Cash Mon€y

My Neighborhood Aldi - everyone rides a bike!

Two months ago, I was the one ahead of you in the checkout line with 10 million coupons, saving 10 million dollars.  Okay, not really, but I was getting tons of stuff free, more than free, or practically free, thanks to Michelle and Jenny.  But here, no such luck exists.

I also used to pay for everything with a credit card.  We somehow managed to be responsible enough to pay it off every month and not carry any balance.  Then we would do a happy dance with all the “free” money we got back in rewards.  Because we have an American credit card, it costs us more to use a card than it does to use cash.  So I did something last week I have never done before: I picked a budget, tracked my spending, and stuck to it.

Lots of people do this all the time.  Just not me.  Ever.  I can’t remember ever paying cash for groceries in the US.  Crazy, huh?

Here’s what €50 bought me – for one week – for four people:

  • French Baguette – 1
  • Bread – 1 loaf
  • Potato Chips – 1 bag
  • Peanut Butter “Cheetos” – 1 bag
  • Popcorn (unpopped) – 1/2 kilo
  • Baking Soda – 1 teeny packet
  • Yogurt – 1 kilo
  • Milk – 2 liters
  • Cheddar Cheese!!!! – 1 small bag
  • Vegetable Oil – 1 liter
  • Rice Milk – 2 liters
  • Soy Yogurt – 1/2 kilo
  • Breakfast Cereal – 1 big box
  • Oats – 1/2 kilo
  • Chicken Breast – 1/2 kilo
  • Turkey Breast – 1/2 kilo
  • Free-range Eggs – 10
  • Turkey Lunch Meat – 1 pkg
  • Sandwich cheese – 1 pkg
  • Salad – 1 bag
  • Organic Carrots – 1 kilo
  • Nectarines – 1 kilo
  • Onions – 1 kilo
  • Bananas – 1 1/4 kilos
  • Red Bell Peppers – 1/2 kilo
  • Apples – 1 kilo
  • Potatoes – 1 kilo
  • Zucchini – 1.5 kilo
  • Kiwi – 1
  • Grape Juice – 1 liter
  • Orange Juice – 1 liter
  • Can of corn – 1
  • Beef bouillon – 1 jar
  • Walnuts – 1/4 kilo
  • Pasta – 1 kilo
  • Fruity Soda* – 1 liter
  • Vanilla Coke* – 1 liter
  • Granola Bars – 8 itty bitty ones
  • Recycled Toilet Paper – 8 rolls

I went to six different stores, two of them twice, for a total of 8 grocery trips.  In a six day period (shops are closed on Sunday).  That is madness.  And so is recycled toilet paper.  I would like to know, is it from recycled paper?  Or is it really recycled toilet paper?  Actually, I don’t want to know.  Nope.  Not even one bit.

* – So here’s a quirk for you.  Almost all bottled drinks (glass or plastic) have a deposit that you have to pay on top of the price of the drink.  For instance the absolutely lusciously delicious made-with-real-bad-for-you-white-sugar Vanilla Coke cost 1 euro.  But, I had to pay 15 cents deposit in addition to the 1 euro.  When I am done sipping my ‘specially scrumptious sugar drink, I then take my empty coke bottle for a ride in my backpack back to the store and put it in a machine that only speaks German and hope I get a little coupon for 15 cents off my next purchase.  Nope, haven’t tried that yet.  I’ll save that adventure for another day.

How’s your grocery shopping?  Do you go to the store every day?  Every other day?  Once a week?  Less than that? If you use a cash system, leave a comment with any advice you have for us newbies.

One thought on “Cash Mon€y

  1. Pingback: Marvel: real,- SWEET « Thrifty Travel Mama

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