Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How we save money grocery shopping

It seems like our once a week shopping is really paying off for us... especially our rule to only spend $50 a week on groceries. It may seem weird to walk the isles with a calculator in my pocket, but that's what we do... and its saves us money because we aren't mindlessly shopping and filling the cart with too much junk and processed foods. We buy enough produce that will be eaten within a week so nothing gets wasted and our $50 allotment for the week helps keep us in line with "treats" or getting something thats a bit pricy. As long as we get the staples on the list and the "extras" keep us under the "weekly" food budget, we are good to go.

As we put something into the shopping cart, I write the price in the corner of my list before I cross it off. We then add everything up before we check out so we know what the damage will be ahead of time. We factor in our coupons and we will take things out of the cart and put them back as needed to make sure we stay under our amount for the week. For instance, this week we decided to skip the Grapnuts cereal because we needed more money for Costco so we could get a 2 lb cheese block and milk this week... and since we already have cereal at home, the pricey "treat cereal" stayed at the store. (I find its also really helpful that I have a spread sheet at home where I enter the price of foods we buy occasionally so I know how much to set aside for those items.)

When we were at Fresh and Easy this week we noticed that they had actually just marked down a lot of ground beef, so we used the sale to stock up and freeze 6lbs (we got it for $1.25 a lb). I have a bunch of rubbermaid containers that we got on black friday for $7 so we seperate our packages into one 1lb sections and freeze them so we can use just enough for us to make dinner and have leftovers for a day or so (which helps us not get bored with what we are eating).

The freezer is currently stocked full of Ground Beef, Chicken Breasts, Pork chops, and a wide variety of frozen veggies. Before my fiance, I was actually very intemidated by frozen veggies because I didn't grow up eating them (so I never really new how to cook them because we always ate take out...) But they are incredible easy to make!!!! I've learned a lot of new things from my fiancĂ©... and that's been a huge part of my savings, learning and trying new things.

Here's what we got this week at the store:
48 oz Potatoes, ($0.98)
32 oz of Carrots, ($0.98)
2 packages of hot dogs, ($1.49 each)
Apple sauce, ($1.59)
3 Cans of Evaporated Milk, ($1.29 each) - fiance likes to have strawberries, sugar, and canned milk together...
Jar of Salsa, ($1.69)
8 oz mushrooms, ($1.79)
1.5 lbs Oranges, ($0.98)
10 ct Tortillas, ($0.98)
16 oz Tomatoes, ($0.98)
16 oz White Bread, ($1.19) - fiance liked his hot dogs on cheep white bread... not hot dog buns
Apple juice, ($1.99)
10 Vanilla Non Fat Yogurts, (10 for $4.00 Special)
2 small cans of Tomato sauce, ($0.39 each)
1 Can of Kidney beans, ($0.79)
1 can of Tuna, ($0.69)
2 Cliff Bars, ($1.15 each)
3 two lb containers of Ground Beef, ($2.49 each- Fresh and Easy Special Markdown)
Jennie-o Smoked turkey Keilbossa, ($3.19)
Herb Crusted Tilapia, ($4.95) How we missed the fish section all these weeks is beyond us!

Total: $44.17, Minus $6.00 coupon = $38.17 (giving us enough money to buy 2 gallons of milk and a 2lb cheese block that we can shred and freeze from Costco.)

With Rising food prices, how do you keep your grocery shopping in line? Coupons, price lists, multiple store shopping, bulk buying at discount stores???

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