Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

The Grocery Bill – Week Two (and a half)

on June 16, 2012

Hi, I’m back! Yeah, I had a blast, it was amazing. But I’ll post more about that later. First, did anyone notice that in my precamping haze I forgot to put up a picture for yesterday’s Au Courant Fare? Well, I have remedied that now, and also fixed a rogue space in the text, so if you were dying to see how my meal looked head on back a post. If not, well, I’m not going to be offended.

Hey, remember how I’m super poor and we’re down to $50 per week for groceries? Well, for part of this week we were camping so I needed to purchase all of the ingredients for eating up there – in the woods. I’m not going to beat around the bush here – I went over budget. I think it’ll be okay though, because I stocked up on a few other things that were necessary for the house, and I believe that the budget will come close to balancing out in Week Three, and that I should be kosher come Week Four. Crossing my fingers.

Week Two Groceries

  • two cans of mixed beans
  • 6 cans of tuna
  • 3 loaves of bread
  • 1 package of sausage buns
  • 500mL 10% cream
  • 1 box crackers
  • 6 lbs apples
  • 1 package of bacon
  • 6 green peppers
  • 2 boxes of Cheerios
  • 2 bags of 1% milk
  • 2 bags of homogenized milk
  • 36 eggs
  • 1 package of breakfast sausage
  • 2 blocks of cheese
  • 1 jar of instant coffee
  • 10 sausages

TOTAL: $103.81

According to last week, we had $61.42 for groceries, which means that I went over budget $42.39 which leaves $7.61 for groceries for Week Three. Well, that sucks.

Now, at least half of those eggs, all of the bacon and breakfast sausages are not normal purchases for our family. Camping, well, it’s something special to me. I figured I would scrimp at home and enjoy some bacon roasted over a fire in the woods. We’ll have to see how it affects my wallet this month, but I’m fairly confident that it’ll be worth it.

Seven possible and already made dinners for Week Two (June 13-June 19) are:

  • sushi (already eaten)
  • sausages – cooked on a camp fire (already eaten)
  • pasta salad (already eaten)
  • cabbage rolls (guess who didn’t make them last week)
  • homemade chicken noodle soup (this didn’t get made at camp)
  • Pasta Fagioli (now that I’ve bought beans)
  • Goulash (a new recipe to try)

Last week I made spaghetti and meatballs one night, and it was super tasty (and pasta instead of spaghetti, meh) so I’ll share my meatball recipe here.

Simple Meatballs in Sauce

Defrost one pound of ground beef. Drop it in a bowl and mix it with 1/2 cup of rice, one yellow onion, chopped finely, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper. Mash it all together with your hands, then roll the mixture into meatball sized balls. Place the balls into a frying pan, fill halfway with water and boil on high for five minutes. Then lower the temperature to medium and continue to simmer for about twenty minutes covered, until the water evaporates. Add one can of tomato sauce, 2 tbsps of garlic powder (because you loves your spaghetti sauce garlicy) 1/2 tbsp of chili powder and simmer on low until your pasta is cooked and you’re ready to eat. About 15 minutes. After I drained the pasta (that I let Ally pick because she was ‘having a bad day’) I returned it to the empty pot, and poured the meatball and sauce mixture on top and stirred. Nom.


  • 1 lb of ground beef – $3
  • one yellow onion – $0.11
  • 1/2 cup of rice – $0.15
  • soy sauce, black pepper, and garlic powder – $0.25
  • 1 can of tomato sauce – $1.68


Add half a bag of pasta at $0.50 and you have a meal for four with leftovers for $5.69. Yeah, it was delicious.


15 responses to “The Grocery Bill – Week Two (and a half)

  1. As interested as I am in personal finance, I could never get into the hang of budgeting. For instance, in your case, you had a special occasion to go to which required different budgeting. The most I’ve budgeted is an annual clothing cap, only because 1) I like clothes but I won’t die without them, and 2) I can control it. If I find that I only have $30 for the rest of the year come October, then I know that I need to be more mindful of what I can get for that $30. With food, there’s no way I could do this because uh, I kinda need it to live haha.

    Instead what I do that’s helpful is to keep track of everything I spend. That way I know that I’m not spending more than I’m bringing in. I also can see after a month or several what category eats up the most, and is it okay that it does. Obviously for me rent, taxes, all that big stuff is on the top, but maybe this past month I noticed that I ate out too often, and that’s something I could cut back on.

    I’m still impressed that you’re able to manage these groceries on $50! I need to pick your brain one of these days 😉

    • Hahaha, well it’s difficult. It’s been a bit of a transition, and I had to cut ‘eating out’ down to nothing. That’s been the hardest part. Trying to make food every night, even if I’m exhausted, but Phil has been super helpful with it, and the kids are not picky – that’s a huge bonus! I’ll answer any questions you may have, so feel free to toss them my way!

  2. oregana says:

    Interesting. I do not think I have ever seen or tasted boiled meatballs. And no egg in the mixture? And no picture? Glad you enjoyed it.

    • No egg (that shocked Phil too), boiled is better for you than fried (that’s what I tell myself, at least I don’t get splattery grease burns) and no picture because I wasn’t planning on writing the recipe, I just thought I’d try to toss in one of the cheap meals I’ve made each week for funsies. And yes, funsies is a word. So says I!

      • oregana says:

        I don’t boil or fry my meatballs. I put them directly in the sauce and simmer for an hour. No splattery grease burns. In fact, no grease at all! I wouldn’t opt for that extra step of boiling. I like things as simple as possible while still being tasty and delicious, healthful and nutritious. 🙂

  3. lorajbanks says:

    Good for you. I have always wanted to figure out how much my meals cost, but I just can’t make myself do it. Even for my bake stand. I know how much I’ve made, and that I’ve made more than what I’ve spent, but I have no idea how much each thing costs to make. This is another reason you should be my neighbour I think…you do the finances and I’ll pay you in baked goods.

    • I would be huge. I have no limit when it comes to junk food, it just continues to enter my mouth. God help me when I become wealthy – there will be no end to my gorging.
      Some of the costs are estimates at this stage. I sit down with my grocery reciept and am able to determine some costs exactly, others (garlic powder, soy sauce, etc.) I just estimate. An estimate is better than pretending that it didn’t cost me anything to put those ingredients in, and I’m sure that I do that sometimes anyways.
      We should be neighbours. Then our kids could be friends and I would have people to invite to their upcoming birthday parties.

  4. betsyk1 says:

    I love how organized you are.

  5. sillyliss says:

    Garlicy. Mmm. I am obsessed with garlic these days. But I do prefer meat sauce to balls. I’m just not a balls person.

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