It is well documented that I am a creature of habit.
I like what I like and that’s all that I like. But I’m trying to grow and change, try new things! The Cheese Allowance was set up specifically for that reason. I would be able to try all the different kinds of cheese Kroger had to offer without fearing about budget. But let’s be real. What it’s turned into is week after week of me trying different kinds of my favorite cheese, Gouda. Last week I looked at “North Sea Cheese” and I was like, “Ok, I am going to get out of my pattern and REALLY try something new. Next week, I’m coming for you, North Sea Cheese.” Then I look further at the description of the North Sea Cheese and guess which cheese it is most comparable to? Just guess.
If you guessed gouda, then good on ya. There’s a cheese joke in there somewhere…
I made two changes this week. They’re small, but like I said, creature of habit, and small steps are better than no steps.
The first change I made was BBQ sauce. This was a cost effective measure. I needed one more item for my Buy 5, Save $5 and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce was only $.99. Here’s the rub. I normally but Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ WING sauce. The recipes are nearly identical. There’s a little more Honey in the Honey BBQ, true, but there’s also $2 less on dollars on the BBQ sauce, so I decided to branch out. A small branch. But a branch.
My second change was also savings inspired. I had a digital coupon for 50% off the new Kroger Artisan Mill bread, and I normally buy the store brand Private Selection bread. The idea of buying a new type of bread that my carb obsessed 6 year old would hate scared me very much, coupon or no, so this was less of my stepping out onto a branch, and more like holding onto the tree and dipping a toe onto the branch. I bought both breads.
I had a coupon! We could try one at a discount and still have our old reliable Private Selection Sugar Free Whole Wheat to fall back on. Much less potential for sandwich related meltdowns this way.
I then got myself some Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Listen, I love Ben & Jerry’s. It is my favorite ice cream, and worth every penny, but I only buy it on sale because I don’t have that many pennies. My favorite flavor is Phish Food. If you’ve never had it, it is a delicious combination of chocolate ice cream, caramel and marshmallow swirls, and dark chocolate fish pieces. It is the best ice cream on Earth.
But because I was being so bold, with the bread and the bbq sauce, I wondered if I could also be bold with my Ben & Jerry’s?
I stood in front of that case looking at some delicious flavors, wondering if any of them would be as satisfying, as luxurious, as my Phish Food. Chocolate Shake It Truffles? Half Baked? Glampfire Trail Mix? Cherry Garcia? Were any of these treats worth the risk? After all, who knows when Ben & Jerry’s will go on sale again? What if I chose the most disappointing flavor and my dollars were wasted?
Because that’s what the big deal with trying new things is, right? It’s budget. Those dollars are hard earned and purposefully assigned to foods known to bring maximum satisfaction. Just throwing money at new things is not something we couponers do lightly. It’s one of the reasons I’m trying to branch out, little by little. I want my family to try new things, and not have our food consumption become boring and predictable. But I also want to stay as close to our budget as possible. These little steps are my way of trying to find a balance.
In the end, I went with my boo, Phish Food. Two changes were enough for one day. ;)
- Bananas, 2.92 lb -$1.72.
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, pint (2)-$5.98. Buy 5, Save $5. One for me and one for Mr. B!
- Blueberries, pint-$2.99.
- Boar’s Head Pepperoni, .75 lb-$6.83.
- Green Grapes. 2.17 lb- $2.10. In-store sale, $.97 a pound.
- Heritage Farm Chicken Breasts, 4.88 lb -$9.73.
- Johnsonville Sausage, 1 lb-$2.49. *Digital Coupon* for $1 off.
- KIND Bar-$0. *Digital Coupon* for Free Friday Download.
- Kraft Dressing-$1.99.
- Kroger Market Mill Whole Wheat Bread-$.69. *Digital Coupon* brought the price down 50%, from $1.39.
- Kroger Pickles-$1.19. *Digital Coupon* for $.40 off.
- Private Selection Wheat Bread-$1.99. Old Reliable.
- Private Selection Honey Turkey, .5 lb -$4.87.
- Private Selection Angus Steak, 4.07 lb-$20.26. In store sale for $4.99 a pound.
- Porkback Ribs, 2.94 lb-$8.82. In store sale, $2.99 a pound.
- Reypener Gouda (2)-$5.09.
- Red Leaf Lettuce, .63 lb-$1.08.
- Roma Tomatoes, .93 lb-$.92.
- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce-$.99. Buy 5, Save $5!
- Silk Almond Milk (2)-$3.98. Down to $1.99 each with B5S$5.
- Apps I’ll submit to: Fetch Rewards, Ibotta ($.10 Off Any Item), CoinOut
Total Budget: $75.29
Total Spent: $83.76
Total Saved: $46.25
Deducted from Next Week: $8.47
And some quick meal plan ideas, if you’re into it!
- Friday: Banana French Toast-Breakfast for Dinner! (bread and bananas this trip)
- Saturday: Porkback Ribs with Baked Apples ( ribs this trip, apples from Costco)
- Sunday: Mac & Cheese (pasta from a previous trip, cheese from assorted trips)
- Monday: Steak Tacos Salad (lettuce, steak, tomatoes from this trip, mangoes from a previous trip)
- Tuesday: Garlic Honey Chicken Tenders with Rice (chicken this trip, rice from Costco)
- Wednesday: Bangers & Smashed Carrots (sausage from this trip, carrots from Costco)
- Thursday: Roast Beef Sandwiches and Fruit Salad (beef from previous trip, bread, cheese, tomatoes from this trip)
- Friday: Pizza Night!
- Saturday: Whatever we get on the grocery trip!
Tune in next week to see if I can stay under budget for the month!
What about you? What’s something you took a risk on at the grocery store and it paid off? What’s your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s? Holler at me down below!
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!