Thursday, October 22, 2009

Grocery Intervention

I am keeping it real again..... yes I need a grocery intervention.

I do not claim to be the best frugal grocery shopper, I do my best. Sometimes coupons.... sometimes great deals. It seems more often than not I spend about $150. Well things have to change...

Remember I told you my husband started his own business. So as a new business owner we have a lot of expenses and I have to keep the budget down at home for a while.

This week I am going to Wally-World. Seriously we have the nicest one and it's way better than Kroger. I plan to spend $110. Yes, I know I could do better. Anyone want to come over to my house and do my list and coupon match? It's hard with 3 kids and a hectic schedule.... yes excuses.

  • I make my meal list on the calender. I grocery shop on Friday mornings and meal plan Friday - Thursday.
  • I don't necessarily buy what is on sale I buy what I think sounds good for meals. (In order to stay away from the eating out temptation I have to make foods we crave)
  • Pull out the grocery store ad's and circle items on my list. Almost always find Diet Coke on sale somewhere.
  • My mom gives me all the coupons in her Sunday paper so I go through those for my regular items.
  • I go to and look for online coupons.
  • I check she's got great store match ups and links to coupons.
  • Head to the store armed with snacks for Madeline. I try to get in and out withing 45 minutes otherwise I spend more money.

I've got friends who do the grocery game. I would love to try but I can make 100 excuses... you don't want to hear them.

I would love to hear any of your tricks and tips. I used to love grocery days now it's like laundry I dread it!


Jenny said...

Costco...seriously...we go every other Sunday after church. Stock up on cheese, milk, eggs, and whatever fruit/veggies they have on hand. Then we make the next 2 weeks worth of food from the fresh stuff we got there. EX: Bell peppers are $5 for 10 I think? So we had quesidillas, fajitas, pepper steak etc. That is whats worked for us and kept us sticking to the laid off living lifestyle...otherwise we'd be like many of our friends and up a creek after 6 months laid off:) Saving is good!

Griffith Family said...

If you do the Grocery Game, don't start until you have saved about 3 weeks of coupons at least. Get a binder with the baseball card sleeves so you can categorize your coupons and see them. I know a lady that did it (the grocery game) and was on top of the CVS savings and did well. A lot of people buy when the sale and coupons coincide- which is the grocery game. Kroger is good for this as they triple coupons. Walmart will take your comparison flyers and give you that price too. You probably already know all of this though. The hard part is taking the time to do it! I also like Braum's for some items- cheaper and better and fewer choices.

Melanie said...

I have nothing to offer because I need an intervention too:( I buy whatever I want and that's that. My husband says that he will always be cool and always have food. He doesn't care how much I spend. It is me that it bothers. I can't go into Walmart and not spend $100 or more. Yuck!

Nicole said...

I think you're doing the best you can, other than planning meals around what is on sale. That would be my only additional suggestion. And we have "cheap week" that consists of spaghetti one night, hot dogs/chili dogs an chips one night, hamburger patties with brown gravy and mashed potatoes one night, homemade mac and cheese one night. We can do the whole week for about $25.

Keep at it!

Kristen said...

I think you are doing what most of us are doing, who use coupons. The only part I would add is to buy extra, as many extra as you can, when there are items you know you will use in the next few months than can be stored on a shelf, that are on sale and also have a coupon match. In order to get more coupons, either buy more papers (which I really don't suggest) or go to Ebay and buy coupons for those items only. That way when you want to make spaghetti (or whatever) you already have the sauce and the pasta in your storage so you don't have to buy those items when they aren't on sale.

Anonymous said...

Grocery game all the way forget the excuses. I have been doing it for 4 years and wouldn't grocery shop any other way. Make sure you have coupons saved for 3 to 4 weeks before you do the FREE trial. I get a rubbermaid sweater box and paperclip them by the week in a group - i don't cut all the coupons - i cut it as it appears on the list. I have 3 kids all involved in activites and don't have time to clip everyweek so this works for me. I don't spend more than 130.00 and i am so stock up it is crazy. this includes everyone even the husband bringing lunch everyday you can't beat those savings.

About Us said...

I do basically the same thing. I plan our menu for Friday- Thursday including breakfast, lunch, and suppers, and grocery shop on Fridays.....only Fridays (if we run out of snacks before than, tough luck:)). I shop at a local fruit/veggie market, costco, and walmart. I use coupons but only for the items I would be buying anyway. We eat popcorn EVERY sunday night- my kids love this!! We have a family of 6 that I feed for between $90-$120 / week. Once a month I usually end up spending $150.

Amy said...

I second the grocery game - and be sure to work the CVS/Walgreens system. I've heard of girls never paying for soap and toothpaste for a year by clipping coupons and following drug store sales. Good luck! We are all doing the same!

FalkFamily said...

I have to be honest - I shop for groceries the same way, but I rarely shop for everything at one store. I've been comparing prices, and I do better at Walmart than anywhere else (if I can stay out of the housewares department:)). I usually come out of there for $100.

I always get chips, cheese, soap and laundry detergent at Costco. Chips are like $4.50 for a huge bag. I don't buy the snack sized multi-packs. I come home and portion them out into sandwich bags so when we pack lunches, the bags can just be pulled out. I also like the nature valley granola bars from there, but they come in a 2 pack, so I open those packages and split them into singles - my kids rarely would eat both anyway, so I found they were eating one and tossing the other. Those are like $10 for 90 bars or something crazy. I've had bad luck with their fruit lately - early spoilage and lots of fruit flies!

You're doing great!

Amy said...

Jenny is right - COSTCO. Huge box of Organic Spring Mix lettuce and baby spinach at ridiculously low prices compared to the bags you get at Kroger.
Another saver is my Seal a Meal. I buy in bulk and package, or I make dinners ahead in my Crock-Pot and freeze them using what cuts of meat are really cheap - this week Smith's / Kroger has leg quarters for 79 cents a pound.
Beans are a super meal stretcher, I also plan my meals every week, so no surprises.
We have also given up soda for not only budget or health. I make ice tea in my coffee maker using one quart size bag of decaf tea and three flavored herbal or green tea with two teaspoons of raw sugar. I also slice a cucumber into my water, it's great.

Andria said...

I just stumbled across your blog and thought I'd add my two cents. I'm not sure where you live, but I totally skip the grocery game. I'm a huge fan of Southern Savers (.com)- it's free and it totally breaks down the deals by store at a glance. She even shows you what coupons to use and provides links for all the printables. Her focus is on the Southeastern portion of the U.S., but I imagine that the sales are similar for the national chain stores. You might want to check it out.

The biggest piece of advise I could give you is to stock pile. Really. When you see a REALLY good deal on something (using coupons or not) buy enough of it to last several months (until the next sale cycle). In doing this I have gotten my family weekly grocery bill to under $50. For instance, a couple of weeks ago I took advantage of a Publix sale that allowed me to purchase ground chuck for right at a dollar a pound. I bought a ton of it and won't need more for a long, long time.

Anyway, best of luck to you!

Heather said...

I am going to read through your comments, I need tips too!! I am horrible about reading ads, coupons, etc. I am trying to do better!

bringing up boys said...

I am in the pacific northwest, and I swear to you my family of 5 costs $225 a week to feed! I work for the grocery bill! I am with your last commenter, I read through the comments to glean wisdom from these other ladies (Or gents) I am going to add one place here in the pnw, Bargains only, I get malt-o-meal cereals for only 1.49 per bag. That is about all I get there, but I am going to start looking closer... Thanks for the post, it helped me alot!