If you remember my last grocery post, I had $17 left for this week’s groceries! So I sat down Saturday night and went through my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I made a menu list based on what we had the best I could. I then went through the grocery ads, which we do every week, and looked for items I had on my grocery list and items (mostly produce) that we might want. I wrote down the price next to the items so I could price match at Walmart. I was in luck this week because I found a lot of my items on sale, so needless to say I price matched many items at the store. I love/hate doing this. Love it because it saves money! Hate it because it’s annoying to customers in line and probably the Walmart employee.
I have 3 tricks to ease this hate: 1). Pick a nice, friendly looking cashier (I know a couple so I always look for them). 2). Go early Sunday morning – this is the best time to go because not many people are there and it’s fully stocked (no, we’re not heathens…we go to church on Saturday night). 3). Write them down in an organized list so you can quickly tell the cashier when she’s scanning – I even keep these items in a separate place in cart and put them on the belt first, so I can do them all at once. That way I can bag my groceries and not forget to price match. Another hint – get behind someone so you aren’t loading your groceries onto the belt while also trying to tell the cashier prices.
I worked hard on Saturday night to really use ingredients we already had (which was a lot) and keep our list minimal. I knew it would be over $17, but I wanted it as close to that amount as possible for a weekly grocery list.
Breakfast: Banana/Cinnamon Fiber Muffins, Protein Smoothie, Oatmeal, Toast/Eggs
Lunch: PBJ, Egg Salad, Protein Smoothie, Tuna with crackers
Monday – Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Tuesday – Ryan, leftovers; Olivia, MNO!
Wednesday – Catfish, Okra, Rice
Thursday – Spaghetti & Salad
Friday – Crockpot BBQ Chicken, Corn on Cob, Cheddar Biscuits
Saturday – Pizza Calzones & Salad
Sunday – Breakfast (eggs, hash browns, and either cinnamon toast or biscuits)
Here is the printable copy of our menu, ingredient list for each meal, and grocery list. The crossed off items, were not there or we need to get them elsewhere, so we’ll probably add another $2 to our budget.
Let me just say Walmart was not my best friend today. I got started late so there were a little bit more people there and they didn’t have lettuce….not one thing of lettuce…of any kind. It was weird. And on top of that, they don’t price match on items by quantity if they are sold by pounds at Walmart. For example, Albertson’s was selling their pears for .25 each, but Walmart won’t match it since they sell it by pounds. Could’ve paid $1.25 for 5 pears, but paid $2.57…ugh, but not worth the drive. Overall though, I still paid less for my groceries than if I visited any other store.
This week I spent $50.84. Added to last week’s $263.68 budget, our total grocery budget for September was $314.52. We originally budgeted $280 for the month. So we were over budget by $34.52.
TO SUM UP MY EXPERIMENT AND WHAT I LEARNED:
My experiment was to see if I typed out and organized my grocery list and kept organized with my weekly menu, if I would save more. Each week I made a menu and made an ingredient list with an organized grocery list. I also wanted to waste less food. I’m horrible about that, throwing away old produce or looking at items in the pantry or fridge that we never use. You can see my previous posts about grocery saving under my “Finance” tab.
After doing this a month, here is what I WILL DO each month:
-Make a menu
-Organize my grocery list into categories (I’m making a template that I can just jot down items)
-Look at what I have first before I make a menu
-Go through grocery ads and find cheapest price (we’ve always done this and I’ll continue)
-Use coupons if I have time to look
-Set a budget FIRST for the month…well duh, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this
-Shop at Walmart unless there are many items on sale at another store (even then, majority of my shopping will be at Walmart)
-Add my menu choices to an existing long list of “Dinner Ideas” so I can always remember what I liked and what I’ve made (haven’t started this yet)
Here is what I WON’T DO each month:
-Type it out (although I did this mostly for you guys to see)
-Write an ingredient list under each dinner (again this was mostly for you guys. I’ll just write down the items I need under each dinner).
-Buy in bulk (unless non-perishables) – I do not buy in bulk because we do not have a freezer for storage, nor do I like many things frozen and eaten later (besides raw meat and things that come frozen). I’ve tried making “freezer meals/items” and reheating them…my taste buds do not agree!
So I hope y’all were able to find my grocery shopping useful or just use it as a comparison to how you shop! I’ve received some great feedback about saving money in this area for others, so thank you! Groceries is often one of the biggest areas people spend their monthly budget, so doing what I can to keep it low!
My next grocery experiment will be comparing stores item for item! Taking my receipt from Walmart and going into Market Street (since many of my friends go here) and writing down every item I buy to see if the savings are a lot! I love MS and go here often, but not for my major groceries. Thanks again for reading!