After cutting back last week to try to stay within budget, we found that we needed to buy more this week to make up for some of the staples we left out of our last shopping trip. We ended up spending $62, and we’re not done yet. There are still a couple things we need to pick up at Costco tomorrow.
Part of the problem is that we cut our leftovers/sandwiches night out this week. Tony is on a fall break and will be home all next week, and we decided to make some special meals with pricier ingredients, including two types of meat. The result was a pricier week for groceries.
The good news is our Costco purchases will last throughout the month, so that money technically will be distributed throughout our grocery budget. Oh well. We’ll cut down to the bare minimum next week to make up for it and balance out the budget. That’s why I operate on a monthly budget instead of a weekly budget.
In other good news, I found out today that my reusable grocery bags will pay for themselves. Our cashier informed us that we earn 50 bonus rewards points each shopping trip for every reusable shopping bag we bring to the store with us. That’s on top of the rewards points we earn for our regular shopping (usually 500-1000 per week). Once we reach 5000 points, we can redeem them for $5 off our groceries.
I’m glad I know that now. I don’t think our cashier credited us with those points last week. Now that I know, I can be sure to remind our cashier to add those points.
We bring 5 reusable grocery bags for each trip, so we earn 250 bonus points a week. We paid about $5 for our reusable grocery bags, so it’ll be about 5 months before they pay for themselves in bonus points. We like that the reusable bags are better for the environment and reduce the grocery bag clutter in our kitchen. If they’ll eventually pay for themselves then that’s even better!
Last week I redeemed 5000 points on a week when we were struggling to maintain our monthly budget. I plan to save my rewards points for those weeks at the end of the month when we can really use a few bucks off our groceries to stay within budget.
On to our $60 menu plan for the week:
Saturday: Roasted pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and baked apples
Sunday: BBQ pulled pork sandwiches (made with leftover tenderloin) and roasted potatoes
Monday: Italian grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
Tuesday: Grilled steaks, creamed spinach, and baked potatoes
Wednesday: Chicken and broccoli stir fry with rice
Thursday: Potato soup (recipe below)
Friday: Homemade pizza
Mom’s Potato Soup recipe
3 pounds large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
½ an onion, diced
1 quart of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1 cup milk
Sour cream (optional)
Chopped chives (optional)
Crumpled bacon (optional)
Cover the potatoes and onion in chicken stock and boil until fork tender. Boil until stock reduces and becomes starchy (about 20 minutes).
Add butter, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Add milk. Heat through to warm milk, but do not boil. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, chives and bacon.
Make sure you check out OrgJunkie for more menu plans!