I made it!
I had promised myself that I would not give in and go get groceries until February. We ran out of a few things, and yet we survived. I borrowed a pound of butter from my mom (have since returned it) and she gave us some cauliflower. I'll get her something back eventually. We ran out of cream for coffee, which neither Husband nor I like to have happen. We like the 18% coffee cream and it is one of the few things we don't want to compromise on. But as it ran low I added some milk to the jug to help it stretch and we only had one morning of imperfect coffee :)
Speaking of coffee, it was on for $9.98, down from $13.98 per 930 g can. There was a limit of 4 cans per customer so I bought 4. Yes, I spent $40 on coffee this week, but if I was to wait until I was out of coffee and just buy them full price one at a time, it would have been $16 more. Also, I spent the required amount to receive $20 free groceries (which brings my 2016 tally of free groceries up to $40). I plan to use the free groceries if we are ever in a pinch or save them for special groceries at Christmas.
My February totals are going to show a skewed total for cleaning supplies. I bought 3 sets of tinfoil pans and filed them under cleaning since they are not food. That brought my cleaning total up by $11 which will seem like a lot spent on cleaning supplies when I am already fairly well stocked. The happy reason for the disposable pans is a new baby in the family :) I have a darling baby nephew now and I've been cooking up meals to send down to the new parents. Another purchase was a gift pack of razors with shaving gel for Husband. Usually his razors are about $20 for replacement cartridges (yikes!) but this pack had a new razor with 3 cartridges and a shaving gel for $20 and the kids had actually picked up a $3 coupon for it without my knowing it. They are becoming little frugal shoppers already ;)
I spent $271.59 on groceries on February 1st. I am more confident now that I can keep to my goal of $600/month (or less). The breakdown is as follows:
Dry Goods: 138.47 (includes stockpile of coffee, bag of flour)
Produce: $28.33 (prices seem to be settling down)
Meat: $5 (we were given some beef by my parents so I only bought a $5 pack of sandwich meat)
Dairy: $44.86 (I got 2 800g blocks of cheese as they were on for $7.98 instead of $9.48. This cheese should last us most of the month. Although I do love me a cheesy casserole :-]
Health: $16.98 (razors)
Garden: (a new category!) $5.28 for seeds as I am attempting to sprout spinach and lettuce and bring down my produce spending :)
I feel so much more in control of my kitchen budget now that I am in the habit of checking the weekly flyers and coupon board at the store, menu-planning to ensure that I do not waste what I have purchased, and doing without the items that I would ordinarily go to town for and inevitably buy more than I had planned. Although I have almost spent the budget for the month, I have a good supply of rice, pasta, my own potatoes, and there is plenty of meat in the freezer. Most of what gets spent now will go towards fresh produce and dairy so I may possibly make it to the end of the shortest month with a bit of money leftover :)