Hey, there! Today is day two of the survive on 35 project.
I’ve completed all my shopping, so it’s time to share exactly what I bought.
I’m not going to lie to all of you, this was HARD. Possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. (I may be exaggerating a tiny bit). Maybe.
I’m not going to sugar coat things and tell you this was all butterflies and rainbows. No. I’m being brutally honest, here.
I was stressing over this. We only have $13 left!! Cherries? Forget it. Those babies were like $5. Four cans of tuna? Um, no. That’s almost $6. Return two and cut the price in half. Why is this turkey like $3 more? Extra lean. Oh. Screw that. Random lean brand, much cheaper.
Seriously, things got messy. I thought I was indecisive at the store before, but now I was standing in the aisles for like 7 hours each isle.
That’s a lot of isles, and a lot of hours. My receipts got a little messy too.
I ended up having to buy household items (e.g. dog food, non-food, etc.) and SHOULD HAVE put it on another receipt, but of course I have no brain. So, I came home and had to calculate each item myself.
All in all, I came out with a total of $69.21. Talk about a close call.
Overall I ended up going to three places. Yes, a lot of people have said that is not realistic for people that are truly on a food stamp budget. However, the places were not far from my house at all.
My grocery store is walking distance from my house and I walk there all the time. I know that is realistic. The other places are not far from my house either.
With that being said, lets take a look at everything I got in detail.
First of all, one of the places I went was my local farmers market.
Farmer’s markets are usually cheaper compared to the air conditioned grocery stores. They have fresh vegetables, and buying their food helps out your local farmers. It’s a win-win situation, really.
And look at all I got for $5.90. Come on, people. You cannot go wrong here.
Here too. Let’s see what else..
Strawberries. On sale.
Kale. I know, you’re probably thinking wtf. No one would buy kale on a budget. However, my store had like NO other green veggies. I figured kale is very versatile, and I could use it in a lot of things. Plus, it’s a super food.
Cheese is pretty darn expensive. I probably could have done without, but it was on sale and the block was much cheaper than any other cheese. I have some good ideas for it too, for many different meals.
Old fashioned oats.
It probably would have been cheaper to get regular milk. One problem? I hate regular milk. I never really liked it as a kid, and it makes me sick. So, almond milk it was. It was on sale, so that helped.
Holy crap. Tuna can get expensive. Initially, I bought four cans. But, I had to bring back two cans because it made me go over budget! Usually I just buy four, but that lasts me a couple weeks. Two is perfectly fine for one week.
Meats. This is where things got scary. Meat is SO EXPENSIVE. I honestly should have gone vegetarian for the week! I will make these meats worth while though, because two of those things can be made into four meals.
Tomato sauce. On sale.
Flat out wraps. These babies were on sale, too. I was going to just get a normal loaf of bread, but I figured these would be more versatile.
You could make tacos, lunch wraps, pizzas, quesadillas, burritos, etc. As for regular bread? Sandwiches and toast, basically.
Whole grain pasta. Cheap as can get.
Beans. Don’t worry, they don’t have ranch flavoring. That was just the random brand that was the cheapest.
Apple sauce. I knew I could use it for baking and snacking if I wanted.
Peanut butter. I’ve never had this brand, but it was the cheapest. I figured although PB is usually expensive, I could use it for many different things. Plus, it’s good protein and healthy fats.
Eggs! These are my life savor. Probably the most versatile food, ever. Healthy. Cheap. Perfect.
Bananas! There were more than this, but I took the pic with just two. Cheap health food, again.
Phew, so I hope I’m not forgetting anything!
I did have to plan. I usually NEVER plan, but I knew it would only benefit me. I wrote down what I thought I needed, what meals I was planning on making, and what items would be most versatile.
I knew if I got items that I could use in many different things, it could all work somehow or another.
As you can see, I basically bought everything that was ON SALE. I usually look for sale items while at the grocery store, but I was so much more careful this time.
I had to cross stuff out I thought I could get, and decide between many different things. This or that? A lot of that happened.
I couldn’t go with what I was “craving” really. Things like goat cheese, sun butter, new veggies I wanted to try, peaches for 2.50 a lb. Forget it. Not in the budget.
It was honestly very, very eye opening for me. I usually make lists of what I need, but never really take the time to scope out the very best deals. With that being said, I don’t go hog wild and buy everything full price, but it was still much different than before.
I didn’t use any coupons though. Since I never usually scope out coupons.
I think I got a pretty good haul for the week, though! What do you think?
Do you use coupons?
Have you ever shopped on a tight budget before?
What are some things you would have gotten the same or differently?