$400 Budget Update – 8/4

Our cupboards were pretty bare before I went shopping this week.  Many of our pantry staples were completely gone and other items were in very short supply.  A trip to Costco was necessary in addition to my weekly run to a local chain.  This meant that I spent more than I wanted this week.

I also was overcharged on my apples by almost $3.00 at our local chain this week.  This particular chain is notorious for inaccurate pricing on their signage and in the computerized checkout system.  It may seem silly, but I always walk around that one store with my calculator and keep a running total while shopping.  Then I match it up with the final amount at the register.  I have most of the prices of my grocery items memorized, so it only takes a few seconds to figure out where the problem is.

I am almost never undercharged, but over the last year or two I have been overcharged multiple times.  All to the tune of about $20.00.  This week I was in a hurry and chose not to find the source of the discrepancy when I paid, waiting instead until I got home.  I wish I had taken the time to get my $3.00 back.

If you are new to my weekly budget posts, you can catch the original story here.  This week, I shopped at Costco, Walmart, and one local chain (twice).  I needed to go a second time to get a watermelon for our 4H club’s summer picnic.

When I went to Costco this week, I paid our annual $55.00 membership fee.  Virtually all of our Costco purchases are for food, so we take that fee out of our $400 a month household budget.  We split the fee into five increments, $11.00 each, August through December.  Once a month, for the rest of the calendar year, I will deduct that $11.00 from the budget whether or not I actually make a trip to Costco.

As usual, our weekly menu is written out at the bottom of the post.



  • Almond milk (1.5 gal.), Whole milk (2 gal.), Cheddar cheese (5 lb.), $25.23 after Ibotta rebate
  • Tortilla chips (3 lb.), Kettle chips (2 lb.), Veggie straws (25 oz.), Raisins (4.5 lb.), Yeast (2 lb.), Flour (25 lb.), $31.54
  • Annual membership, $11.00
  • Total: $67.77



  • Corn chips (10 oz.), Gluten free pretzels (8 oz.), Gluten free bread (14.1 oz), $8.40 after Ibotta rebates
  • Turkey (16 oz.), Granola bars (7.4 oz.), $6.17 after Ibotta rebate
  • Total: $14.57

Local Chain (Trip #1):


  • Herbal tea (1.7 oz.), Baked beans (56 oz.), Potato chips (20.5 oz.), Pickles (4 lb.), Gluten free pasta (12 oz.), Ketchup (38 oz.), Salad dressing (60 oz.), Macaroni & cheese (7.25 oz.), Tortillas (2 lb.), Licorice (1 lb.), $22.60
  • Apples (2.43 lb.), Potatoes (5 lb.), Lettuce (2), Pears (1.98 lb.), Peaches (2.1 lb.), Watermelon (1), $21.58
  • Whole milk (1 gal.), Eggs (1.5 doz.), Almond milk (0.5 gal.), Gluten free bread (36 oz.), $16.34
  • Total: $60.52

Local Chain (Trip #2):


  • Watermelon (1), $3.98
  • Total: $3.98

Grand Total: $146.84

Budget Remaining: $253.16

Ouch.  That is a weekly total that hurts me.  We will work on making up for it the rest of the month.  As long as I get back in the habit of baking from scratch, we should be fine.


Homemade Baked Oatmeal, yogurt, toast, eggs, pancakes, bacon, fruit


Burritos, sandwiches, quesadillas, beans & noodles, Homemade Mac & Cheese, fruits & veggies


Hamburger gravy over potatoes, lettuce salad

Chicken pasta salad, melon, lettuce salad

Hamburgers on Homemade Buns, French fries, lettuce salad

Rice & beans, lettuce salad

Homemade pizza, lettuce salad

Chicken tacos, corn

4H Picnic

Do you keep track of your purchase total to avoid getting overcharged?  Let me know your strategies in an email or comment below!