Monday, June 1, 2009

Cash only grocery budget--month in review

This month was the first I tracked my purchases and used only cash for groceries. Dave Ramsey (author of Total Money Makeover) writes that people spend 18% more when they use "plastic" to make their purchases over cash. I thought we did pretty well already in the grocery area--but decided to see if using cash only made a difference. It did! I thought more about each purchase I made and would need to be aware how much cash I had on me when I was in the grocery store.

At the beginning of the month I took out $360 in cash. I thought that was reasonable for a family of 6. That covered all grocery, baby, cleaning supplies, health and beauty items.

I spent $324.48. I came $35.52 UNDER budget this month. I also submitted $87 in mail in rebates from those grocery receipts. If you count that money back I'm getting, I spent $237.48 for the month. (And I still have $12 in catalinas that I can use on June groceries!) I was hoping to spend even less than I did, but you'll see in the list posted below that I stocked up on a LOT of different items this month, hopefully meaning next month's spending will be even less.

In the month of April I spent $523.55. Not counting the $87 I'm getting back in mail in rebates, I spent $199.07 LESS in May than April. I'm not all that good at math--but I think that's a 38% savings from last month!

When I got back from the store I input my receipts into Excel to track not only what I spent, but what I bought. (I was curious how much milk I get each month, how much bread we eat, how much produce we go through in a month, etc.) I also put what I've spent into my itouch as soon as I get home from the store, that way I have a running budget in my purse at all times.

From what I purchased this month, I was able to I donate over $200 worth of groceries to the food bank.

So, what did $324.48 cash buy me this month?


5 indiv apples
2 indiv bananas
2 indiv tomatoes
6 ears corn
1 head iceberg lettuce
3.1 lbs potatoes
0.9 lbs apples
6.39 lbs bananas
0.65 lbs roma tomatoes
5 lbs potatoes
5 lbs Fuji apples
3 indiv bananas
6 ears corn
2 lbs strawberries
1 indiv pineapple

18 oz pk blueberries
7 indiv bananas
3 lbs apples
3.89 lbs bananas
2.67 lbs apples
2 lbs organic carrots
3.97 lbs potatoes
2 indiv portabella mushroom caps
2 lbs celery hearts
1.52 lbs grapes
2 lbs vidalia onions
seedless watermelon
6 ears corn
1 indiv red pepper
1 indiv green pepper
1 lbs carrots
1 lbs organic carrots
2 indiv red peppers
1 indiv green pepper
1 indiv cucumber
2 indiv oranges
8 indiv Fuji apples
3 indiv pears
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 indiv extra large tomoato
9 indiv bananas
2 lbs strawberries
2 indiv sweet potatoes
6 ears corn
6 indiv kiwi
5.76 lbs Fuji apples
9.92 lbs potatoes
1 indiv cucumber


1 gallon 2% milk
3 gallon 2% milk
2 gallon skim milk
1 dozen eggs
3 dozen eggs
1 lb Kraft American cheese
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 package cream cheese
1 6 pk yogurt
4 lbs butter
4 gallon 2% milk
2 gallon skim milk
4 lbs cheddar cheese
3 6pks yogurt
2 pks shredded cheddar
4 blocks cheddar cheese
2 blocks colby jack
3 dozen eggs
1 gallon whole milk
2 gallon 2% milk
1 lb Kraft American cheese
2 gallons skim milk
1 lb Kraft American cheese
1 32oz plain yogurt
2 4pks Yoplait yo-plus yogurt
4 lb Kraft American cheese
2 16 oz Breakstones sour cream
1 8 oz Daisy Sour Cream
3 gallon 2% milk


1 loaf bread
1 pk hot dog buns
1 dozen mini bagels
1 2pk ficcelle bread
2 loaf bread
2 loaf bread
1 16 pk hamburger buns
2 loaf bread


5 pks Hot dogs
10 lbs frozen chicken breasts
6.07 lbs ground beef
8 lbs hamburgers (32)
2.6 lbs ground turkey breast
1.66 lbs london broil steaks
1.5 lbs eye round steaks
2 lbs NY strip steaks
1 lbs thin cut fajita steaks
13.33 lbs 90% ground beef
2.6 lbs ground turkey breast
4.7 lbs stew meat
12 indiv beef shish kabobs
1.5 lbs thin cut fajita steaks
1.25 lbs ground turkey breast


1 jar strawberry jelly
1 bottle syrup
12 bottles Pace salsa
3 bottles Pace salsa
2 cans baked beans
1 bottle syrup
1 jar seedless red raspberry jam
1 jar orange marmalade
1 30 oz jar mayonaise
3 bottles Kraft ranch dressing
1 bottle Pace salsa
20 bottles Kraft BBQ sauce
130 bottles Kraft BBQ sauce
2 bottles Kraft salad dressing
2 bottles A1
4 cans refried beans
2 cans hormel chili
2 bottles Newmans Own Balsamic Vineg.
2 jar miracle whip
1 jar skippy peanut butter


13 boxes Special K
1 boxes Saltines
2 boxes Life Cereal
2 cans kidney beans
1 bottle Parmesan cheese
1 bottle Vegetable oil
1 boxes brown rice
2 lbs brown sugar
1 boxes baking soda
1 5lb bag flour
2 boxes Special K yougrt
1 boxes Frosted Mini Wheats
5 boxes Frosted Mini Wheats
2 boxes Ritz crackers
2 boxes Wheat Thins
4 boxes Froot Loops
4 boxes Apple Jacks
4 boxes Corn Pops
2 boxes Frosted Mini Wheats
9 boxes Raisin Bran
4 boxes Rice Krispies
4 boxes Frosted Flakes
2 boxes Barilla Picollini bowties
3 boxes Uncle Bens brown rice
1 box Black pepper
3 packs Wacky Mac
20 packs McCormick Zesty Herb marinade


10 pks 6 ct Deer Park water
3 boxes capri sun
1 bottle iced tea
4 bottle Vitamin water
12 pks Coke
1/2 gallon Tropicana OJ
7 bottle Vitamin water
5 bottle Vitamin water
1 1/2 gallon Tropicana OJ
1 bottle Deer Park Sparkling water


12 boxes Fiber One bars
1 indiv donut
2 bags Sunchips
2 indiv reusable shopping bags
1 indiv newspaper
1 bags marshmallows
1 bags Hershey Bliss
2 bags Hershey Bliss
2 bags Lays potato chips
5 bags Hershey Bliss
1 bar Hershey Bliss
6 boxes Jell-O
12ct boxes Poptarts
3 indiv donuts


8pks Paper towel
1 12pk Cottonelle toilet paper
1 pk napkins
1 box tissues
3 pks 36 ct Chinet plates
2 box Mr. Clean Magic Erasers
10 bottles Lysol toilet cleaner
2 boxes Ziploc gallon freezer bags
1 large tub Oxiclean
6 packs Marcal Napkins


1 pk 184 Huggies wipes refill


1 box Frozen pretzles
1 box french toast
1 bag french fries
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
7 bags peas
3 bags corn
5 cans OJ
3 half gallons ice cream
2 indiv cheese pizzas
1 indiv pepperoni pizza
2 bags Lender bagels
2 tubs cool whip
1 box ice cream sandwiches
1 box frozen spinach
3 half gallons ice cream
2 bags Lender bagels
1 box Frozen pretzles
4 boxes Bagelfuls

We always pay our credit cards off each month so I thought I was doing a good thing using plastic and getting 3% back on all the purchases. I think I'd rather have the 38% savings instead!