I did it!
I did it!
I actually went to the grocery store after procrastinating for the past week or so!
Yes, that happens sometimes. I'm always stocked with food and I don't go grocery shopping unless I go below a certain threshold. I probably could have gone a little bit longer now that I think about it. But anywho...
For those who do not know about the grocery challenge, here is a quick recap: I'm trying to spend $50 or less at three stores (Kroger, Aldi, and Walmart) to show you what $50 of groceries looks like. I'm using a similar list for each of the stores to show the variations in the amount of each product you can buy with $50.
The first store I went to was Kroger. Ever since Kroger came to the area, I have been hooked. The Kroger Marketplace stores are easily competitive with Walmart (at least in my area) in terms of products. Kroger has very reasonable prices, especially when you take advantage of their Kroger Plus card to download digital coupons and receive special discounts for both food and gas. If I had to say which of the 3 stores I shop the most at, the answer would easily by Kroger. Great prices overall, automatic discounts on gas, products range from food to clothing.
Plus, Kroger has an amazing wine section AND they do wine tasting.
So what does $50 at Kroger look like?
These are all of the products that I was able to buy based on the list from the previous post. Here's a summary:
Chicken - I was able to buy a pack of thighs and drumsticks. They were $.79/lb and each packs were under $3.50. Kroger's chicken is typically around $.79/lb, but I have seen them go as low as $.69/lb. We eat a lot of chicken in my household, so I always buy at least two packs.
Ground Turkey - This is a 3lb tray of ground turkey that was $8.99. Now, I go back and forth on buying turkey meat or beef. On a normal grocery trip, I'll go with whichever meat has the better sale. From what I saw, ground beef actually had the better deal this week (but not by much). However, I had already posted that I would buy ground turkey throughout this challenge.
Italian Sausage - $2.99 for one pack of the Kroger brand. I was only able to buy one pack this time around and I don't think it will last very long. (maybe a week at best)
Milk - Normally, I would buy a gallon. I could have bought a gallon and still be under budget. However, my daughter is spending the week at grandma's house and she's the only one who consistently drinks milk. I did not need to buy a gallon of milk, because I can guarantee you it will go to waste.
Eggs - At $1.99 for a dozen, I have seen better deals. But this was the one product on this list that I actually ran out of at home, so I sucked it up and paid for it.
Cheese - I bought the smaller pack for $1.99, even though I could have spared a couple of extra cents and gotten a bigger pack. We used to go through cheese like crazy, but again, without baby girl, there was no reason to buy more than we needed. Especially since I have cheese at home.
Bread - Kroger had a sale on bread where I could by 10 loaves of bread for $10, or I could spend $1 per loaf (this deal only worked if you had a Kroger Plus card). I bought two loaves and stuck them in the deep freezer (along with the loaf that I didn't know I still had). I wish I had gotten wheat instead of white bread, but these will do for the time being.
Cereal - Y'all are going to hear me say this more than once throughout the life of this blog. DO NOT KNOCK GENERIC. Kroger brand cereal (as well as a lot of their generic brand products) is actually really good. The whole family loves their cereal, and we don't even eat cereal that much. I would have gotten the bags for $2.49, but they ran out of the flavors that I wanted. It ended up working out better because the boxes were only $1.99 each.
Rice - Who needs 5lbs of rice? I do, dang it. Who buys 5lbs of rice for $2.19. I do, dang it.
Macaroni and Cheese - $.39 per box is not too bad. I would much rather eat homemade macaroni and cheese, but this is a decent replacement for a quick side. Even without baby girl, the fiance will eat this with no problem.
Flour - I didn't actually need flour, but I went ahead and bought some. It will come in handy pretty soon.
Sugar - I was running low on sugar, but I wasn't necessarily out. We try to keep at least one whole pack. I spent $1.89 for a 4lb bag, but I will admit, I could have gotten it a lot cheaper elsewhere.
Spaghetti Noodles - We eat spaghetti at least once a week. I could probably get two separate spaghetti meals out of this box. For $.79 for the box, it's well worth it.
Pasta Sauce - I would much rather pay $.89 per can of pasta sauce and add my own seasonings in it, than buy a bottle of Ragu for over $2.00. These cans are actually pretty big too. I could use one can per spaghetti dinner and have plenty of sauce.
Black Beans - I usually buy at least a few cans of black beans, even if I don't know what I will be using them for. This is one of those times. I may make a simple meal of chicken, rice, and beans this week. That one meal will actually go a long way.
Frozen Vegetables - My go-to vegetables are green beans, peas, broccoli, and kale. I didn't stock up as much as I usually do because I was towards the ends of my budget. Kroger typically has a 10 for $10 sale on frozen vegetables. I just didn't take advantage of it this time.
So above were the products that I was able to buy and still be within my $50 budget. If you notice, I'm missing three other products from the original list. Here are the reasons I did not purchase these items:
Frozen Fruit - $3.99 was the lowest sales price that I saw. That would have put me over the budget by a couple of cents (remember, the point of this is for me to be below budget). Plus, the fruits that were $3.99 are the fruits that I don't even eat. I would have been better off buying fresh fruit, but my little apple and orange fiend is not here this week. (seriously, that girl LOVES apples and oranges)
Peanut Butter & Jelly - Kroger was doing a 10 for $10 sale on both peanut butter and jelly. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of procrastinating is that you miss out. I should have taken a picture of what the shelves looked like. There was literally NO PEANUT BUTTER OR JELLY THAT WAS ON SALE. Like none. Zip. Nada. Everything else was over $2.00 and I was not having that. Thankfully, I have enough peanut butter and jelly at home to get me through until the next trip unless I procrastinate again...
So, would you like to know exactly how much I spent at Krogers? The total price came up to be...$46.76!
Yes, I was under budget by $3.24. Now, here's the kicker. I had a few digital coupons on my Kroger Plus card, but otherwise, I used no coupons. I ended up saving almost $10 by utilizing the Kroger Plus card. The digital coupons on my card were additional savings to the sales I saw in the store. You just have to make sure you buy the right products like I did. I also received a much needed discount on gas.
I will say the one con about the challenge at Kroger is that I did not buy the most healthiest of products (like the boxed macaroni and cheese and the white bread). Could I have bought similar, yet healthier products and stayed under budget? Probably, but I think I would have made a sacrifice somewhere else. Kroger does have a lot of healthy alternatives, don't get me wrong. I think I may have been looking at price more than the health factors of the product. It will be interesting to see if I have that same mentality at the next few stores.
There you have it! The first results of the $50 grocery challenge. What did you think of the results?
The next store I will be going to is Aldi! In the mean time, let me know in the comments what your favorite grocery store is and why!
Until next time...