Groceries - February 2019 - Week 1
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
Our weekly budget for food is $60. I'll write about how I organize, plan, and what meals we make. I try my best to make local, sustainable, low packaging purchases, and stay within the budget. I make what I can and waste as little as possible.
We budget for things like food, gas because it's important to us to know where our money is going. We have goals that we're saving for and we're better able to navigate surprise expenses when we follow our money.
In the kitchen we have an organizer hanging on the wall with money in envelopes (pictured above). Each week of the month has an envelope for food and an envelope for gas; these envelopes have the respective budgeted amount in them.
Week 1 - Food
Week 1 - Gas
Week 2 - Food
Week 2 - Gas
Week 3 - Food
Week 3 - Gas
Week 4 - Food
Week 4 - Gas
Having a tangible budget makes it easier for me to follow. At the bottom of the organizer is an envelope for receipts.
Okay, let's find some food.
I go to Reebee 's website because it will show me multiple flyers in one place. I also keep the Reebee app on my phone. I've heard there are other websites/ apps that will do this and maybe you like the paper flyers, but I've been using Reebee and am happy with it.
I look at flyers and plan out some basics. I leave some space in the budget for 'eat today' items and items on sale in store that aren't in the flyer. The first two flyers I look at are Sobeys and Superstore.
$2.99 - 10 lb potatoes
$1.69 - Rice vermicelli
$2.99 - Romaine hearts
Total planned ~ $8
Superstore usually has a large bag of 'club' bread for $5.00 - it's assorted bagels, rolls, pizza buns, and I may end up grabbing one.
I had 2/$3 - tuna listed but it is cheaper at Walmart
$2.99 - Salmon (will buy two)
$0.99 - Ragu pasta sauce (will buy two)
$0.89 - Compliments mac and cheese (we prefer it over brand name! but we eat it with brussels sprouts on the side so we may be weird).
$1.99 - Campbells Every Day Gourmet soup
Total planned ~$11
Hummus is buy two get the third free but doesn't have the price listed in the flyer so I'll look in store.
I had $1.99 - wholewheat bread listed but I'm going to make my bread instead.
$0.87 - Tuna
Total planned ~ $2
I often check the 'eat today' rack because it usually has produce like avocados
*immediate update - I went to Walmart because I was going by and found apples for $2.00
$3 - 6 Avocados (if not on an 'eat today' rack somewhere else)
$3 - Salad mix
$3 - 6 Tomatoes
Total planned ~$9
Okay so what does this give me so far:
Superstore - $8
Sobeys - $11
Walmart - $2
Giant Tiger - $9
Total planned - $30
Total left - $30
What I'm missing:
Vegetables/fruit - fresh or frozen. I don't see what I want in the flyers so I'll keep my eyes open. Vegetables like like brussel sprouts, and peppers get a lot of use here.
Some meat or fish protein - I'll stop in Chops with a budget of approximately $10 to spend.
What meals does this look like?
I'll keep an eye out for avocados on 'eat today' racks in the stores. I've seen them at Walmart 5 for $1.00. You can cut up and freeze avocados! In a recipe like this you're going to blend them so pieces are okay.
Toasted tomato sandwiches / tuna sandwiches
Stay with me here: toast bread, put mayo or butter on bread (I slather mine in hot sauce too), romaine lettuce, and pepper. Some people like cheese but I'm not buying that this week.
Tuna, mayo, hot sauce, pepper. Toast bread, apply tuna.
Mac and cheese with a salad on the side.
It's about balance right? Some days when I have to pick up the husband right before supper time and I haven't prepped, I need a quick meal. Mac and cheese is in a cardboard box- I'll hang onto this box and put my compost in it.
I've never made this exact recipe but I have some of the stuff in the fridge so I might try it. My go to is olive oil, rosemany, and whatever other savoury spices are near.
With homemade bread on side. Maybe I'll break up the bread and back it into croutons.
In the oven with lemon, pepper, and basil
With chickpeas, worchestire sauce, broth, onions, cashews, peanut butter, and whatever else needs to be eaten.
For breakfasts we'll have rolled oats, overnight oats, smoothies, or toast. I have ingredients for the the oats, smoothies and bread already, but will have to make the bread this week.
I've listed groceries from at least four stores here. I try to streamline my shopping so that I'll stop into a store on my way by. With a $40 weekly budget for gas, and thinking of the environment, how much sense would it make to drive from my house to Walmart to buy $2.00 worth of tuna? Nah.
I save cardboard boxes to use as compost containers so I don't have to buy the bags.
I bring my own bags to the stores and avoiding using/buying the dreaded plastic bags.
I make my own broth. I'll save meat bones / scraps and vegetable scraps from prep and put them in the freezer and brew up some broth at the end of the week.
I save my receipts and upload them to an app in my phone called Receipt Hog. I've accumulated a whopping $5.00 which I can deposit into my Paypal for doing this. I check Checkout 51 too but often can't find cash back on what I purchase.
The flyers I looked at today are good until Thursday. I'll update again on Thursday with what we've eaten so far.
These recipes do use pantry items I already have. When those pantry items run out, I'll replace them out of the weekly food budget. I often sub items and switch things based on what I already have and what needs to be eaten.
Staple items I keep on hand: chickpeas, diced tomatoes, black beans all from Costco and rolled oats from Bulkbarn.
Thanks for reading!