Grocery Budget Accountability October 2014

Grocery Budget Accountability October 2014

My grocery budget is $330 each month for a family of four – two adults and two kids.

This real food budget includes food, toiletries, household items as well as health & beauty products.

This post is our budget accountability sessions, where we share what we spent and how we spent it.

Today marks the end of October 2014. You can read previous Counting Crumbs reports HERE.


Okay… let’s be honest here.  Clearly, I’ve got some issues to work out.  You guys are an understanding bunch, so I hope this makes sense as I explain it and doesn’t come across as making excuses.  Because I’m definitely not.

First off, I made it a goal this month to come in under budget in order to make up the difference for last month.  Specifically, I wanted to come in at $270 or less.

That WOULD have happened if Mr. Crumbs and I weren’t so type-A about this new meal planning package we’re working on.  I’ve been sharing a little bit about it in the weekly newsletter and monthly meal plans, and your input has been VITAL in making this an amazing resource for eating real food on a budget.  However, we’re not the type of people to give you something and say it works without testing it first ourselves.

So… we tested it.  It’s the big trip to Trader Joe’s at the bottom of this post.

Essentially, we bought everything on a shopping list to make sure we could come at or under a certain budget.  And we did.

However, this was NOT in my original plan for meals or shopping in October.  We decided to make that trip AFTER I already had met my budget for the month, and certainly would have done some re-arranging if I had known we’d end up doing this.

But regardless of my grocery budget, we’re working against a business deadline and can’t NOT make sure the package is awesome, right?  And even if it is a business expense, we’re still eating the food.

So it’s part of this budget accountability post.


Do you see my dilemma?

So I’m throwing it all out on the table, and hoping that you guys can extend a little bit of grace.

And I’m also throwing out there that this might happen again for November and December’s accountability posts too, since we’ll likely double and triple check to make sure the meal planning package meets ultimate awesomeness standards.  Hopefully though, we’ll find common ground between our own groceries and experimental groceries at some point in time, and the totals won’t be so high, lol.

I mean, that trip put a lot of food in our house… and we’ve got to eat what we buy.  So in theory, there shouldn’t be many “own groceries” trips, right?

At least I hope that’s how it works out.  My brain is kinda having a hard time wrapping itself around how to mesh business with personal, and it’s sorta kinda in “wing it” mode.

By the way, anyone want to come over for dinner?  I’ve got food to feed an army and there’s a standing invite until January, lol.

Grocery Outlet – $62.32

Justin’s classic peanut butter x7, 1.99

heavy cream, 2.99

Italian seasoning, 2.99

cinnamon, 2.99

organic ground beef, 3.99*

minced onion x2, .99

Parmesan wedges x2, 3.99

spinach/kale blend, 1.99

baby bella mushrooms, 1.50

bath tissue, 11.99

bananas 3lb x2, 1.99

organic cage-free eggs 20ct, 4.99

Yes, you read that right – 7 jars of peanut butter!!  It was nearing its expiration date and was greatly reduced.  Peanut butter was already on my list, but I had planned on buying it at Costco since that’s where it’s most affordable in my area.  I did the math and calculated a) that per ounce, this deal was better than Costco (12¢ compared to 14¢), and b) how many jars to buy so that I would essentially be paying the same as I would if I had gone to Costco.  The answer to the second part is 5 1/5… so I rounded to 6 and bought one more for good luck. 😉

I used the heavy cream to experiment with a homemade pumpkin pie spiced coffee creamer recipe (which didn’t work) and the spices were to replace what was empty in the cabinet.  Except the second minced onion.  That was an accident and was supposed to be garlic.  Oops.

Parmesan, mushrooms and spinach/kale blend for risotto and bananas for snacking.  Eggs are a staple, the organic ground beef was marked down (originally $5.99) and I’ll use this in our homemade spaghetti sauce when I find ground pork on sale.

Finally, bath tissue for the bathrooms.  Not pictured, but I promise I bought it.

Safeway – $0

Safeway is a bit out of the way for me, but I happened to be in the area and had just a few bucks left on a gift card.  I swung in for broccoli crowns and paid zero out of pocket, leaving me with $1.48 left on the gift card.  Never know when that will come in handy!

Savemart – $6.38

Just one gallon of organic whole milk here.  We use this mostly for coffee creamer, but some baking too lately as I’m testing some recipes for Thanksgiving.

CSA box – $21.85


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 green butter lettuce
  • 1 lacinato kale
  • 1 Italian parsley
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 bag seedless grapes
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1 bunch red beets
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 1 red butter lettuce
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 3lbs red potatoes
  • 1/2 lb white mushrooms
  • 6 apples
  • 1 speckled hound pumpkin
Read the whole recipe on Don't Waste the Crumbs