I used to do a post about my end of the month grocery figures every single month. It became boring so I decided to limit it to once every couple of months. My grocery budget is $550 per month including all over the counter medications and cleaning supplies. This does not include dog food however as Buddy has his own category in our budget.
Here is how the last 3 months shook out:
Over in June and under in May and pretty much on target in July. I think I was over in June due to stocking up after our holiday. I have gotten a bit lazy with keeping our grocery budget so hope to do better in August, although my strapping 23 year old stepson is coming for an 8 day visit this month so that is pretty unlikely. His girlfriend has not been approved leave unfortunately so we will have to meet her another time. We have been living out of a minifridge for the last two weeks and will continue to do so until our new appliances arrive on August 14th. This past Tuesday we removed the stove hood, disconnected the built-in dishwasher (ourselves - thank you Youtube for saving us a couple of bucks) and had the new owners haul them off. We were a bit paranoid that they would back out of the second half of the appliance purchase so felt better about having them removed sooner rather than closer to our appliance delivery date in case we had to find different buyers.
We purchased a minifridge two weeks ago which when our home renovation is completed we will either re-sell or act as a secondary fridge for beverages (*hubby would prefer we keep it, I would prefer we sell it on). Our first night we turned it up too high and lost two cucumbers, radishes, and some lettuce. I absolutely hate food waste so this drove me crazy. We also froze one dozen eggs but thanks to the internet I figured out they can be thawed in some warm water and then used immediately for scrambled eggs. In many other countries they do not usually put eggs in in the fridge but here in Canada we do (*has something to do with how Salmonella is dealt with - in Europe they deal with it in what the chickens eat, in North America the producers deal with it after the eggs are laid). We can only buy one litre of milk at a time or have no room for anything else which is bloody expensive as I usually buy 4 litres at a time to save money. Thank goodness we have the minifreezer that we owned previously as we are using a fair amount of ice in this 30 degree celcius weather. I am storing some condiments at Mom's house as fortunately she had some room until we get our new fridge.
If we ran into financial difficulty we could easily reduce the grocery bill to $400 a month by eating cheaper ingredients (less meat) - but since we are not in that situation we will continue to eat well at home and eat out rarely as we never seem satisfied with restaurant meals out. The cost versus satisfaction ratio just is not there.
The total of 3 months worth of coupon savings and rebates was $31.75 most of which was rebates. I still collect coupons but it seems rarely get to redeem on them. I intend to get back on the bandwagon in this area as coupons, if used properly can save good money. The only coupon I used this month was $1.00 off a $1.25 can of beans. A can of beans for .25 cents - awesome but unfortunately I only had one of those coupons.
Cooking will be a bit challenging this month - I am down to using the gas BBQ, crock pot, toaster (not toaster oven) microwave and electric fry pan for all cooking. I bought myself a tortilla press this week from a specialty store that imports Mexican food so last night we had scratch made chicken tacos (*including spices in the chicken, no Old El Paso here) with pico de gallo using tomatoes and jalapenos from my yard. They were yummy except I had to cook the food in stages using only my old electric fry pan - and it didn't heat up the tortillas as hot as they should. My next attempt at homemade tortillas will be done on the stove top when I get a stove again. The meal was pretty close to what you would find in Mexico though so I was pretty proud of myself.
Tonight hubby is making a simple chicken crock pot soup with veggies and pasta. Thursday night I BBQd pork chops with sliced potatoes and with the lid down it recorded temperatures of 600 degrees - too bloody hot to be BBQing in this searing weather. One should not get heat stroke trying to cook dinner so we are avoiding that until the temperature goes down a couple of degrees.
We did manage to get out and enjoy the beach this week - went kayaking once and tried out our new snorkeling equipment on Thursday. No pictures though - just fun! This year we invested good money in our kayaks and snorkeling equipment as sometimes you have to do that. Hopefully both will last us many years to come without additional expenditure.
Any ideas for recipes using only an electric fry pan, microwave and crockpot?