April 4, 2011

Project Grocery: Mother Hubbard Goes Shopping

Oh my, those cupboards were bare. Bare of things like coffee and flour. Like toilet paper.

So while the Challenge is Over Shopathon was spread over two days and five stores, it was not as fun as I had hoped.

It was fun, don't get me wrong. Just not throw all the luxurious groceries on the floor and roll around in them kind of fun, that's all.

If that sounds like fun to anyone.

Before I show you the spoils, let me remind you of this (weeks fourteen and fifteen of Project Grocery):

Which will serve to underscore the enormity of this:

No coupons were harmed in the making of this enormous pile of food.

That's not true. Lots of coupons were harmed. Lots of sales were attended, and lots of habit changes were made. (Like: why on earth have I not been buying butter, milk and eggs at Shopper's Drug Mart?).

Oh, we indulged. We indulged even before we unpacked. For instance, I'm pretty sure that Mountain Dew and A&W are not packaged and sold with a good three inches of head space in the bottle.

The final tally: $177.59. Normally I'd moan and wring my hands over it. You're probably rolling your eyes and telling me to quit, already. But I don't think this is going to be a habit from now on (the over-budget shopping, not the moaning, hand wringing or eye-rolling. Those are definitely fully entrenched.)

I had every intention of deducting the $7.49 of overspending during The Challenge from this budget, which would have meant $112.51 for this week. With what was left in the fridge, freezer and pantry, we could have done it, if it were only food.

But this was staring me in the face:

And there were things on sale - like the ever necessary oatmeal - that go on sale only once every three months or so. And buying only the amount of flour or coffee or rice or potatoes to get us through the week would mean paying a much higher price per unit than necessary.

And did I mention the toilet paper?

Our meal plan this week looks slightly less fabulous than I had hoped, given that I knew we were already heading over the red budget line, but I'm pretty excited about all the non-soup options.

Oh, wait...