Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Bare Essentials Challenge: This Week's Shopping Trips

So, I finally went to the dentist today.  And for once I have good news (at least to me).  I was really worried as the last week my teeth have been actively hurting, sometimes badly, and it was impacting how I ate, slept and everything.

Turns out I have exactly two cavities, which one is big, but not close to the nerve and the other one is small but they want to fill it before it gets worse (I'm totally behind that).  Other than that my teeth are fine decay wise.  After not being to the dentist in five years (I was off on my time table when they checked the date of my last appointment...oops), I was thrilled that my mouth wasn't worse. 

My biggest problem, it turns out, is receding gums due to my old nemesis TMJ.  I've had it since 2004 and haven't really been taking care of it right (as in at all really...I take Ibuprofen for it when I need to and that's it), so now I'm dealing with the consequences.  So, a bite guard to stop myself from grinding and clenching at night is in my future ASAP.  But, overall, it could have been SO much worse, so to anyone who threw a prayer heavenwards for me, thank you!

As for grocery shopping this week, my entire 50.00 grocery budget for this week was shot in one day (Tuesday as a matter of fact.  Yup I shopped on Tuesday, again *laugh*).  I'm pretty sure I'm going over my budget for the week because I'm still going to need to pick up at least a few bottles of Coke for my son and a couple of gallons of milk.   So, I'm going to be looking at probably 10.00 overage on my grocery budget for the week.  Now I can grab the last 4.00 and change from my daughter's birthday money to help compensate for that (I *ahem* sold her on chocolate chip cookies for her birthday treat at school, so that will save me one throw away pan), but I'm still going to be over.  Depressing, but when you end up having to pick up about 20.00 in cat supplies (dry cat food, cat litter and wet cat food) you know you're in trouble.  And there was no way around it really.  I was pretty much out of dry cat food, the cat box needed to be changed (and no coupons to be had this week, unfortunately) and the cats were contemplating eating us soon if they didn't get a few more cans of wet cat food per week, so needed to happen.

But, anyway, here's what I got this week for 50.00.
First I went to Carrs.

Got veggie straws and tortilla chips for my son's speech therapy as his therapist wants to work those into his feeding therapy (she wants to see if he likes corn chips or ranch flavors with his Doritos, either way, she figures, we can get him some healthier options either way), which was 5.00 and some change more than I wanted to spend, but necessary.

I also got milk since it was still on sale for 2.99 a gallon with the in-ad coupon.  I got a 2 liter bottle of ginger ale as well.  I found a coupon for 1.00/1 Refreshe item in my cart last week and knew that ginger ale was still on sale through the end of the month for 1.50, so I got it for .50 after coupon (I have been mixing this in with orange juice to try and get my son to try it.  So far, no luck, but I'm still trying).

All totaled I spent 12.05 at Carrs.

At Fred Meyer I got Doritos (on sale 3.50 per bag this week) and Cheetos (same price at Carrs or Fred Meyer, so I ended getting it at the second store.  Was praying for a sale, but no cigar) for 5.29.

I also got chicken nuggets for my daughter's school lunches, on sale for 5.49 this week. Kroger brand sausage was supposedly on sale for 3.00 per package, but when I got there it was marked 2.79 per package, so it was a nice find.  I've been wanting breakfast sausage for a while and am out of ground pork in the freezer (that I can find anyway, no telling if it's hiding somewhere). 

I found Braunshweiger on reduced for 2.27 per tube so I got some for my husband to take to work for lunch or to eat on crackers as a snack (I like it too, but can't eat much of it as it is so rich).

I got some Bumblebee Tuna Salad to-go things as my son will eat the tuna salad out of these kits (crackers he could not care less about...go figure as he's always the carb loading one).  He'll eat ONLY this tuna salad (I keep trying to sell him on home made, but nope).  Since it's the only meat he'll currently eat of any type, I suck it up and buy the little boxes for 2.19 a pop (I still flinch at the price though).

My big extravagance this week was buying some Psst tea for 1.19.  It's supposedly just black tea by the ingredients, so I'm going to try using that in my beloved iced tea instead of buying some of my more expensive preferences when I have a hankering.  I hope it turns out okay.

All totaled AFTER 6.13 in rewards rebates I had, I spent 38.13 at Fred Meyer (sad, but true).

Total spent for the day:  50.18

So far the milk is holding out and so is the Coke, so I'm KIND of hoping I can make this all work until Monday and not have to worry about going over budget.  We'll see if luck is going to be a lady to me or not *laugh*.


  1. What good finds on all that meat this week! I'm a wee bit jealous!

    Can you spend less next week if you go over a bit this week? I'm not sure how you have your budget worked out but if you're budgeting more than one week a time, that might work for you.

    We've spent all but $10 of our February grocery budget already. SIGH. Not sure how we'll make it but we will do it. We have to!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. I have a 60.00 emergency cushion that I allotted myself in cash before the challenge started that I'm trying hard not to touch unless I have to, so I do have a bit of wiggle room if I need it. I'm just kind of hoping I don't have to this early on *laugh*.

      10.00 left for the month? Ouch. Good luck keeping to that somehow!

  2. I wear a night guard and have receding gums too.... I have to go two extra trips in a year for teeth cleaning -- but luckily my hubby has fairly decent dental insurance. So, out-of-pocket isn't too bad. I currently do not track how much I spend on groceries - but I shop every two weeks (but I have quick visits in between as well). I do go to ALDI and Walmart and then shop sales at Jewel-Osco (Albertson's for some), Kroger, Hy-Vee and Schnucks. I think I should check on how much I spend... track it and try to save some money. I do have a small stockpile.

    1. We currently have no dental insurance, but my dentist takes payments with 0% interest on them, so I am definitely lucky in that regard. They are so good about taking whatever payment I can afford from month to month too, so I try to make sure I remember to pay them on time.

      I need to start going in for cleanings I think. I haven't had one since I was in college because my teeth tend to be pretty clean, but with the receding gums I kind of need to help stop damage before it gets bad.

  3. I went to the dentist today, too. Your meals have looked really good, so you are doing very well in this challenge. My shopping day is tomorrow, and I have several non-food items on my list, so that's a bummer. I managed to get my girls' Valentine candy at Kohl's for $1.03 out of pocket, so I was pretty thrilled. It was on clearance stuff, but was a Godiva set for one, and Star Wars jelly Bellys for the other, things that will suit each one. The Godiva set was originally $25! I had $5 yes to you dollars left from Christmas shopping and I got another $10 for downloading their app.

    1. Wow! Good find on the chocolate! I haven't had anything but Hershey's or special order chocolate in forever, it seems, due to my son's peanut allergy so the idea of Godiva chocolate has me drooling a bit *laugh*.

  4. Tis the month for dentusts! I went Tuesday to be told on check out the expensI've insurance we bought this year because we knew we needed work, was a new deductible starting in January. The coverage started in October, when we did cleanings (my husband's a teacher, so no choice on when coverage starts) so we had already met it, but it's now 2016. Plus, in 2016 the insurance no longer covers tooth colored fillings, which is all the office had, so was slapped with an extra $600 on TOP of each of us having 3 old filling fixed. Still in shock. And planning to do any other work this year, and ditching that insurance and just doing one out of pocket cleaning a year. Sheesh!

    Let me know how the psst tea is. I see that brand, but never tried any of their stuff.

    1. Wow that stinks! Dental bills will get you every time and then paying for insurance that didn't do you any good...ouch. We just got insurance for the first time since I've been married to my husband, but it doesn't have dental for adults. Luckily it does have a dental visit covered for my daughter, so at least we'll be able to get her cleaning done for free. After that they cover 40%, so I'm praying she doesn't have cavities.

      I'm lucky to have the dentist I do, truly. I was one of his first patients when he moved into the Valley area (Palmer/Wasilla) and so when I have to make payments they know I'm trustworthy and just go with it. So, I have no idea how much my fillings, cleaning and X-rays are going to cost, but at least I know I can make payments to pay for it all. One day, one, I hope to have them completely paid off again.

  5. Pet food and supplies can really dig into your budget with the worst timing sometimes. We have 3 cats and a Guinea pig to feed and care for, so I know your pain.

    Looks like you did well with what you did buy this week. Awesome scores on the meat items and some good lunch options too! I hope you like the Tea.

  6. I don't know if you have mentioned this before but have you ever tried buying the cheaper cola and filling a coke bottle with it?