December 2, 2016 by Courtney
I’ve been worried about how I’m going to make my grocery budget work out because it’s small right now ($450-500 for the month, for a family of 5). A few decisions that I made to make it work: 1) Store brand items (when I can), 2) No organic items, 3) Mostly whole foods and very few processed foods, 4) Bake/make homemade items as much as possible.
I also decided to reduce my “health and wellness” budget for now… only buying necessary medications, doctor appointments, cheaper vitamins for me, and only fish oil for the kids (no vitamins for now). I will keep buying my high quality cod liver oil for me. It’s so important because of my bipolar. I also take B12! What I have will last a while.
So these are what I take:
The vitamins that I chose are actually cheaper (by $15 a month!) than what I’ve been taking and they are organic! I really could care less that they are organic (right now), but it’s nice that they’re cheaper :-). I like that they are whole food vitamins and they are once daily. It’s much better to take 1 tablet versus 4 capsules!
*Update: I wasn’t planning on using Honest Company, but I decided to use it for the household products that we’re out of, and as we need items, I’ll order from them. I did an add on and got 3 bottles of whole foods kids gummies for $35! That’s a GREAT price for 3 kids! $35 of that comes out of our grocery budget and $35 comes out of health and wellness!
Here is what I bought today!
I spent $152, but that included the kids’ fish oil and my vitamins. These were $40.
So it was $112 for groceries. And $40 of it was in 6 household/personal care items. For the most part, I’m picky about brands in these items. I usually buy Goodnights at Walmart in a large box but I didn’t feel like going to Walmart just for that today :-). Next time, I will.
- Goodnights (for my 6 year old…)
- A mega pack of Finish power balls (yes, expensive, but they work really well and this will last a long time!)
- 500 pack of HEB brand napkins
- HEB dish soap
- Eye liner (I rarely buy makeup…)
$72 of this was food.
- 80 ct white corn tortillas (Robert and I have “egg tacos” most mornings for breakfast)
- 20 ct flour tortillas
- 100% whole wheat English muffins
- 2, 12 packs of Coke Zero (yes, my vice)
- 12 oz Holiday blend coffee (kind of expensive… definitely a treat)
- 2 dozen Farmhouse cage free eggs
- Spreadable cream cheese
- Block of cream cheese
- 24 oz cottage cheese
- HEB brand bacon
- 24 oz Ken’s steakhouse ranch
- 12 pack HEB squeezable apple sauce
- Whole milk and plain yogurt to make homemade Greek yogurt (1 gallon of milk makes 15-16 servings of homemade Greek yogurt in the Instant Pot!)
- 2 bunches bananas (1 yellow and 1 green)
- Grape tomatoes
- Red grapes
- Mandarin oranges
- 3 avocados
I will be baking some homemade bread and breakfast foods. We are actually eating a lot of dinners in the dining hall next week. The next week is already planned and we have most of what we need for that week as well. Next week’s shopping trip will be a little meat, a few dairy items, sodas, and mostly produce! I’m thinking I might spend $50-75 next week. I guess I’m doing okay with my budget so far!!
Every time I was tempted to buy organic because it’s “only 40 cents more,” I thought about how all of those little cents add up quickly. I’m not anti-organic; actually, usually I’m pro-organic, but we have priorities right now! That priority is self-care for me, which means living frugally.
What does self care look like for me now?
I have landed on working out 3-4 times a week. I’m doing Couch to 5k with a good friend of mine and I really enjoy that. I hike a few times a week. I’m not concerned about strength training right now. I want to develop the habit of exercising 3-4 times a week right now, then I’ll add on to that eventually.
Like I mentioned above, I take a high quality cod liver oil, whole foods vitamin, and B 12.
I eat mostly healthy, but allow myself balance in this area. Like today I had an egg “taco” for breakfast; cottage cheese, carrots, broccoli, hummus, and grapes for lunch; homemade smoked turkey noodle soup for dinner (with homemade stock and whole wheat noodles); and I allowed myself to have a large Rice Krispy Treat! I also drink Coke Zero and have coffee with half and half and sugar. I’m good with this for now.
I go to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy once a week (sometimes twice if we can fit it in). This has been so helpful! When I am anxious, I use what I am learning! Today’s session was so great!
I go to AA 3-4 times a week. I see my sponsor once a week. I am working on step 4… and I will be completing step 5 next Friday (reading my step 4 inventory to my sponsor).
I read my Bible every day (well, most days). I pray. I journal.
A few times a week, I take a nap.
I go to bed by 10:00, and I wake up at 5:30.
I listen to Christmas music a lot right now :-).
I will learn to crochet this weekend!
I read most nights.
I blog :-).
Soon we will start going to church again!
Does all of this mean that I’m selfish?? No! I am able to devote 100% to my family when I’m with them because of self care! Once I’m ready to, I’ll become a sponsor. I’ll serve in AA. I will serve my friends. Once I’m not going to town so much, I’ll have more time to give… until then, I take what I need to in order to be the best version of myself!
And about groceries… I’ll be back next week with a “Grocery Geek” post! Hope to see you back here!