Last week, I shared a few of my meal ideas along with the regular trip recap and listing of the foods, per some reader requests. I broke down my shopping and meal planning philosophy, while also espousing my love of cheese. Typical stuff.
What you may have noticed is that one of the items listed in my meal plan came from Costco. Since the Kroger trip was pretty uneventful, I figured this would be an excellent time to chat about how some of the food we eat (like Costco bacon!) is never accounted for on our grocery budget. It’s like magic!
When we dove into the Saving for Disney course three years ago, we did a very, and I do mean very, specific edit of our budget. In our pre Couponing to Disney days, our budget category “Home” encompassed grocery, eating out, home goods, and entertainment. With all those responsibilities to bear, it’s no wonder that poor category was doing a lot of heavy lifting. Once in a while we were over budget, but we prided ourselves that we were usually at the budget. Under Budget was a pipe dream reserved for other people, people who had less expenses and more incomes than us.
Turns out, it was not! We just needed to look at our money differently. Thanks to the Saving to Disney course, we split “home” into three categories: grocery, home, and entertainment. Weekly groceries come from the grocery budget, which resets, you guessed it, weekly. Home goods, like toilet paper or ibuprofen, come from the home budget, which resets every two weeks. Fun things, like going eating out or birthday cakes, come from the entertainment budget, which resets monthly.
If you’re following along on my Disney Fund Deposits, you’ll know that being under budget on my grocery allowance is no longer a pipe dream, but a very real possibility that helps fund our Disney trips. This is made entirely possible by the way we spend in other categories.
Our home budget includes toilet paper, paper towels, batteries, detergent, and an assortment of other things that I generally find very boring. We buy those things at Costco, in bulk, for very reasonable prices. At Costco, they don’t take coupons but every now and again they have in-store deals on their already decent prices.
So when we are under budget with our home allowance, which is fairly often, we’ll take advantage and grab some food items to round out our weekly shopping trips. Avocados, bacon, carrots, and almonds are things I buy at Costco because they are cheaper than Kroger. They’re also non-essentials, so in the event we do hit our home budget, we’ll still survive without bacon.
This goes back to my grocery philosophy of having fresh, healthy food on hand. I don’t buy all my food in bulk because we’re just not plowing through ten pounds of broccoli in a few weeks, but it’s nice to be able to grab expensive things at a lower price without putting a dent in my grocery budget. And it’s extra nice when those supplemental items mean we have enough food that our excess grocery budget can be funneled into Disney vacations.
- Bananas, 1.48 lb -$.87.
- Blackberries, 12 0z-$3.99. In-store sale.
- Blueberries, pint -$2.49. In-store sale.
- Boar’s Head Sandwich Pepperoni, .5 lb -$4.50.
- Clementines, 3 lb-$3.77.
- Gerber Baby Puffs-$1.99.
- Haagen Dazs Bars-$3.99. Birthday treat for me!
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 4.09 lb -$9.77
- Kroger String Cheese, 12 ct-$2.99.
- Mangoes (2)-$1.98.
- Parmesan Cheese-$3.78.
- Porkback Ribs, 6.38 lb-$10.65. *Digital Coupon* for $1.67 a pound.
- Private Selection Ice Cream, 48 oz-$3.99. *Digital coupon* for $1 off.
- Private Selection Wheat Bread (1)-$1.99.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, .5 lb -$4.31.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, .89 lb-$1.69.
- Roma Tomatoes, .77 lb-$.76.
- Strawberries, 2 lb-$2.99. In-store sale.
- Sweet Potatoes, 1.22 lb-$1.57.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.10 Off Any Item), CoinOut
Total Budget: $115.48
Total Spent: $64.11
Total Saved: $30.49
Rolled Over to Next Week: $51.37
This was a small shopping trip, since there weren’t a lot of meat deals, and I still have a pretty full freezer. I meant to show a picture of my freezer last week, but I forgot. So, here’s the inside freezer. The outside freezer is a whole separate story.
With such a substantial surplus, next week I’ll definitely splurge on a treat or stock up on some essentials.
And some quick meal plan ideas, if you’re into it!
- Saturday: Porkback Ribs with Sweet Potatoes
- Sunday: Jambalaya (all ingredients from freezer and pantry)
- Monday: Southwest Salad (lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, mango from this trip, avocados from Costco)
- Tuesday: Beef Roast with Fruit Salad (roast from last week, fruit from this week)
- Wednesday: Cajun Sausage Pasta (sausage from freezer, pasta from pantry, homemade sauce)
- Thursday: Chicken Parmesan with Carrots (chicken & parmesan from this trip, carrots from Costco)
- Friday: Steak Taco Bowls (steak from freezer, avocados from Costco, rice from the pantry)
- Saturday: Whatever we get on the grocery trip!
Do you use a club warehouse membership like Costco or Sam’s to supplement your weekly grocery trips? How many different budgets do you pull food from? What do you do with your grocery budget surplus? Gimme all the details after the jump!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!