Grocery Report, November 16 – 21, 2017

Call this week the week I wasted grocery money.

Two things bothered me about this week.

First, Bookworm and I were going to have a late night and needed to pack our dinner to eat in the car.  I stopped by Whole Foods and got some gluten free bread and lunch meat.  We were in a hurry, so I didn’t pay much attention until I was going through my receipts at home.  Whole Foods charged me $8.99 for a 6 oz. container of lunch meat.  I called them and complained that they charged me for the family size lunch meat, but the cashier went back to check and said the price was right.  The 6 oz. container of lunch meat was $8.99!!!  Ridiculous!  I barely go into Whole Foods, but now I’ll be sure to steer clear.  Yikes.

Then, I ordered the organic Bountiful Basket and decided to pay roughly $16 for the conventional add on of tropical mix.  The description didn’t say how much fruit we would get, just the variety of fruit we’d get.  I’d seen Bountiful Baskets conventional baskets, and they are very generous, so I expected the same with the basket add on.  Mistake!  For $16, I got one pineapple, two mangoes, one lime, one papaya, and four bruised up bananas.  Definitely not worth the price.

Just a Few Facts About Us

Our family of 5 chooses to eat mostly organic produce and grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.  I’m Paleo, my daughter is semi-Paleo, and the rest of us are gluten free.  Everyone except my husband is dairy free.  Our goal for the last few months of the year is to spend on average $750 per month on groceries.

This post contains affiliate links.

Here’s what we bought over the last week:

Whole Foods – $13.98

Not pictured–lunch meat & bread

Fry’s, Trader Joe’s & Natural Grocers – $21.24

Fry’s – $5.21

not pictured–brown rice & white rice

Fry’s – $15.86

Sprout’s – $8.99

Not pictured.  One loaf of gluten free bread.

Bountiful Baskets – $43.80

See that tiny bit of food off on the side? That is the tropical pack for $16.30.


Fry’s – $7.28

The Larabars were on sale for $1 each, plus I had two .50 off coupons, so they were .75 each.  They’re good for me to eat as a snack when we’re on the go.  (The yogurt is for my husband and was on clearance for .49 each.)

Natural Grocers – $38.11

Costco – $ 105.66

Part of my new plan to reduce our grocery costs is to set aside about $250 to stock up on items.  I did that this week at Costco.  Stock up items include the rice milk, frozen butternut squash, frozen cauliflower and cans of tuna and salmon.

TOTAL: $260.13

TOTAL for November: $490.36

TOTAL for October: $1,180.05

TOTAL for September: $1,022.29

TOTAL for August: $668.85

Average for 3 months:  $957.06




2018 Plan: “Finding” Money for Our Trip to Michigan

Earlier this year, when life was a bit quieter, I set on a goal to “find” $750 for our trip to Michigan.  Unfortunately, we didn’t end up going to Michigan; instead, we took a four day trip to Flagstaff, Arizona and to the Grand Canyon.

In 2018, I really want to make it back to Michigan, hopefully sometime in the fall, so I am once again setting a goal to “find” money for our trip.  I think we should have about 9 months to save, if I start now.  Here is how I plan to do it:

Save Credit Card Cash Back

Our credit card has a generous cash back offer, so I intend to take all of that money and save it for Michigan.

Use Ebates

I have had an Ebates account since 2011, but I always forget to use it when I’m shopping online.  This year, I decided that would change.  I installed an Ebates button on my computer.  Now, whenever I go to a site where Ebates offers cash back, a little box pops up and asks if I want to activate my cash back AND sometimes they have coupon codes to save you money on your purchase.  Um, yes please!

For the first time since signing up six years ago, every quarter this year I have gotten a rebate check.  Sweeeet!

(Use my referral link to sign up with Ebates, and you can earn $10 immediately.)

Use Swagbucks

I did start increasing my Swagbucks usage, and I recently cashed out a $25 gift card.  Yay!

Use Ibotta

I had seen other bloggers write about Ibotta, but I figured since we didn’t eat many processed foods, Ibotta wouldn’t have coupons for me.  Boy, was I wrong.  I got $10 for joining.  (Use my referral link to sign up, and you can earn $10 right off the bat, too!)  I have gotten .50 cash back for bananas, $2 cash back for Enjoy Life cookies, and $1.25 cash back for eggs, just to name a few.  I stopped using this after my foot surgery, but in just a short time, I accrued $26.  I’m looking forward to starting this up again.

Save the Change

I’m trying to make it a habit to pay cash for our groceries, so I’ll round up at each store and save the change.

I plan to implement these strategies to save money for our trip to Michigan; I’ll also be exploring other ways to make extra money.

Do you have any ways you use to “find” money for things that are normally not in your budget?

A Book Review & Giveaway: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This post contains affiliate links. When we were eating lunch at our homeschool co-op, one of the moms suggested that we all read the book, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and then go together as a group to see the movie.  Afterward, we'd all discuss the … [Continue reading]

Grocery Report, November 9 – 15, 2017

So far, my plan to reduce our grocery costs is working, but I am getting a little frustrated with my new budget and Costco.  I rely quite a bit on Costco for frozen organic veggies at a great price.  I like to buy their organic frozen sliced root … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Crew Review – Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

Because I sometimes teach high school literature in our co-op, I'm always on the hunt for new curriculum. I recently was able to try out Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis.  This is another great product by Writing with Sharon Watson, and … [Continue reading]

Homeschool Crew Review: Forbrain

All of my kids have been in speech therapy at some point in their lives.  Currently, one is in speech therapy and the other is about to start up again.  I also have a child who struggles with focus, so I was excited to try out Forbrain by Sounds for … [Continue reading]

Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide: A Giveaway

In 2014, we started a new Christmas tradition.  That tradition was to read one of Arnold Ytreeide's advent books during Advent.  Ytreeide's books are set up so that you read one chapter per night.  Many times, the chapter would end in a particularly … [Continue reading]

A Fun Christmas Movie: The Star

I am always looking for wholesome movies that I can take my whole gang to; considering they range in age from 13 to 7, that can be tough.  So, I'm excited about the new movie, The Star, which tells the story of the Nativity from the animals' … [Continue reading]

Fire Road by Kim Phuc Phan Thi: A Book Review

I have seen the picture, as you likely have, too.  It's iconic and shows the brutality of war as well as the cost to innocent civilians.   But what happened to that little girl in the photo, running naked down the street, being burned by … [Continue reading]

Grocery Report, November 1 – 8, 2017

When my husband went to Flagstaff for work last week, we tagged along.  I brought almost all of our food (all freezer meals from my big freezer cooking session), and we bought some groceries there.  However, that money came out of our vacation … [Continue reading]