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Branny’s Budget

…because you know you’re nosy.


  1. No coupons.  They don’t make coupons for what we eat.  WEird.
  2. We live in a medium to high-cost-of-living area.  We eat out for dinner at a nice restaurant 1x weekly.
  3. I will shop at 3 grocery stores in one day to get the best price – and the Omnivore and I share a car, so we both give and take to accomplish this one.  If we can handle it, so can you.
  4. I buy grains and beans in bulk, but not at Warehouse stores.  So, I buy the largest size of things at your grocery store.  I do not buy meat in bulk.  But I will stock up when it is on sale.
  5. I am obsessed with oatmeal and eat it every day for breakfast and sometimes as a midday snack.  The Omnivore rarely eats breakfast and if he does, it is a fruit smoothie.
  6. Lunches are generally leftovers from dinner the night before OR a large batch of couscous-salad or something similar prepared early in the week for lunches later on.
  7. We have a vegetable garden; however, it is currently only producing lettuce.
  8. The Omnivore does indeed crave things like Breyer’s Ice Cream and Cape Cod potato chips and Cheez-its.  And I buy them.  He works too hard to deny that craving.
  9. No alcohol, Omnivore drinks bottled water (I drink tap), Fresca, and tea.
  10. Budgets are a regressive thing and what I post may not correlate 1:1 with what we are eating that week.  Follow the trend.
  11. I blog the vegetarian meals I eat; many times the Omnivore is enjoying a carnivorous main dish in lieu or what I’m blogging or has added meat to his portion.  He eats a fully vegetarian meal 3 nights a week.

We’ve been on vacation, but now we’re back in action.

For the week of August 15th:

Store 1
Seedless Raisins, $2.72
1 doz eggs, $.78
1 doz eggs, $.78
Green Beans $0.86
Lettuce, $1.29
Scallions $0.50
Crushed tomatoes, 28 oz, $1.58
Whole tomatoes, 28 oz, $1.58
Frozen corn, $1.77
Stewed tomatoes, $0.89
Olives, $0.84
Olives, $0.84
White canned tuna, $1.12
White canned tuna, $1.12
Creamed corn $0.55
Total + tax: 17.56

Store 2
Cornmeal $2.42
Wheat flour $2.78
Radishes, $0.88
Beets, $2.24
Eggplant, $1.00
Puffed wheat cereal, $1.00
Cape cod chips, $2.50
Dried chick peas $1.36
Total + Tax: $14.46

Store 3
Refried beans $0.69
Mandarin Oranges $0.45
Lt Fruit Cocktail $0.85
Lt Fruit Cocktail $0.85
Tomato paste $0.39
Quick Oats $1.79
Rice side $0.89
Zucchini $1.69
carrots $1.19
half & half $1.99
Cottage Cheese $1.99
English Muffins $0.99
32 oz Yogurt $1.59
Peanut Butter $1.29
5 lb potatoes $2.29
Sharp Cheddar $1.29
3 lb apples, $2.69
3 lb apples, $2.69
onions, 3 lb, $1.29
Total + tax: $28.64

Total Grocery Expenditure: $60.66

For the week of August 2nd:

Store 1
Bottled Water $2.99
Cottage Cheese $1.99
Half & Half $1.99
eggs $0.69
eggs $0.69
Tomatoes $1.99
Onions $1.69
Gala Apples $2.69

Total + Tax: $15.01

Store 2
Ground round $2.71
Avocados, 2 $1.96
Dried black beans $1.68
Black eyed peas $0.98
Pinto beans $0.83
Lima Beans $1.25
Lettuce $1.29
Scallions $0.50
Grapes $0.95
Eggplants $1.58
Crushed Tomatoes $1.58
Olives $.78

Total + tax: $20.31

Store 3
White American Cheese, deli $1.60
Ricotta cheese $2.39
total + Tax: $4.10

Total Grocery Expenditure: $39.46

Gap in recent budget posts due to vacation/the Omnivore being out of town and me eating out of pantry staples, etc.

Budget for the week of July 25th

Store 1
Baking Spray: $2.25
Olive oil spray: $1.89
Shoulder roast: $5.88
Gummi Worms: $1.48
Portabella Mushrooms: $1.98
Lettuce: $1.29
F/F refried beans: $.76
Cherries: $1.62
Honey Bunches of Oats: $1.00
Sweet n Low: $4.37
Tax + total: $23.04

Store 2
100% juice: $2.19
100% juice: $2.19
32.4 oz Coffee: $4.99
Brown Sugar: $1.24
Pineapple: $0.89
Canned Apricots: $0.99
3# apples: $2.69
Celery: $1.29
Dark Chocolate Bar: $1.69
Half n Half: $1.99
Cottage Cheese: $1.99
Stewed tomatoes: $0.49
Green Peppers: $1.69
Okra: $0.99
Large eggs, 12: $0.59
Large eggs, 12: $0.59
Mac and Cheese: $0.35
Pasta side: $0.66
Walnuts: $4.99
32 oz Yogurt: $1.59
Oats: $1.79

Total + tax: $36.86

Store 3
12 cans Tropicana: $2.50
Fruit rolls ups: $1.98
Brown Rice: $1.84
Fresca: $3.88
Tomatoes: $0.87
Diced tomatoes: $0.54
Deli Cheese: $1.69
Carrots: $0.88
Wasabi: $1.98
Sushi nori: $2.32
Rice vinegar: $1.50
Water chesnuts: $0.72
Rye bread: $2.32
Sun chips: $.3.28

Total + tax: $28.74

Total + tax: $88.64

For the Week of July 5th:

Store 1
Fresca $3.98
Dry chick peas $1.18
Famous Amos Cookies $2.98
Cake Flour $2.34
Natural Peanut Butter $1.98
Pure Maple Syrup $6.88
3# Granny Smith Apples $3.47
Nectarines, 4, $1.56
18 eggs $1.46
Total + tax: $26.54

Store 2
1/2 Gal half n half $3.78
48 oz bacon, thick sliced, $7.38
1/2 Gal Whole Milk $1.48
Plain Yogurt $1.48
Lemon Extract $1.75
10x Pwd Sugar $1.43
Lemon $0.39
5 ears corn $1.00
Tomatoes, roma $0.57
Fresh Green Beans, $1.03
Bananas $0.66
3 lb yellow onion $1.69
Soy Sauce $.149
I was charged $0.39 for a mystery onion that I did not purchase.  Oh well.

Total + Tax: 25.80

Total Grocery Expenditure: 52.34

Meal Plan:
Sunday: Corn on the cob with green beans and a chicken breast for the Omnivore, fake chik’n patty for me
Monday: Burritos
Tuesday: Enchiladas
Wednesday: Out ?
Thursday: Crockpot lentils and peas
Friday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

For the week of June 27th:

Store 1:

Boneless, skinless, chicken breast @ $1.87 lb
Cheddar cheese: $2.28
7 up: $3.97
Olives: $0.78
Parsley: $0.59
Lettuce: $1.29
Canteloupe, 2, $1.00
Scallions: $0.50
Tortilla flour: $0.99
Total + Tax: $17.64

Store 2:

Wheat Flour: $2.78
Bread flour: $2.14
Oreos: $2.78
Brownie Mix: $1.oo
Pillsbury Yellow Cake mix: $0.88
Frosting: $1.26
Napa Cabbage ($2.75lb): $3.25
Brussels Sprouts: $2.88
Total + tax: $16.76

Store 3

35 oz ground coffee: $4.99
Pork Tenderloin: $4.99
5 lb red potatoes: $2.69
4 zucchini: $1.69
AP flour: $1.69
Whole Wheat Pasta: $1.09
Whole Wheat Pasta: $1.09
Roasted almonds: $3.49
Oranges: $2.89
Cottage Cheese: $1.99
Plastic wrap: $1.29
Oats: $1.79
3 lbs apples: $2.69
24 eggs: $1.18
Elbow macaroni: $1.69
Total + tax: $36.01

Total Grocery Expenditure: $70.41
This is more than my weekly avg of $60.00, but the previous weeks have been low, and I stocked up on boneless skinless chicken and a pork tenderloin as well as pantry staples such as ww flour, ap flour, and bread flour.

Sunday: Grilled pork tenderloin, grilled brussells sprouts, tomato and cucumber salad (from garden), mashed potatoes
Monday: Basil Parsley Pesto Pasta with zucchini and chick peas for me and pork tenderloin for the Omnivore
Tuesday: basil-parsley-pesto potatoes, side salad and brats for the Omnivore.  I had a dinner salad loaded with chick peas, cheese, almonds, tomatoes, cukes…
Wednesday: the Omnivore ate a chicken salad wrap that I snagged from a catered event with pasta salad and chips; I ate a napa cabbage salad with chik’n apple sausages
Thursday: Loaded baked potatoes
Friday: Orange Vegetable Stir Fry with rice noodles

For the Week of June 20th

Store 1
3 lbs apples, $2.69
Avocado, $0.95
Plums, $0.39
Plums, $0.39
Nectarines, $0.39
Nectarines, $0.39
3 ct Green Peppers, $1.69
Broccoli Crowns $1.49
Celery $1.29
Onions, 3 lb, $1.69
8 qt dry milk (for baking) $4.99
Instant Potato Flakes (baking!), $1.29
Pwd Sugar, $1.19
Garlic $0.69
32 plain yogurt, $1.59
12 eggs, $0.99 (this price has gone up)
100 % juice, $2.19
half & half, $1.99
Semi Sweet Choco Chips $1.49
Chicken-alfredo-side dish (for Omnivore) ) $0.66
Chicken-alfredo-side dish (for Omnivore) ) $0.66
Total + tax = $29.15

Store 2
Honey Bunches of Oats, $2.98
Kale, $0.98
Deli Cheese, $2.44
1 lb organic carrots, $0.88
Milk, $1.98
Total + tax = $9.45

Store 3
Sirloin Fillets, $.2.52
Green Beans, $1.00
Unsalted butter, $2.68
Unsalted butter, $2.68
Green Onions, $0.50
2 lbs bananas, $0.67
Frozen peas $1.85
Frozen corn $1.85
Old El Paso Taco shells, $1.65
Total + tax = $15.71

Total Expenditure: $54.31

Menu plan
Saturday: Grilled steak with balsamic greens beans and tomatoes, potatoes.  Quinoa with grilled zucchini and eggs with avocado dressing
Sunday: Pretzel chicken with steamed green beans and confetti rice
Monday: Lentils tagine with cheesy broccoli quinoa
Tuesday: Out
Wednesday: Av0cado pasta salad, H had grilled chicken and I totally forgot what protein side I had.
Thursday: Um, I don’t remember.  But we definitely didn’t go out to eat.
Friday: Creamy texmex stir fry with blackbeans over rice, H added chicken to his

For the Week of June 13th:

I was very disappointed this week.  I made a special trip to Trader Joe’s hoping for the best, but I was rather disappointed.  Anyway, as a result of that trip, I could not do my usual grocery shopping at my favorite 3 stores.  I cringed as the cashier rang up these week’s items since I KNOW I could have gotten them more cheaply.

Store 1
Pork Brats $3.75
Crumbled Gorgonzola $3.29
Ciabatta $1.99
Whole wheat cous cous (2 boxes) $3.98
Dijon mustard $1.69
Toasted sesame oil $2.29
Total + tax: $17.33

Store 2
3# granny smith apples $2.50
3# granny smith apples $2.50
Cereal, Honey Bunches $2.56
Eggs, 18 $1.78
Pear $0.66
Bananas $0.78
LF Cottage Cheese $2.12
Milk $1.98
Chunk Cheddar Cheese $2.00
Fruit Cocktail $1.00
Chunk Pineapple $0.93
Red Fat Ruffles $3.50
Roasted Red Bell Peppers $2.76
Salsa $1.98
FF Evap Milk $0.88
Oats $2.28
Cherry Tomatoes $2.50
Green Beans $0.91
Zucchini $1.03
Cucumber $0.75
Total + Tax: $35.40

Total Grocery Expenditure: $52.73

Saturday: The Omnivore had brats on ciabatta with roasted red peppers, chips, side salad.  I had this sandwich and a side salad.
Sunday: Basic lentils with a cucumber yogurt sauce, potato salad, side salads.
Monday: Basil kofta and grilled chicken, steamed green beans, potato salad, side salads
Tuesday: Homemade pizza and side salads
Wednesday: Pasta salad with grilled chicken for H over greens
Thursday: Kielbasa with potatoes and cream of celery soup in the crock for H; leftover pasta salad for me
Friday: out

For the Week of June 6th:

Store 1
Whole wheat bread, no HFCS: $1.97
White american deli cheese: $2.49
kale: $0.98
Total+ Tax: $5.87

Store 2
Green cabbage @ $0.33/lb: $0.91
6 bananas: $0.94
White Corn, 3: $0.66
Half babyback ribs: $3.00
Olive oil spray: $1.89
Tyson Frozen Chicken Breast Patties: $5.58
Mushrooms: $1.49
100% Grape Juice: $2.17
Total + Tax: $16.98

Store 3
6 lb naval oranges: $2.89
32 oz plain Yogurt: $1.59
100% fruit juice punch: $2.19
1 doz eggs: $0.59
1 doz eggs: $0.59
5 lb new potatoes: $2.69
Chunk Pineapple: $0.89
Canned Fruit cocktail: $0.85
Canned peaches: $1.49
5 lb sugar: $2.19
6 on the vine tomatoes: $1.99
AP Flour: $1.69
5 lb onions: $1.69
Celery: $1.29
3 green peppers: $1.29
Whole Bean Coffee: $3.99
European Chocolate: $1.89
Total + Tax: 30.68

Total grocery expenditure: $53.52

From the garden this week, we’ll have lettuce and 1 cucumber.  Side dishes will consist of side salads, potatoes, sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms.  I’m planning on making chicken kabobs and the Omnivore is having baby back ribs tonight.

Sunday night: Kabobs with rice and side salads.  H had chicken kabobs
Monday night: Sour cream potatoes with cabbage and white bean tomato stew.
Tuesday night: Cream cheese chicken for the Omnivore, side salads, cabbage.  I had indian spiced kale greens, potatoes, and white beans.
Wednesday night: Indian spiced lentils stuffed in cabbage leaves (on bread for the Omnivore) with bulgar pilaf
Thursday: OUT
Friday: Breakfast stuffed peppers and waffles

For the week of May 30th:

Store 1
Chunk pineapple $0.89
Cashew Halves $2.19
Citrus fruit (canned) $0.79
Frozen Fruit Bars $1.99
Mini Pretzels $1.29
Broccoli crowns $1.59
3 lbs of apples $2.69
3 lbs of apples, AGAIN, $2.69
1 doz eggs $0.59
1 doz eggs $0.59
Zucchini $1.69
Avocados $0.95
Avocados $0.95
Dark chocolate bar $1.69
total + tax: $21.29

Store 2
Kale $0.98
beef sausage $2.00
beef sausage $2.00
Half n Half $1.79
Half n Half $1.79
Cottage Cheese $2.12
Light Sour Cream $1.00
Dry chick peas $1.18
Fresca, 12 pk $3.98
total + tax = $17.96

Store 3
I lost the receipt so itemized stuff will be hard, but the total + tax was $4.71, here is what I got:
Sliced olives
6 bananas
2 kiwi
8 oz Neufchatel cheese
3 tomatoes on the vine
4 sticks of margarine
total grocery expenditure: $43.96

Saturday: I had a bowl of fruit with cottage cheese for breakfast.  Sprinkle of granola.  H had toast and bacon.  Lunch is going to be egg and avocado salad in pita pockets.  Dinner will be a ribeye for H, kale greens, warm butternut salad with chickpeas.
Sunday: Omni had a pita with eggs and cheese for breakfast.  I had my usual.  I also had an apple with cottage cheese for a snack.  I had avocado egg salad for lunch.  For dinner, I took leftovers from Saturday (butternut squash salad) and added a sliced zucchini and whole wheat pasta for a main course.  For the ‘Vore, I cooked a chicken breast, and made a lemon-dill cream sauce with diced tomatoes for him to enjoy over wheat pasta.
Monday: I made a loaf of compromise bread and some hoagie rolls.  For lunch, H had a peanut butter sandwich.  I had sauteed zucchini and a fried egg (you should know what I had for breakfast by now!) and a slice of bread.  The Omnivore had a turkey meatball grinder for dinner and I had sauteed kale with a vegan sausage and more bread.  Mmm carbs.
Tuesday: For lunch, the Omnivore reports having toast with cream cheese and a hashbrown.  For dinner, he had another meatball grinder because they were *that* delicious.  I had broccoli, chick peas, and onions in a tomato sauce for dinner.  We both had side salads.
Wednesday: Out
Beets, side salads, sour cream noodles, I had kale and chickpeas, the Omnivore had smoked sausage.
Friday: Giant salads full of olives, beets, onions, cucumbers, almonds, cheese, – Omnivore added chicken, I added one of my fake chicken patties, grilled.

For the Week of May 23rd – as the week progresses, I will update with what we eat.  Obviously, we have a fully stocked freezer and pantry, so no crying “fowl” if chicken shows up on the menu but you don’t see it listed below.

Store 1
1 dozen eggs $0.59
1 dozen eggs $0.59
3 lbs Fuji apples $2.69
Total + tax: $3.95

Store 2
Tahini $5.99
Vital What Gluten $3.79
Organic raw buckwheat $0.99
Total + tax: $10.99

Store 3
Potato chips (Cape Cod, reduced fat) $2.60
Carrots, 2lbs $1.66
Sliced deli cheese (Land o Lakes) $1.84
Waterchestnuts $0.72
Total + tax: $7.11

Store 4
Green Onions $0.50
Cottage Cheese, 1% 16oz $2.18
Tomatoes $1.89
Butternut Squash $2.02
Breyer’s Ice cream $2.50
Bananas $0.73
Ground Turkey, 20 oz, $1.69
Cucumber, $0.44
Half n Half, $3.78
Total + tax: $16.04

Total Spent: $38.09

Saturday night: Lettuce wraps.  The omnivore had ground turkey in his batch.
Omnivore had a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on an english muffin for breakfast.  I had oatmeal.  I made a cold salad out of sugar snap peas, lima beans, scallions, and mandarin oranges for lunch.  Omnivore ate peanut butter sandwich for lunch.  I ate a bowl of fresh fruit with cottage cheese and granola sprinkled on top.  I baked this bread for lunches through the week and tried a new chocolate chip recipe for snacks.  For dinner, omnivore had a version of this but with more veggies.
: Had delicious black beans and lemon herb rice for dinner.  The Omnivore put his portion into a burrito: IMGP3609Blog update to come.
: Out to eat.
Thursday: Calzones (made previously and frozen, sausage for him, pineapple for her) and salads
Friday: Homemade pita bread (blog update to come); greek style turkey burger for H (made previously and frozen while raw) with potato chips; chikn patty for me.
Various snacks: boiled eggs, celery sticks, carrot sticks, fruit salad, popcorn, etc.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. sherrilee permalink
    May 23, 2009 8:02 pm

    this is great!! I’ll be checking this a lot 🙂 Any other money saving tips you can think of would be great!!

  2. lee malerich permalink
    May 24, 2009 9:30 am

    omg! is this new? branny is now an eccentric martha stewart!

    can you do this if you were working forty hours?

    i will be checking too.

  3. June 10, 2009 7:37 pm

    Just looking at our own grocery budget…interesting to look at others! Thanks for sharing–because you’re right, we’re nosy:)

  4. Laura permalink
    June 21, 2009 8:06 pm

    Hi, I noticed you were in Charlotte (so am I) … what are the three stores you use??? Thank you so much for keeping this up to date. I love it!

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      June 21, 2009 8:24 pm

      I shop at Aldi, Bottom Dollar, and Wal-Mart 🙂

  5. September 26, 2010 6:46 pm

    Love your blog, but I cringed when I read this. “He works to hard too deny that craving.”

    Sorry, the English major in me. It should be ” He works TOO hard TO deny that craving.”

    I’m impressed by your budget.

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      September 26, 2010 6:48 pm

      Thanks. That kills me too. I can’t believe I did that.

      • September 27, 2010 8:57 am

        Glad you didn’t take offense 😉 Sometimes I make stupid mistakes like that too! Enjoy your day!

  6. Jennifer permalink
    September 28, 2010 1:43 pm

    Have you ever accounted for all the following (while you go shopping @ 3 different stores)
    Gas…Both to and From
    Wear and Tear on your car…..Both to and From
    Mileage on your car……Both to and From

    That cost alone would be a good dinner at Ruth Chris Steakhouse….

    • brannyboilsover permalink*
      September 28, 2010 1:46 pm

      Lol. The stores are literally within 1.25 miles of each other. And I drive a hybrid, so I can barely get up the speed to use gas during those trips. Time? I probably spend 1.5 hours or so, but it is worth the savings (of probably $30). Thanks for the brainstorming, though.

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