need some next week, so I bought that too, which added up to...

$7.47 (+ 12% Hst=$8.36)

= $13.14 More! Gah!

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