It’s a new month and I’m determined to stick to budget. We raised our budget to $360 (from $320) because of an increase in food costs and an increase in Beckham’s needs. So hopefully I can stick to this. This should equate to $90 a week (4 weeks/month). The first run is always a little more because I’ve been “holding out” until a new month to get certain things.
If you remember, last month, I blew our budget by almost $100. Yikes. So to find ways to reduce that without just eating rice and beans each week, I researched a little on shopping at Aldi (a grocery store who advertises the cheapest costs in town). I learned you had to bring (or buy) your own bags, use a quarter to “rent” a cart (you get the quarter back when you return it), they sell mostly Aldi brand (a few items they carry are name brand) and some items you can’t find there at all, not always are they cheaper if another store has a better sale price, and they don’t take credit cards (cash and debit cards only…I’m assuming checks also, but not many people carry those anymore). The last one was a big negative for us. We don’t have a debit card, which means we would have to come prepared with cash. Aldi is about a 15 minute drive for me as well. So, I decided I wasn’t going to go that route just yet. I would still like to shop there once and check it out, but as I mentioned, I obviously need to prepare myself. I’m sure if I did it once and it was part of my routine, it would be fine, but maybe later. People have said great things about saving there, so it must not be that bad.
Needless to say, my goal for cheaper groceries is:
- PLAN, PLAN, PLAN – Meal plan each week, including side dishes, breakfasts, and lunches.
- Shop my home first.
- Shop the store ads – this is key for us.
- Price match at Wal-Mart and shop there FIRST since a lot of their products are cheaper than the sale price elsewhere. I do prefer to buy our meat elsewhere when it’s on sale, which is usually a better buy anyway.
- Find out when stores mark down their meat – this is new for me.
- Waste as little food as possible. I used to be REALLY bad at this, but am much better now.
- Avoid the grocery store during the middle of the week. These trips really kill our budget. If I need something at the store, I’ll ask Ryan to get it on the way home so I don’t “find things we need.” This will be the hardest one for me.
Here’s our MEAL PLAN this week:
Breakfasts: Oatmeal, Toast/Eggs/Turkey Bacon, Egg Sandwich
Lunches: Leftovers, Salad w/ Beans, Sandwiches & chips, Smoothies
Monday – Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tuesday – Sloppy Joes on Toast, Potato salad, Chips
Wednesday – Grilled Chicken (I marinade it in Worcestershire sauce and a spice blend), mac & cheese, broccoli
Thursday – Steak (or Salmon), Baked Potato, Veggie
Friday – Pizza Night
Saturday – Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie, Biscuits
Sunday – Leftovers or Pork Chops
And here is our groceries this week:
After 3 grocery trips, this week’s total came to $106.86. I’m ok with this amount. I got some good items for all that. The next couple trips should be around $80 for me to stick to budget.
Just an FYI, Beckham eats pretty healthy. Most of his meals consist of a meat/protein, veggie, and fruit. He has a cup of milk (Organic Whole Milk) with each meal. Water in between meals. His snacks are usually yogurt, Cuties/fruit, goldfish, peanut butter crackers, smoothies (if I’m having one). I try to feed him what we’re having for dinner, but I can never get it cooked in time (6:00) for him. I’m going to write a post soon about what he eats. I’m ALWAYS looking for things to feed him, so I know some moms will appreciate it.
Have a great week and as always, I love reading your comments about groceries…or just about anything! Oh and I just ordered How To Cut Your Groceries in Half by The Cheapest Family in America. I’ll let you know if I learn anything new.