Our $80 Shopping Budget: 9 Weeks' Worth of Diapers + Food

I'm sure you were all really bummed that I didn't post our spending last week. But, moving on, here's our over-budget spending for this week. We spent $129! Course, that includes nine weeks' worth of disposable diapers, but still, it's a lot. Especially since now that the week is over I feel like I need to shop again soon. First I'll break down our spending; then I'll dither on whether we really need to adjust our weekly budget.


CVS*: $8.83 on Thermacare heat wraps and clearanced diapers. $1.69 on Thermacare and cheap Pampers, $1.58 for zinc oxide sunscreen and a free-after-coupon Off Clip-on Refill

Walgreens*: $2.93 for an ice cream sandwich and free-after-Register-Rewards contact solution, $3.03 for a Dove ice cream bar and two packs Huggies

Dominick's: $25 on roast chicken, 50-cent Kraft Miracle Whip, two 25-cent packs of nitrate-free hot dogs (they were Oscar Mayer, clearanced to 75 cents each, and I used a $1/2 coupon), a watermelon, more. And of course more free pasta.

Jewel-Osco: $35 on one round of the ConAgra Catalina deal plus some other stuff that I can't even remember now.

Trader Joe's: $50 on the usual organic produce plus a couple of uncharacteristic splurges such as goat cheese, walnuts, and the characteristic splurge of a few weeks' worth of wine. (Just because I was in the car and thought I would be better off next time I have an equipment failure if I wasn't carrying wine.)

Farmer's Market: $4 on organic strawberries

* Drugstore totals are so low because I'm not counting the Register Rewards and ExtraBucks I spent, nor those than I earned.

So. That weekly $80 budget thing. Lately we have been having trouble making that. Best I can figure, these are the contributing factors:

1) increased purchase of organic produce and more produce in general

2) increased appetite of baby and kids

3) farmer's market (that was more of a factor last week than this week since this week I blew all my cash on donuts and coffee which is not part of our $80 budget and only had $4 cash left for actual shopping)

4) spending too much on drugstore freebies?

5) just buying more than we need?

And this all is without buying meat, which we are supposed to be paying off on the weeks when we don't spend the whole $80.

So, I'm thinking about increasing the weekly grocery budget to $100. I will wait and see how things go in two weeks, once we start getting our CSA box, which will cost us a weekly $37.

Last but not least, what we ate on $80 -- ahem, $129:

WEDNESDAY: pork chops, brown rice and gravy, frozen organic corn

THURSDAY: same as Wed.

FRIDAY: frozen pizzas, carrot sticks

SATURDAY: dinner = roast chicken, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

SUNDAY: breakfast - pumpkin pancakes with strawberries; dinner = bratwurst, hot dogs, organic spinach salad with goat cheese and walnuts

MONDAY: lunch = grilled ribs, corn on cob, hot dogs, salad with guests; dinner = split pea soup w/ leftover ribs, organic potatoes; dessert: fruit popsicles

TUESDAY: spaghetti with organic celery and carrots in the sauce



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JenK said:


Carrie - wasn't your $80 originally just for food? I thought the CVS/Wags stuff was separate. Plus I know from my own experience that as the kids get older, they are no longer satisfied splitting a small burger! The food budget will have to go up sometime.

Carrie Kirby said:


Yeah, JenK, you're right -- I did used to only count food in my $80 budget. Then at the beginning of this year, since we were doing fine on $80 a week, I thought maybe I could challenge myself to add my drugstore spending.

But I may have to take it back out again. I'll be thinking about this.

dgmarie said:


Carrie, what about using washables in the mix of diapers? Not going cold turkey, but using cloth at home and maybe disposable when out? I know there are some diaper systems that make this easier. Seems like there are always deals on detergent. Just a thought.

Carrie Kirby said:



I'm in favor of cloth diapers ... for other people. Seriously, I have a set of cloth diapers that I got off Freecycle and used on Pebbles for awhile. I keep telling myself that when I get control over the rest of the laundry, I'll get back on the horse. But you should see the bedrooms in our house right now -- three baskets of clean laundry in ours, and the kids' room has the dresser stacked as high as the bottom bookshelf with laundry that I haven't had time to put away. I've even been thinking about paying someone to come in and do it so I have more time to write.

But I should use cloth. You're right. If only I could figure out how to have time to wash even one extra load of laundry per week.

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