Well, this is the final post of the “Getting Groceries Under Control” series in February. All month I menu planned, shopped deals, and recorded all my transactions. My goal was to stay under $400 this month, specifically $360. If you’d like to read each post leading up to this, click on the links below.
Part 1: The Plan
Part 2: Week 1
Part 3: Week 2
Part 4: Week 3
I am starting this week, having spent a total of $322.11 (305.84 + $16.27 we spent during week).
First of all, below is my menu plan for the week:
Sunday: Turkey, Baked Potato, Okra, Corn on Cob
Monday: Goulash, Salad
Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup (use turkey leftovers)
Thursday: Mom’s Night Out (leftovers for Ryan and B)
Saturday: Parents (Ryan gone)
This is my Grocery template I use for each grocery trip. Remember, the highlighted items are at a different store. This really helps me stay organized at the grocery store since it’s divided into sections similar to my grocery store.
This was our Walmart trip. I really didn’t need a whole lot. Some of the items you can tell are “end of the month” items such as a quart sized milk, one paper towel, etc. I used a coupon on the shampoo/conditioner (2.00 off both), as well as the Mott’s applesauce (.75 off) and Mio Fit (1.00 off…Ryan likes those). We had a .50 off coupon for something but I can’t remember what it was. 🙂
Walmart Total Bill = $51.14
I forgot to take pictures of the other trip, but I also went to Sprouts for:
-strawberries (2 @ 3/$5.00)
-blueberries (2 @ 3/$5.00)
-apples (1.2lbs @ $.98/lb)
-dried apple rings (.14lbs @ $5.99/lb)*
*these are a great toddler snack…very affordable since dried apples are light in weight
-organic lollipop (.17)
Sprouts Total Bill = $8.88
We made two mid-week runs totaling $7.19
TOTAL BILL FOR WEEK 4: $67.21
Not bad, but I went a little over budget. I wanted to be as realistic as possible and not deprive myself of everything just to reach $360. I already felt like I was pretty tight with the budget.
TOTAL BUDGET FOR FEBRUARY: $389.32
I’m pretty happy with myself and realize we CAN stay under $400 at least for now, until we have TWO teenage BOYS eating us out of house and home. Some things I learned that will continue to keep our budget low are:
1. Menu Plan – Not sure how people do without this, but it’s key. I like to do mine a week at a time. I’m pretty picky with my food and if I want chocolate cake that week, I’m going to make chocolate cake! I blame Pinterest.
2. Use coupons – Every little one helps, but I would not spend hours cutting or searching for coupons. My husband goes through the magazine we get periodically and cuts out ones that we use. I also like to search coupons.com once I’ve created my grocery list already. Do not buy random items just because you have a coupon. My husband is guilty of this.
3. Shop the store ads before you make your list or dinners. People have asked me if I look at the ads first or make my menu first. I do both, but most of the time, I’ll make my menu first and then look. Most of the ad prices we use are on produce anyway.
4. Shop at my local grocery store that has the cheapest prices for mass produced items. I’ve saved hundreds per year, if not over a thousand, doing this.
5. Stick to my menu plan – I’m bad about this, mainly with lunches. I’m sure you noticed many meals repeated from week to week. Reffing season is always hard since Ryan is not here for dinner…I end up making something easy or eating out. Now that reffing season is basically over, hopefully I will be better about this.
6. Make just enough for that night (unless I want leftovers) – I’m not a huge leftover person. I need to start learning what I can freeze so when I make a recipe, I can freeze half of it. I end up throwing away leftovers!
On a similar note, we received our chicken for ZAYCON FOODS. Check out the link HERE, if you want to know more about it. We bought 40 pounds for $70 something and we are set for quite a while. For most dinners, we use 1 chicken breast between both of us since they’re pretty big and I don’t like a lot of meat. We had to trim all 40 pounds and package them individually. This will make it easy to grab a breast and thaw it during the week.
This was the first night. I cut 16 breasts and we still had 3 bags to go!!!
I forgot to count how many breasts it ended up being, but it was probably close to 32-36. We don’t have a deep freezer…this is in our kitchen freezer.
I hope this series gave you a peek into someone else’s grocery spending/menu planning. Every family is so different in how they eat and what stores are available so I’m sure $360-$400 is a subjective amount. Any tips you use for grocery shopping?
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