Week one has begun! It’s Wednesday so technically it’s half over but I’m going to update you on my purchases and then I’ll do a wrap up and preview of week two on Sunday.
Here was my biggest dilemma: Coca Cola. I like to have a Coke Zero Sugar in the afternoons. I ONLY buy soda when it’s on sale, except for the 20 oz. bottles I purchase as convenience drinks at CVS, which I already said I’d be avoiding. So in order to not go totally crazy during this challenge, I hunted around to find the best deal on Coke Products. Surprisingly, that was at Walgreens. They’re on sale 3 for $10, which is a really good price these days. Still, I can’t lie that I’m feeling a little guilty about spending $10 of my grocery budget on calorie free liquids, especially since it’s not really a necessity, but I think it will make not buying soda at CVS for a super inflated price easier. Here’s my receipt from Walgreens:
As you can see Coca Cola was 3 for $12 with a $2 digital coupon, plus I had a $1 rewards redemption from using my rewards card. This made each can $0.27, which is way better than the $2.09 +tax for a 20oz. bottle at CVS. So I consider that a win.
Also, I know I didn’t really *need* any more meat, but when ground beef is on sale for $1.99/lb with a super coupon, it’s impossible to pass up. So because I bought ground beef, I planned to make kofta kebabs! I already have all of the spices in my pantry so it would be easy. I used half of the package for kofta and threw the other half in the freezer for another week.
I got two 4-packs of 100-calorie popcorn bags, and as you can see they were $1.49 each on sale and I had a $1/2 manufacturer’s coupon, making them 99c each. I also got 2 pints of grape tomatoes at 99c each to accompany the bagged salad I already have in my fridge. I got rosemary for the Rosemary Cranberry Slow Cooker Pork I planned on making, along with 2 heads of cauliflower for roasting and serving with the pork. I also got a 5lb bag of potatoes for next week, since they were on sale for $2.50.
My favorite deal of the day, though, was apples. ShopRite had this special deal where if you bought a 2lb bag of Snapdragon apples you got a 2lb bag of Ruby Frost apples for free, which meant I got 4lbs of apples for $3.99, but I ALSO had an iBotta rebate for $1 off the Snapdragon apples, so I got 4lbs of apples for $3! Awesome, right? They’ll last a few weeks, too!
Strawberries weren’t particularly cheap but they were on sale for $2.50 so I grabbed a package. My best deal of the day was the individual containers of Friendship Cottage Cheese with fruit. Perfect for snacks, loaded with protein, and on sale for 4 for $5… buuuuuuut… iBotta had a rebate for $1 each up to 5 offers, so I got 4 of them for $1! That’s a really spectacular deal. I also grabbed a bag of light string cheese for snacks. Frigo was on sale for $2.99 for a pack of 12, and I had a $1 off manufacturer’s coupon too, making them $1.99 or $0.17 apiece!
My total at Shoprite was $34.59 minus the $5.10 in iBotta rebates, or $29.49. Not bad. Next up was Walmart.
I didn’t need much at Walmart, luckily. I got a box of store brand crispy rice cereal that I intended to make chocolate peanut butter protein rice treats out of, except I didn’t realize I didn’t have enough chocolate protein powder to go around. Oops. I got some honey smoked turkey to wrap around the string cheese for snacks (this has proved to be delicious, btw) and I had a $0.75 off manufacturer’s coupon for that, which made it a 16oz. package for $2.73. I got a quart of vanilla Greek yogurt I intended to strain and use as a spread for my Coconut Flour Banana Bread, but I got lazy, so I’m just eating it on the side.
I also got a large red onion I only used half of in the Roasted Vegetable Maftoul that went along with my kofta kebabs, seen here:
For the Maftoul, I also went to Produce Junction (a discount produce store) and got a 2lb bag of Indian eggplant for $3 (I only used half so I have some leftover for next week) and 3 bunches of cilantro for $2.50, or $5.50 total.
All in all, this week I spent more than I really wanted to, but I got a lot of things that will carry over into next week. My total was $53.20, but I know I can spent a LOT less next week. My regular grocery budget is $200 plus $30 for produce. This week I spent $22.60 on produce alone, but again, I have 5lbs of potatoes, 1 lb of eggplant, a half a large red onion and 2 bunches of cilantro left for next week, so there’s a lot of carry over here. Plus the Coca Cola should last me for the entire month if I don’t go overboard. I’ll figure out what sort of snack I can make with the crispy rice cereal, too. Maybe use up some PB2 and honey! We’ll see.
Are you doing your own challenge this month? Let me know what your best deal was in the comments!