Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Swing and a Miss

You might recall I recently stated that "theoretically I may not need to get groceries this week". There were a few things that I forgot in my weekly groceries: namely water for the humans (our well is not potable so we refill 5 gallon jugs) and food for the dog and cats (we got a puppy at Christmas; he warrants his own post one of these days!).

We couldn't be out of water, nor food for the beasts, and the cost of buying such things in the next little town over is prohibitive. As much as I would like to support a local business, I can't justify $7 for the water that I would spend $3 on in town (also a local business). My 3 jugs were filled for $9, a savings of $4/jug or $12 altogether. That easily covered the drive to town (45kms, approx cost of $7 per round trip). I don't like to leave those types of purchases to the last minute in case there is a blizzard or extreme cold, a sick child, or even just not feeling like a trip to town. We have been about a week with out going anywhere; it was time to get out.

The things is, we never just run to town for one thing. While we were out we got our mail (the box is only a mile away, but I am expecting a parcel so if the parcel note had been in the mail I would have needed it to pick up the parcel in town at the post office). We also needed fuel (purchased where I can also collect air miles) and we grabbed some groceries. To the tune of $175.28. Cringe.

 All things conspired to send us to town today, and I am fine with that. My goal is to reduce what we waste and stick to my grocery list to spend less on food. In that sense, we are progressing.

I planned to watch for flour when it was on sale--today was the day at $5.98 for a 10 kg bag. I got two because I am baking more and have been caught buying flour sometimes for $11 or even $12/10 kg. I like it better this way.

My kids are usually good about not asking for things in stores. However, they were intent on a treat for the pup as we ran out of dentastix the other day. Because all things must be equal, J had to pick out a different treat for the dog because O was first to touch the dentastix. I can afford to choose my battles and the puppy pepperoni made it into the cart, but the pet food aisle is off limits until next time we run out of dog food.

I splurged on a bag of avocado for $3. They have been $1.48 each lately so we haven't had them in ages. I plan to do a bean salad and perhaps a taco night rather than the shepherd's pie I had planned. My potatoes that would have accompanied the hamburger in shepherd's pie will keep, but the avocado will not. Do you see where I am going with my menu-planning helping me reduce kitchen waste? The kids asked for strawberries, and I succumbed. Ditto the $3 bags of popcorn (1 each, because they were sold in pairs). All in all, I bought toilet paper, basmati rice, and sriracha sauce (saved 90 cents) which were also not on my list. I blew the budget by $46.14! I am already learning that my justifications while shopping (ie. it's on sale today, or I don't want to run out before our next shopping day) just would not fly if we were in a serious situation like being unemployed and living off savings. I don't feel that I bought (many) unnecessary items but I am realizing how reducing a monthly budget will be a challenge. 

Shopping Trips in February: 1

Total Spent:
  • Groceries: $175.28
  • Water: $9
  • Fuel: $39. 26
Do you budget the money that you spend on food, or have an idea of what you usually spend? Do you notice prices going up and, if so, have you altered what you are buying?

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