And the grand prize winner is… (drum roll, please) … ______ at $____!
…Ha. You didn’t really think I’d tell you at the very beginning, did you?
I went shopping, as I mentioned earlier this week, on Wednesday and Thursday night. I went to Aldi first to get everything I could as it was bound to be the cheapest, then I went to Costco to buy staples in bulk and then went to Walmart for remaining produce. I will say I fell short in the coupon area and I’m sure there were a few dollars I could have saved here or there that I didn’t. However, like I said before, it was SO helpful to have every item planned and accounted for. There was no impulse buying (no buying of things like cookie dough or pop or some really sweet thing I happened to see at Costco [you need to go to Costco if you don’t understand what I’m talking about] ).
I don’t have a picture of my kitchen when I got home from all of this shopping, but you wouldn’t believe how much food I have. By my predictions, I not only have enough specific food to make all of the recipes I planned for, but I also have enough to continue making meals between those or after those recipes to last me almost two months! Thank you, Costco, for ten-pound bags of frozen chicken and enough turkey burgers for three weeks.
So, here’s how my spending was broken down:
Aldi: $61.89 (41 items)
I bought almost all of my staples (eggs, milk, a lot of your regular fruits/vegetables like bananas, bell peppers, celery, 3 different kinds of potatoes, vanilla extract, whole wheat pasta, etc.) and canned goods here. Some people have a problem with Aldi, but it’s a must-visit store for me. I have no problem buying off-brand for thing like canned goods or iced tea or milk. It’s all the same to me. Average cost per item was $1.50.
Costco: $94.66 (9 items)
This was the real kicker to my budget. I bought the following items in bulk: sandwich thins, baby spinach, frozen chicken breasts, fresh salmon, sliced deli ham, hummus, turkey burgers, farro and greek yogurt. It should be noted that $40 of this was the chicken and salmon. The reason I bought those things in bulk is because 1) I’m going to buy them anyway and 2) none of it will go bad before I can use it (I freeze the portions of deli meat I can’t use yet). The cost of buying in bulk can seem ridiculous, but you save SO MUCH money in the long run. Average cost per item was $10.51.
Walmart: $42.09 (17 items)
This is where I went last to buy all of the items that were unavailable at Aldi and Costco. This included things like pine nuts (which aren’t cheap, by the way), spices, eggplant, squash (what is squash in the plural form? Squash? Squashes? Squashi? Eh, forget it.), kale, yeast, feta, etc. Average cost per item was $2.48.
So, add them all up and you have $198.64 for 67 items (average cost per item of $2.96). Not bad for the first try, considering the amount of specialty foods!
Like I said before, I have a lot more food than I was planning on, so it’s wouldn’t be fair to pick a winner based on who was closest. I decided to compare entries by a cost per week. I think it’ll be 5-6 weeks before I have to go to the store to pick something up for a meal and 7-8 weeks before I have to even think about shopping like this again. If I divide this cost across 8 weeks, you get $24.83 (or $3.54 a day).
Below are the entries!
Brandon G.: $150/month or $37.50/week
Steph Y.: $125/month or $31.25/week
Krissy S.: $100/month or $25/week
Kayla G.: $150/month or $37.50/week
Amber G.: $168.39/month or $42.10/week (haha, you get brownie points for the creativity)
And NOW…the grand prize winner is…!
We are all due a girls night–I’ll get you your Starbucks gift card then. And you can have the third season of The Office back. 🙂
Thank you all for your guesses and participation! I will begin counting days without shopping beginning yesterday, Oct. 15. We’ll see if I make it to the middle of December or not. 🙂
I’ll post the recipes as I make them, starting tomorrow! Keep your eyes peeled for the salmon chowder recipe, coming up first!