Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Figured Out Where The Money Went

I was so bugged all day yesterday about how I managed to spend $189 on groceries that I sat down with my receipt and broke down my menu by price. For anything I had on hand the price is zero- and we do have a side of beef in the freezer. Here's what it looks like:

Monday: Whole Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Whole Fryer $7.55
Corn 3 @$1
Mashed Potatoes $0
Salad (I'm lazy) $3.55
Total $14.10

Tuesday: Split Pea Soup
Pork $2.08
Saltines $1.19
Split Peas $.79
Total $4.06

Wednesday: Build Your Own Pizza
Home Made Pizza Crust $0
Pizza Sauce $0
Mushrooms $1.69
Pineapple $1.99
Olives 2@ $1.19
Peperoni $3.99
Total $10.05
I'm thinking that the real cost of this meal is more like $13. Does that make it a better deal? We sure like it homemade and I don't have to try to make sure that everyone has only what they like because the pizzas are individual.

Thursday: Taco Salad
Ground Beef $0
Salad $3.99
Doritos $3.79
Tomatoes $4.32
Onion $1.15
Salad dressing $0
Cheese $6.99 (I certainly wont use the whole brick,
but I did have to buy it to make this...)
Total $20.24
This one really weighs in at about $15 when you factor in the actual amount of ingredients used.

Friday: BBQ Steak, Salad, Potatoes
Steak $0
Potatoes $0
Salad $4.00
Sour Cream $3.19
Total $7.19
Again, I think the real cost of this meal is about $12.

Saturday: Chicken Pot Pie
Pie Crust $3.59
Veg All 2@ $1.49
Chicken $0 (Left over from Monday)
Total $6.57

Sunday: Roast Beef, Potatoes, Carrots, Dinner Rolls
Roast Beef $0
Carrots $3.39
Potatoes $0
Home Made Dinner Rolls $0
Total $3.39
This meal would cost about $10 to make based on the ingredients.

Lunch is packed from home, except on Wednesday when the kids can buy hot lunch. That leaves only Saturday and Sunday to plan out:

Saturday: Hot Dogs, Chips, Fruit
Hot Dogs $1.50 (I know I said I hate them,
but Caleb asked for them specifically)
Buns $1.29
Chips $2.29
Total $5.08

Sunday: Mamaliga (Which is the Romanian word for polenta)
Corn Meal $2.28
Sour Cream $0
Cheese $0
Total $2.28
I would estimate the real cost of this meal to be about $4.50 because some of the ingredients were figured into other meal costs.

Then there are the other things I need to buy such as:

1 pear $.90 (Yes, just 1. It was a bribe to be good in the store)
Bananas $1.44
Green Grapes $4.00
Red Grapes $4.92
Watermelon $4.94
Total $16.20

Yogurt 14@ $.77 (The kids eat this as snack,
never breakfast. I don't know why,
but ok. I'm sure I could get this
cheaper, but they like Yoplait and
they don't waste any of it.)
Fruit Snacks 2@ $1.59
Rice Crispy Treats
Rice Crispies $2.99
Marshmallows $1.29
Cheezit's (BOGO) $3.39
Uncle Dan's $1.50
Total $23.13

Jelly Supplies (Remember those blackberries?)
Freezer Jars $3.89
Sure Jell $3.19
Lemon Juice $1.99
Total $9.07

Cereal and Milk
Cereal 3 bags for $7
Milk 1 free with cereal
Milk $2.75
Total $9.75

Staples and Misc
Butter 2 @ $2.50
Eggs 2 @ $1.99
Nally Chili $1.29
Spagetti O's $1.99
Dish Soap $3.50
Total $15.76

Coffee $4.99
Wine $4.99
Wine discount -$3.10
Coke $8.79
Total $41.64
Yes, folks I think we have found a gaping hole here- but neither one of us can function without coffee and neither one of us is willing to give up their vice. Mine is the Coke, by the way.

When I look at this from a different perspective, we can't eat out for less than $70. I can deal with $15 meals, but I wish I could figure out more of them for $5 or $6.


Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Good for you...at least it makes you feel a bit better about it doesn't it? It doesn't look so bad in front of you.
When you cook, are you always able to C.O.S.T. Cook - cook once, serve twice (or three times).
So when you fry up your ground beef (you probably already do this) but cook at least twice as much. Then you have taco salad one day and the meat is already done for another meal that you can whip together in 5 minutes. Burritoes with melted cheese (that you'll have left over), tomatoes, leftover, and then maybe some black beans if they like them? Or if you have left over roast beef, use the left overs for sandwiches with some of the au jou (how in the world do I spell that)drizzled over them and more of your left over cheese melted on top...you could do a open face sandwich for something different.
Having a meal plan like this is awesome...your way ahead of me this week. I have to get with it.
Now for next week, we'll get you the dish soap for 50cents, and the spagetti o's, cereal and cheezit for under $1. :) Start saving those dreaded coupons. :)

Gina said...

Au jus- just so you know :)

Trish said...

The wine seems like an expensive vice........can he compromise? Does he know what it costs?

Alright, I'm off to do this same thing. Then we'll compare.

Also, does you family only eat one Chicken Pot pie? My family eats almost a whole one at dinner then we fight over leftovers for lunch, so I've started making two.

I am also going to try making my own pie crust because I can't stand paying $3.79 for Pilsbury and I HATE the store brand pie crusts.

Kat said...

Wow. I am just in awe. I can't even imagine breaking down the costs of our meals. I think we eat according to my cravings :-)

Have you ever read "Taste of Home" magazine? They have a column of recipes with very inexpensive meals - and break down the per plate costs.

Do you all do breakfast for dinner? I would think pancakes or french toast would be inexpensive. We like to do that here - but because we like it :-)

Marla said...

this is impressive stuff. no way i could break this down... or plan that well... kudos... i also know that i can't live without my beverages... it is always the snacks and drinks that get you... every time!

Gina said...

Trish, I think I will make 2. I was going to try your recipe.

Kat, I used to get Light and tasty- I'll look into taste of home. Cookie should have a bunch of back issues- she's a foodie. We don't do breakfast for dinner very often because my husband doesn't really like it. My kids would love it, though.

Marla, I'm thirsty. Gotta have a Coke....

cookie said...

The vine wasn't that much (each) but it was a lot together!!! Maybe less vine. Coke can ONLY be bought ON SALE! And yes I do have a lot of back issuses!!

cookie said...

HAHAHAHAHA! Vine! I mean wine!!!! could you hear my accent?

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

So NONE of your grocery stores do the double coupon thing? bummer!! Ask the manager of the one you shop at if they will ever do that.

Gramma 2 Many said...

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