Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Bare Essentials Challenge: This Week's Shopping Trip
First, I want to say that yup I ended up going over my grocery budget last week by 10.00. I took the last bit of money out of my budget for my daughter's birthday to help cut the overage a bit and ended up being about 6.00 over budget. Honestly, I am okay with that.
I'm going to be washing my son's clothes by themselves when I do the wash (with his bedding) and then I'll wash everyone else's laundry in the home made laundry soap to keep the costs down, for one, and because the rest of us do just fine on the home made laundry soap (for two).
With my son's severe eczema, one thing I learned to do a long time ago, though, is to make a monthly budget just for that. So, the above actually came out of the "son's needs budget" as I like to call it. I budget 50.00 per month for things he might need. The Zyrtec he has to take every day, as well as liquid Benadryl and such come out of this budget too. If I don't use the entire 50.00 I roll over the rest of the money onto another bill, like the bills we're trying to pay off right now, or I use part of it for my husband's weekly cash allowance. This month, I'm thinking, the entire 50.00 is shot once I buy my son Zyrtec toward the end of the month. I included the stain remover in his budget this month as well because he's the one who created the numerous oil stains on my tablecloths that I am trying to remove, so I got kind of snarky and included means to try and remove some of them in his budget *laugh*.
The Balmex was one of those "new" products that I ran into and I thought maybe it would help his eczema. I was one of those parents before my son came along that believed Balmex could fix pretty much everything, so I was impressed when I ran into this new product when I was walking by the isle. I was hoping it might help my son with the eczema that he has broke out on the inside of his thighs and maybe sooth his cracking feet, so I bought a tub (the 10.99 price tag made me flinch, but trust me...I've paid a lot more for new products to try on him). Overall? I'm really happy with this stuff so far. It's really thick, but once smeared into the skin it really does seem to reduce the irritation and itching, which is helping to stop my son's eczema from cycling so fast. Any improvement when it comes to eczema, is a good thing.
I'm sharing this part of the grocery shopping really as more of a "head's up" to anyone who suffers with eczema or knows someone who does that maybe the Balmex stuff might be worth a shot to get some relief. And also to prove, once again, that my son is platinum plated *laugh*.
So, anyway, onto the groceries that actually fit into my normal grocery budget!
This could be called the, "Hey look, Erika doesn't just buy processed crap" edition. I did the math and figured out that I could finally fit some fresh things into the budget this week. So, I went to the store to get some Cheetos (on sale B1G1 at Carrs ending today), some Chip's Ahoy cookies (on sale 2.50) and other things (like the flavored water for school lunches).
I did end up going 8.00 over budget because I found a bunch of beef on clearance for 50% off. I knew that I could do a lot with the ribs, the short ribs and the thin cut steaks, so I bought them knowing full well I was going to go over my weekly budget. And I was okay with that. I have enough of my son's food to last till past pay day and milk might get tight, but worse comes to worse I can raid my cash cushion to get us through for the week for milk (as I don't want to spend any MORE on groceries this week out of the checking account), so I'm feeling pretty good overall.
Honestly, there comes a point when you cut your grocery budget by 2/3 when you're going to have to go a bit over from time to time to get things that are more expensive, like meat or produce (which is more gold plated than it was the last time I bought it *sigh*). I figured on this ahead of time, so I'm not beating myself up for going over. I didn't go over by 100.00 or something (which would have equaled out to my normal weekly grocery budget...weird thinking about that), so I'm just not worrying about it too much.
Some highlights of my trip.
I got Beef ribs for 3.74 per container on the 50% off. I got three thin cut steaks for 5.45.
The biggest find this week was two packages of Valentine's (32 Valentine's per package each!) for 1.39 each on Valentine's Day clearance. These will be put into the holiday reserve things for Valentine's next year. And no, I don't care if my daughter has outgrown My Little Pony by then. She's stuck with them ;).
I also got produce, which I really did need to help my canned good stretch as well as to just introduce some more variety to our diet. I tend not to buy russet potatoes as I don't really have a good spot to store them to stop them sprouting before I use them, but I think I might have solved that problem (hopefully), but more on that odd solution on Friday. So, I got some potatoes, a rutabaga (I like to keep them around for stews, casseroles, roasted veggies or other uses), an onion, some lettuce, a couple of apples and some bananas. I knew that wasn't going to be cheap, so I figured this was a good week to invest in produce as I didn't have a lot to buy this week since I ended up getting the majority of the soda we would need and a couple of gallons of milk late last week.
I still have a bunch of oranges in the fridge as well as some apples, so when I got a couple of apples I knew I was just supplementing my stores and not actually replacing them. I found that oranges and apples will last months in the fridge, so it's nice to have a good store of them around.
Not shown is the free chocolate bar I got from Fred Meyer (yup, I only got that one thing there today). I put that in the pantry out of sight of my son as it's not safe for him to eat (I wanted to do that before I forgot).
Oh and my biggest reveal of this week? We are 100% officially potty trained! My son finally lost the nighttime diapers over a week ago and has been doing great without them. You can not believe how thrilled this makes me :). This will allow me to lower by monthly grocery budget, once it goes back up, by 50.00 (mind you with inflation driving prices up that might be a bit off). No matter what it's definitely a good thing!
So, all totaled I spent 58.61 on groceries this week.
A couple of people in the store, my cashier being one of them, couldn't believe my total and everything I got for that much money without a single coupon to help (well, except the reduced stickers). The guy behind me even asked me how I did that and I smiled at him and said, "By watching things carefully. Very carefully." And it was the absolute truth.