January & February 2020 Shopping Totals

For as long as January seemed, February seems to have flown by! It’s probably because the count down is officially on until baby arrives at the end of March, so time is speeding up. We’ve also dealt with a couple of minor viruses between all my kids so that kept us home at times and made the days pass in a bit of a blur.

I continue to share most of my shopping trips as they happen on Instagram and Facebook. You can like the Joyfully Thriving Facebook page here to see those trips as they happen. This lets me answer questions about specific deals while they are still current – so you can grab the deals too!

Still, I do want to share these monthly (or every other month) summaries on the blog because it keeps me accountable to our monthly $400 budget. I hope it is encouraging for you and helps you find good deals too!

If you missed my grocery audit for this new year, I have decided to keep our grocery budget at $400 in 2020. Yes, we are adding a new baby to our family at the end of next month but I think we can stick with our budget as is. In fact, we’ve started off the year with being under budget both months!

Grocery Shopping Reminders

I shop at multiple stores to get the best deals. I like grocery shopping so this is not a bother to me.

We have several grocery stores very close to us, making it easy for me to run in on the way to or from school and pick up the sales for the week. My kids are good grocery shoppers which helps.

I am currently working on filling our freezer before baby arrives and am anticipating going over budget in March. I won’t be shopping nearly as much the first couple weeks after baby is born so it should even out. Plus, I plan to cash out Ibotta to use some of those earnings for the overage. Here is how and why I use Ibotta (and Fetch) to earn extra money on our groceries.

I have been doing this for a long time! I like finding the best deals and stretching our grocery dollars. If you are just starting at lowering your budget, remember that it takes time. Slow and steady wins the race!

Now, here are my shopping totals for the start of 2020. (You can see all my monthly totals for 2019 here.)

January Grocery Shopping 2020

  • 1/7 Kroger $64.04
  • 1/9 Walmart $60.93
  • 1/14 Kroger $45.08
  • 1/17 Kroger $72.40
  • 1/17 Meijer $6.59
  • 1/20 Kroger $34.22
  • 1/20 Walmart $6.28
  • 1/20 Sam’s Club $68.23
  • 1/22 Aldi $10.29
  • 1/31 Kroger $16.34
  • January Total $384.40 out of $400

January Grocery Shopping Highlights in Pictures

I started January with a stock up trip at Kroger. The 4 count packages of Kleenex were part of the mega deal for $4.99. Plus, I had a $5/3 coupon which took the price down to $3.32 a package or $0.83 a box. $1 is my stock up price for Kleenex so I definitely stocked up! I’m glad I did because with all the colds my kids have had this winter, we’ve been using a lot of tissues.

The Larabars were $2.99 a box (thanks to the mega sale and a $0.50/1 digital coupon). I bought applesauce cups ($1.39) for Nathan’s snack that week as well. Ore Ida potatoes were on sale for $1.49 (as part of the mega deal) so I bought 8 bags of various fries, tator tots and hash browns. I love it when name brands are even cheaper than generics!

I used a $1.75/1 mailer coupon to pick up a package of Comforts diapers for $2.54. These are my go to diapers for the low cost! I also did a lot of stocking up on diapers later in the month.

Milk was $0.99 and so were the fruit snacks and goldfish. Ritz crackers were $1, thanks to a digital coupon. At Kroger, I spent $64.04.

I also mentioned that I stocked up on diapers in January. Kroger was running a spend $40, get $10 off instantly – and their big boxes of Kroger brand diapers were included on the sale. This promotion made them even cheaper than normal, so I did the promotion 3 different times.

I bought three boxes of size 5 (for Lily), two boxes of size 3 and one box of size 2. I wanted to buy more in smaller sizes for the new baby, but 2 was the smallest box – and they only had one box that I grabbed the first time. They were never back in stock during the promotion. While diapers add up, I am thankful for deals that I can find to help me cover diapers as part of our monthly grocery budget!

February Grocery Shopping 2020

  • 2/1 Kroger $72.88
  • 2/2 Kroger $9.95 ($1.99 butter!)
  • 2/4 Sam’s Club $19.31
  • 2/4 Walmart $47.67
  • 2/5 Kroger $10.65
  • 2/9 Sam’s Club $27.64
  • 2/11 Walmart $42.91
  • 2/16 Kroger $10.94
  • 2/19 Meijer $90.21
  • 2/20 Walmart $34.69
  • 2/23 Kroger $25.57
  • February Total $392.42 out of $400

February Grocery Shopping Highlights in Pictures

I actually started my February shopping at the end of January, but counted it towards my February totals because it was a big trip! The deals were too good to pass up at Kroger this week!

Some of the highlights include free Brazi bites ($4.99 value, thanks to a mailer coupon), free Cherry Almond bars ($4 value, thanks to a best customer digital coupon), free 36 count Mozarella cheese sticks ($7.99 value, thanks to a digital reward coupon), and free Ibprofuen ($2.99 value, thanks to the Friday freebie). I love free things!

I bought 2 packages of Wholly Guacamole for $1.25 ($2 sale and $0.75/1 printed coupon). Milk was $0.99 for half gallons so I bought 3, plus refilled my 3 water jugs for $0.39 each. Kroger cheese was $2.99 for the 16 ounce blocks (which brings it down below my stock up price of $1.50 for 8 ounces) so I bought 7 blocks. Amazingly, it only lasted a couple weeks. We go through a lot of cheese in our family! I also bought 2 bags of Kettle potato chips for $0.88 ($1.88 sale and $1/1 printed coupons).

The Friday deals that week included $1.99 Johnson baby wash (for the new baby) and $1.99 butter. I bought 3 containers of baby wash and my limit of 5 pounds of butter. I made my husband pick up 5 pounds of butter the next day with his Kroger card too! Hillshire farm sausage / brats were $1.79 so I picked up 2 packages. Triscuits were also $1.79 so I bought several boxes.

On this trip, I spent $72.88 and filled the counter! That was a great start to my shopping.

I made one of my rare trips to Meijer in February because I needed to pick up two prescriptions for Emma there. Thankfully, it coincided with the week that vitamins were on sale (b1g1) and ground beef was $2.49/lb.

The kids vitamins were $8.99 regularly, but with the free bottle it works out to $4.50 a bottle – which is the best price I can ever find! My prenatal vitamins were $9.99, which again, breaks down to $5 a bottle. Love great deals! I also ended up buying 15 pounds of hamburger ($2.49/lb) which I used for freezer cooking. I cooked some of it, made some into hamburger patties and made some casseroles with it as well. I also bought 6 pounds of chicken on the bone ($0.99) which I cooked in my slow cooker and used to make poppy seed chicken for the freezer.

Diced peaches were $1. This is one of those good deals because they are already diced for my kids, plus they are canned in fruit juice (which I prefer over syrup). Whenever I see them on sale, I buy several cans. 8 this time around. 🙂 I also bought 6 cans of refried beans for $1.

I picked up a couple 70% Valentine clearance. The $0.64 heart boxes of chocolates are set aside for Easter baskets. I am trying to get all those things together before baby is born because I know I won’t be shopping for Easter baskets with a newborn!

At Meijer, I spent $90.21. Buying meat and vitamins adds up, but they were still good deals so I am okay with my total.

Now tell me. What is your grocery budget this year? Did you raise or lower it – or did it stay the same? And how are you doing in the start of 2020 with your grocery deals?

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