Budget Day 97: Some Mistakes

Our final week is coming to a close so this could very well be my last little bullet point list of all my groceries! I plan to keep blogging though…I am just not quite sure what the frequency will be yet. Speaking of, if you have any topic ideas that you would love to hear about please let me know by leaving a comment below. I’ve already gotten some great ideas from the Facebook fans, which is quickly turning into a growing list of things that I plan to tackle once this is over.

Anyway, as I previously mentioned I did most of my shopping for this week on Tuesday when we were on our way home from the airport. Not only were we fresh off the plane (it was just me alone with my 3-year-old and 6-year-old by the way…my husband was on a separate business trip), but I was also trying to squeeze in a quick trip to Earth Fare AND the bread store before taking my daughters to their weekly gymnastics class. This was all before we even made it home to drop off our luggage. A case of an overplanned mom? Absolutely. It was very much one of those days.

Needless to say I was in a major hurry. I even forgot to feed myself some lunch (thankfully, I at least remembered to feed my kids!) so my lightheadedness was making my shopping trip at Earth Fare even more difficult. I had at least made out my grocery list in advance under much better circumstances, but as I’ve said before I haven’t memorized how much stuff costs so I never know if I can buy everything on my list (I admit it – this is a big weakness of mine that for some reason I don’t try to fix!). I suppose this shopping trip is probably representative of what a lot of other moms and busy people experience regularly though. We want real food and we want it cheap, but we don’t have 2 or 3 uninterrupted hours to peruse the aisles of the grocery store to comparison shop and read labels. So as you can imagine my rushed and hungry self made some unfortunate mistakes…BUT I am happy to say that going over budget (or buying junk food) was definitely not one of those mistakes! Because no matter what – I refuse to fail this project! :)

Once I was home and all the aspects of our crazy day were finally over I sat down and looked at my receipt. And I probably only looked at my receipt because I had to type it up for this blog post. So this was actually a good lesson for me that going forward when I get home from the store I should double-check that I spent my money wisely. And now that I was thinking clearly some things on my receipt immediately jumped out at me as big mistakes. The first mistake was the fact that I was in such a hurry I didn’t have time to go to Trader Joe’s like I normally do to save money on expensive items like cheese, nuts, and honey. Buying those particular items from Earth Fare this time easily cost me five or six more dollars than I normally would have spent somewhere else.

My next mistake was that I must have been in a dream state when I put the ingredients for my chocolate torte recipe on the grocery list.  I like to roll these into the pictured powerball size and munch on them after every meal.  Sure, I love to satisfy my chocolate craving, but is it absolutely necessary? Unfortunately….not. And I didn’t realize until I got home that I spent $10.87 on the pecans and another $4.39 on the dried pitted dates. Ooops….I am not sure why I thought I could afford to spend fifteen of my hundred or so dollars on a nice little dessert for myself. Luckily, neither of those packages had been opened by the time I figured this out because you know how I love to return stuff!

The last mistake I made was that I swear I had 3 coupons (not just 2), but I guess the one I had for cheese got overlooked or fell out of my cart or something. It was only for a fifty-cent savings, but still! I was too rushed to even notice until now. So after taking into consideration the twenty or so unnecessary dollars that I spent, my bill came to $108.43. So what did I do? Nothing other than have my husband return the unopened pecans and dates on my behalf. Not because I was embarrassed to do it myself he just happened to be in the area…and boy does he hate it when I ask him to do stuff like that! LOL

So even though we have since returned two of the pictured items for a $15.57 credit (that I have not yet spent), here is everything that I originally bought for $108.43 on Tuesday when my girls and I rushed like a tornado through the store!

  • Dried pitted dates $4.39
  • Pecan halves $10.87
  • Hard red wheat berries $5.33 (To make flour)
  • Unsalted butter $4.49
  • Cheddar $4.69
  • Eggs $3.68
  • Heavy cream $3.49 (with coupon)
  • Monterey Jack cheese $3.39
  • Frozen blueberries $3.00 (on sale)…oops these were already in the freezer and didn’t make the picture!
  • Canola oil $5.99 (with coupon)
  • Honey $7.49
  • Maple syrup $8.99 (on sale)
  • Whole-wheat pasta $1.99
  • Apples $4.28
  • Artichokes $7.50 (this is a special treat for us…all 4 of us LOVE artichokes!)
  • Bananas $2.29
  • Cantaloupe $1.17 (one of the few fruits my 3-year-old will easily eat)
  • Spinach $2.99
  • Lemons $1.00
  • Mango $2.00
  • Orange $0.66
  • Pears $2.42
  • Green bell peppers $2.58
  • Sweet potatoes $2.62
  • Mandarin oranges $1.98
  • Fresh wild caught cod $6.99

Also pictured is a $5 loaf of our beloved honey whole-wheat bread that we like to get from the Great Harvest bread store. So now that this week is coming to a close I am not even sure if I am going to need to spend my recovered $15 on anything after all. I hope we didn’t go through all of that for nothing, but how great would it be to end this 100-day budget pledge with some money leftover? We will just have to wait and see!

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  • Comments

    1. Sarah Jane |

      Just a quick note: I can’t speak for all grocery stores, but I know that at two national, natural foods stores where I’ve worked the policy is to throw out any food that comes back as returns. Not reshelf, not donate… throw out and count as loss. Perhaps Trader Joe’s and Earth Share are different, but at the others, it didn’t matter whether it was an unopened package or not. Knowing this has helped me be a lot more careful to decide whether I really want an item or not before buying, since if I return it I may get my money back, but it will end up uneaten in a landfill.

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