Monday, January 16, 2012

NSM Week 2: Our Weekly Household Budget

Before I get into the details of my shopping trips, I am super happy to say that this week I earned $45 by selling $20 worth of Luke’s old clothes, an oven hood we bought for our last house and didn’t install before we moved, a DVD, some coffee mugs, and some Christmas items on the Facebook resale group I mentioned last time.

That means that so far this month I’ve brought in a total of $174, which means I only need $26 to reach my goal of $200 to put toward debt this month!  So close!! :)


So I mentioned last week that I thought it would be interesting to write down in detail how much I spend a week on our household needs.  I wanted to do this for 4 reasons:

1.  To remind myself in years to come what food and household items cost in 2012 (I’m sure I will be shocked at how “cheap” it was!)

2.  To show you what a family of 3 in Connecticut who eats mostly clean/whole foods spends their grocery money on

3.  To actually somewhat dispel the myth that it’s not all that expensive to eat well.  I COMPLETELY DISAGREE WITH THAT STATEMENT.  Our family could survive on much, much less per week if I shopped solely what was on sale and cheapest.  But the expense is worth it to me (remember when I said, You pay now or you pay later, but either way, you pay?”).  Sometimes it kills me to pay this much for food every week ($12 on 2.5 pounds of beef, anyone?!), but I feel so strongly about eating well that it is worth it to me.  

4.  To see if there were any ways I could improve when I saw it all written out – and I definitely did learn a lesson.  At this point I had been making it a goal to use coupons on any name-brand item I bought – and overall, I did well on that front.  But I’m going to try harder to really get the best deal on those non-couponable items (like baby carrots, for instance).  That might mean some more trips to Wal-Mart are in my future (ick – I realllly don’t like that place!) but I think it would be financially beneficial right now.

I used a couple of letters to designate certain things I wanted to remember:

S = the item was on sale
C = I used a coupon
D = I used a Dollar Doubler coupon
WL = I bought this specifically to aid in my weight loss (not a normal purchase for me)
* = I bought this specifically for Luke to help fill in the nutritional gaps in his diet; not a normal purchase for me if he was eating normally


Without further ado, this is where the money went this week:

Monday, CVS:

tub and nsm 006

Whole milk for Chris, $3.49 S (plus 1 ECB back)


Tuesday, Stop & Shop:

tomato soup and sale 009

Hood sour cream: free plus overage C/D
Horizon DHA organic whole milk: $4.09*
Stonyfield organic skim: $2.89 S/C
Laughing Cow wedges: 2 for $4.08 S/C/D/WL
Land o’ Lakes butter {Honestly, I got tired of melting butter in the microwave!}: $3.79
Whipped cream: $1.99*
2% American cheese: $3.25 S

Brown lunch bags {for homemade popcorn!}: $2
Napkins: $1.89 S
Latex gloves: $1.50 S

Flatbreads and Teddy Grahams {treats}: 4 for $5  S/C/D
Spaghetti: $1 S

Organic chicken broth: $1
Preservative-free ham: $5.78 C/D
Veggie fed, hormone/antibiotic-free ground beef: about 2.5 pounds for $12.38 {This is why we don’t eat a lot of beef! We are currently all out of our pastured beef so this will have to last us about 5 meals} S
Veggie fed, hormone/antibiotic-free ground turkey: 1 lb for $3.49 S
Wild-caught haddock: about 1 lb for $5.78 S

Strawberries: $2.99 S*
Onions: $2.49
Bananas: $1.13
Organic potatoes: $5.99
Organic romaine: $2.99 S
{Plus 5 reusable bag credits}

Total: $75.48


Wednesday, Wal-Mart:

tomato soup and sale 010

Lipton Green Tea: $2.16 WL
Lemons: $2.50 WL
Tape Measure: $1.47 WL

Feta cheese {feta is like water in this house – we need it for survival! lol}: $.67 C
Lance WW PB crackers: 2 for $4*
All-natural bread: $2.50

Diapers (Luke moved to size 6 and we just can’t afford Pampers anymore!): $5.97
Shampoo (I have super-thin hair and this really helps!): $5.97
Pillow : $2.50

{Story about the pillow:  my husband has hated his pillow for a while and it frequently gives him neck pain.  Last week he said, “Honey, do you think in February we could buy a new pillow for me?”  Ummmmm….I got the poor man a pillow this month.  lol}

Total: $28.37 

Friday, Shop-Rite:

groceries 001

Emerald peanuts (for homemade trail-mix): 2 for $1.48 S/C
Granola bars: 2 for $4 S/C
Scotties tissues: 5 for $3.40 S/C
Lysol wipes: $.99 S/C
V-8 Fusion: 2 for $4 S/C*
Black beans: 4 for $1.92 S
Salsa {for Crockpot Salsa Chicken!}: 4 for $4.36 S/C
Cabot cheddar cheese: 2 for $3.98 S
Turkey Hill ice cream {for guests on Saturday}: $2.99 S

{Plus 3 reusable bag credits}

Total: $27.03

On Friday I bought pastured eggs from our Pastor’s family ($4) and Saturday I bought some more milk since my husband was out and we were having guests and I wanted some available for their kiddos.  It came to $2.69 – and I had to pay with a dollar bill and spare change I found around the house.  Awesome. Not my first choice but you better believe I was not whipping out that debit card!


So that, my friends, is how you spend $141.06 in food and household items for one week. (My budget for all things food and household related is $140.  I stretched it by using spare change to buy the milk this week.}


Depressing, right?! I see a few areas I can improve on, so that’s encouraging, at least. 

So those of you trying to stick to cash – only: did you stick to the plan?  Did you pull out your debit or credit card?  Let me know! We’re halfway through the month – we can do this! :)


  1. We got Jordan a pillow from Target on sale for $4 and it's his favorite pillow ever! Inexpensive does not always mean poor quality! :)

  2. P.S. Is this Century Gothic and how did you customized you font!? I am dying to change mine!

  3. I honestly have NO idea. It just appeared one day! I actually like the old way better! lol

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