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February Grocery Report and our Top 6 Budget Friendly Family Meals

Welcome March! What a wild ride this winter has been! I’m so ready for spring in under 20 days now! Since it’s March 1st, it’s time for my February Grocery Report. I also thought I’d share our top six budget family meals that help me keep our grocery budget in check! Without further ado, here’s report!

february grocery audit

February Grocery Report and our Top 6 Budget Friendly Family Meals

Have you been reading my monthly grocery reports? I started writing them last year and have found the process very eye-opening. In the first post, I explained the average cost of groceries per family according to the USDA and analyzed how we compare. Since my kids are older now, I need to revisit their suggestions to see where we stand now! I’ll try to remember to do that next month. For now, make sure you head over to my very first grocery audit to see the average grocery cost per month for families according to the USDA.

Do you remember my audit last month? I found out that ALDI charged me for 8 cantaloupes instead of 8 grapefruit. Well, it turned out that it wasn’t grapefruit – I bought 8 mangoes and was charged for 8 cantaloupes. I took my receipt back to ALDI and was able to get an $8.80 refund! So not only is it interesting to examine receipts, it also earned me a Chipotle burrito too. 😉

aldi grocery haul 3

Ok…here’s what I bought in February to feed my family of 6:

2/2/19 – Costco $96.68

  • Organic almond milk – 8.99 (3 – 1/2 gallons)
  • Pretzel rolls – 4.99
  • Ruffles (super bowl party) – 5.59
  • Frozen berries – 8.99
  • Mixed peppers – 7.99 (6 pack)
  • Organic butter – 19.98 (2 lbs)
  • Uncured bacon – 11.99 (3 packages)
  • Organic 1/2 & 1/2 – 5.99 (1/2 gallon)
  • Bananas x 2 – 2.98
  • Organic diced tomatoes – 5.99
  • Grape tomatoes – 4.99
  • Organic eggs – 5.99 (2 dozen)

2/2/19 ALDI – $43.73

  • Cream cheese – .79
  • Hash brown patties – 3.29
  • Winking Owl Merlot – 5.88 (2 bottles)
  • Pineapple – 1.29 x 2 = 2.58
  • Shredded mozerella – 2.49
  • Never Any lunchmeat – 3.29 x 2 = 6.58
  • Cauliflower – 2.29
  • French onion dip – .99
  • Organic whole milk yogurt – 2.89 x 2 = 5.78
  • Ricotta cheese – 1.69
  • Salami – 2.59
  • Mandarins – 3.89 x 2 = 7.78
  • Crushed tomatoes – .65

2/4/19 HyVee – $38.20

  • Applegate pork pepperoni – 4.49 x 2 = 8.98
  • Bobs Red Mill unbleached white flour – 4.99
  • Kalona Super Natural chocolate milk – 2.59
  • Kalona Super Natural sour cream – 3.50
  • Organic Valley Whole Milk – 6.99 (1 gallon)
  • Fresh ground pork – 3.50
  • Bean sprouts – 1.89
  • Mandarins – 4.99 (FREE w/ coupon)
  • Snow peas – 2.64
  • King Arthur flour 4.99 x 2 = 9.98
  • Savings for Monday Healthy Market Bag Sale – (-8.61)

2/8/19 ALDI $8.66

  • Cabbage – 1.89
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese – 1.69 x 2 = 3.38
  • Avocados – .25 x 4 = 1.00
  • Bananans – 2.39

2/10/19 Trader Joe’s – $40.94

  • Organic russet potatoes – 3.69
  • Nacho cheese tortilla chips – 1.99 x 2 = 3.98
  • Applegate sliced turkey – 3.99
  • Sliced mushrooms – 1.99
  • Ground pork – 4.49
  • Organic ground beef – 5.99
  • Uncured Black Forest Ham – 3.69
  • Organic tortilla chips – 2.69
  • Organic frozen blueberries – 3.49
  • Organic frozen mixed berries – 2.99
  • Organic whole sweetened cranberries – 2.99

2/11/19 ALDI – 52.01

  • Organic frozen berries – 2.89 x 2 = 5.78
  • Mandarins – 2.49 x 2 = 4.98
  • Pineapple – 1.29 x 2 = 2.58
  • Winking Owl Merlot – 5.88 (2 bottles)
  • Mangoes – .69 x 4 – 2.76
  • Organic grape tomatoes – 2.49 x 2 = 4.98
  • Red grapes – 2.04
  • Organic pears – 3.29
  • Organic granola – 3.49
  • Organic granola – 2.79 x 2 = 5.58
  • Crackers – 1.49
  • Limes – 1.69
  • Navel oranges – 1.99 x 2 = 3.98

2/13/19 Walmart  – $11.98

  • King Arthur bread flour – 3.68
  • King Arthur unbleached flour – 3.16
  • Bananas – 2.36
  • 1/2 & 1/2 – 2.50
  • Mandarins – 3.98 (FREE w/ coupon)

2/16/19 ALDI – $20.03

  • Organic gala apples – 4.89
  • Paleo muesli – 4.99 (really good!)
  • Kiwi – 3.79
  • Organic baby spinach – 2.49

2/16/19 Costco – $155.74

  • Organic romaine lettuce – 4.99 (6 heads)
  • Granola bars – 16.79
  • Organic triscuits – 9.59 (4 boxes, I think)
  • Organic 1/2 & 1/2 – 5.99 (1/2 gallon)
  • Bananas – 1.49
  • Frozen 3 berry blend – 8.99
  • Organic frozen blueberries – 8.49
  • Salami – 7.49
  • Organic sugar – 7.99
  • Organic butter – 9.99
  • Grape tomatoes – 5.99
  • Pine nut hummus – 5.99
  • Mini peppers – 5.99
  • Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese – 10.79
  • Tillamook mild cheddar cheese – 8.59
  • Organic unbleached flour – 6.49
  • Organic carrots – 5.99
  • Avocados – 4.99 (6 count)
  • Green grapes – 9.99
  • Bananas – 1.49

2/20/19 Jeff’s Market – $26.91

  • Bag of ripe bananas – .99
  • Tortillas – 2.99
  • Bottle of wine – 7.99
  • Canned kidney beans – .67
  • Canned black beans – 1.35
  • Ground beef – 4.9
  • Tomatoes – 3.26
  • OJ – 4.15

2/23/29 ALDI – $45.39

  • Organic frozen pizza – 3.99 x 2 = 7.98 (not a big hit at our house)
  • Organic granola – 2.79
  • Organic whole milk – 5.39 (1 gallon)
  • Organic strawberries – 3.99
  • Organic whole milk plain yogurt – 2.89 x 3 = 8.67
  • OJ – 1.99 x 2 = 3.98
  • Apple sauce squeezers – 1.49
  • Organic bell peppers – 3.49 (2 red peppers)
  • Organic grape tomatoes – 2.49 x 2 = 4.98
  • Single pack of sunflower seeds – .59

2/28/19 ALDI – $70.94

  • Paleo granola – 3.99 x 2 = 7.98
  • Crushed tomatoes – .65 x 5 = 3.25
  • Navel organes – 1.99 x 2 = 3.98
  • Cilantro – .65
  • Winking Owl Merlot – 5.88 (2 bottles)
  • Organic red potatoes – 3.89
  • Mangoes – .69 x 4 = 2.76
  • Never Any ham lunch meat – 3.29 x 2 = 6.58
  • Mozzarella cheese – 1.69 x 2 = 3.38
  • Kettle BBQ chips – 1.09 x 2 = 2.18
  • Wide egg noodles – 1.09
  • Fresh mozzarella ball – 2.39
  • 1/2 & 1/2 – 1.55
  • Tortillas – 1.99 x 2 = 3.98
  • Organic whole milk plain yogurt – 2.89 x 4 = 11.56
  • Bananas – 2.16

Total Spent in February – $611.21. 

In January, I spent $673.56, so this is surprisingly less than that! However, I know March will be more as I have 1/2 a pasture raised hog on order that I think will be ready in February. Also, I really need to order beef from my farmer so I quit buying it at the store! I much prefer buying meat in bulk by the animal from local farmers who raise them more humanely and sustainably.

Takeaways from February’s Grocery Audit – 

  • I made way too many grocery store stops in February. I need to get better about making a list and a plan and sticking to it!
  • I started making sourdough bread and flour is flipping expensive! I am used to grinding my own flour from wheat berries I buy in bulk. I need to figure out how to make the sourdough with freshly missed flour and see how it tastes!
  • Need to call my beef farmer!
  • We save money by paying attention to what’s in season. In the winter, avocados, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, mandarins, are cheaper than apples etc. You can save money by paying attention to what’s in season too!
  • Coffee! I just realized I rarely have coffee on here, but we drink lots of coffee. Dan has a subscription to a coffee roaster and I never see the bills.
  • Need to find a good paleo granola recipe. I’m not paleo, but I love the granola with all the twigs and berries as my husband says. Do you have a good granola recipe? Send me a link!

Top 6 Budget Family Meals

Okay – so I also promised a list of our Top 6 budget friendly family meals that help us eat cheaper, so here are some of our favorite meals a long with a few tips I use to make them stretch.

  1. Tacos – our family loves tacos. I made a huge pot of taco meat that includes lots of beans. Not only are beans a good source of fiber, but they’re also filling, cheap, and help stretch the meat.
  2. Taco soup is another one of my kids’ favorite meals. It also uses beans and my time saving big batch homemade taco seasoning.
  3. Beans and rice. I made a lot of beans in the instant pot. It’s quick and easy, you don’t even have to soak them!
  4. Chicken Noodle Soup – if you’re following on social media, you know that the flu made its way through 3 of my kids this month. Luckily, the other 3 of us remained unscathed. One thing I always do when someone is sick is make a healing pot of homemade chicken soup from chickens I raise myself. It’s easy in the Instant Pot!
  5. Recipes using shredded chicken that I get by cooking whole frozen chickens in the Instant Pot! It’s so easy and after the chicken has been shredded I use the bones to make healing chicken stock too.
  6. Beef Stroganoff – added mushrooms are another great way to stretch ground beef and my family loves this easy and satisfying beef stroganoff recipe. It’s also easy to double or quadruple this recipe and put away meals in the freezer too.

How’d you do on your budget in February? What are your biggest struggles to create healthy meals on a budget?

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