Today was my first grocery shopping trip since having John in which I am trying to cook almost completely from scratch and stick to our budget (if not under cut our budget)! Cooking from scratch to me means using only whole foods (carrots, potatoes, milk, chicken, etc). Most of the time I get them as fresh and unprocessed as possible; however, this time I did purchase a few frozen veggies and pre-cut chicken pieces as well as a couple pre-packaged items for convenience while we have friends and family in town. Our budget has waffled between $100 and $400 a month for all household expenses depending on our economic and medical situation. Currently, it is on the books at $300, but I frequently under cut that and can do it on $200 a month.
Thoughts on my grocery trip: I usually go to two different stores, but since I had both of the kids with me, I only went to Publix because 1) They had about half of the items I needed on sale. 2) They have much better looking produce than the local Wal-mart. and 3) As a mom taking 2 kids to the grocery I appreciate getting help out to the car and free cookies in the deli! On the whole it was a very pleasant shopping experience, and I finished in less than an hour!! I was a little disappointed with the amount I spent: $101.93. (I did save $21) However, considering we will have friends and family over this week and will need more food and a little more convenience (and I didn't get to plant a garden this spring), I really did pretty well! Next week though I am hoping for a much lower bill and even more from scratch cooking (although most people wouldn't consider what I bought this week to be convenience food). Everyone in our house is happy to see that my energy has returned with the birth of baby John and with it the return of the healthy, from scratch, home cookin' we all like so much!!