I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now. I want to share with you how I save money at the grocery store.
It seems that every time I go to the grocery store prices have gone up. But we have to eat, right? And I really try to eat healthy. A lot of people think that eating healthy costs more than eating junky. Not true! A bag of brand name potato chips costs more than a bag of apples. An apple will satisfy you longer than a bowl of chips too. Now, I have nothing against eating chips or candy. I have a serious sweet tooth and will knock you down for a piece of chocolate! Moderation is the key. Oops! This isn't about dieting. Got off track there a little bit.
My husband gets paid twice a month, on the 15th and 31st. He has gotten paid this way for most of our married life and I have gotten used to shopping just twice a month. I do pick up things in between the big trips, such as milk, cold cuts, eggs. You get the idea.
The first thing I do in preparation is plan our menus for 2 weeks. I like to know what I am having for dinner each night in advance. I am not one of those people that at 3:00 in the afternoon all of a sudden realize they have to make dinner and have no idea what they are going to prepare. Nope! That's not me! Never has been. I am a planner.
Out come the cookbooks for ideas. You will see by my choices of cookbooks that I'm looking for healthy meals. I LOVE cookbooks and have a LOT of them. I even have ones with not so healthy meals. I really want the Pioneer Woman's cookbook so if any of my family is reading this and needs a gift idea for me................hint, hint. The Hungry Girl one was a Christmas gift from the hubs.
As I choose the meals I write them down on my menu planning sheets. I downloaded my sheet from mommy tracked. It's free.
See, we're eating normal stuff. You will notice that next to the meal I make a note if it's a crock pot meal, the cookbook name and page number of the recipe. Makes it much easier to find when it comes time to cook. Also I need to take the meat out of the freezer the day before so it can thaw in the fridge if it's a crock pot meal. I know this seems like a lot of work, but to me it is worth it in the end.
I always look in our freezer to see what meat we have left for meal planning too. I buy meat when it's on sale so I always have lots in the freezer.
Next, I go through the sale ads, pull coupons and write up a grocery list. This week one of the stores I shop at had two coupons in their ad that they would double a $1.00 coupon. They don't do it all the time, but when they do I totally take advantage of it. Usually they double up to 99 cents, which is still good.
Let's talk about coupons for a minute. I am not one of those crazy TLC extreme couponers, but I do use coupons. I clip them from the Sunday inserts and print them from the internet. Plus, one of the stores I shop at you can add coupons to your store reward card electronically. That way you don't have to clip if you don't want to. I also use Saving Star. If you don't know about Saving Star, it is an online site that links e-coupons from their site to your store loyalty card. It's not the kind of coupon you think. First you have to register with them, then register your store loyalty card. You choose what offers you want, click redeem and that's it until you go shopping. Once you purchase that product, the money goes into your account. You can choose how to have it sent to you. Either by check, deposited into your PayPal account or turned into a gift card from Amazon. For example, recently they offered 40 cents on six Yoplait yogurts. I activated this. My store had them on sale plus I was able to use a manufacturer's coupon in store. The 40 cents went into my account at Saving Star. It's real money. Once you get a minimum of $5.00 you can cash out. Right now I have over $9 in my account. Pretty cool huh?
Okay, now it's time to go shopping. I budget $300.00 for groceries each time. This is feeding three adults. Our son still lives with us. That's $600.00 per month. I rarely go over. Most times I am under budget. I typically go to four stores. BJ's, Wal-Mart, Aldi's and Price Chopper. They are my stores. I can use coupons at all of them except Aldi's. They do not take coupons and you have to bring your own bags and do your own bagging. Their prices more than make up for it as you will soon see. I do take my own bags to Price Chopper too because they give you three cents credit for each bag you bring in. Every little bit helps.
3 lb. Turkey bacon $8.99
36 ct. Pringles Snack Stack $8.99 - $1.00 coupon
3 lb. ground turkey $7.54
4 lb. lean ground beef $14.34
Canadian Bacon (2) 12 oz. pkg. $7.99
Folgers Coffee 48 oz. $12.49
Romaine Lettuce 6 heads $3.99
Bananas 3 lb. $1.49
Total spent: $64.82
2 pkgs. boneless pork loin chops $10.78 (They were buy 1 package, get 1 free)
(2) 18 count large eggs $5.64
(2) Pop-Tarts $4.00
Kellogg's Fiber Bars $2.50
Folgers K-Cups $5.00
Marie's Yogurt Dressing $3.00
Pizza dough $1.00
Alexia frozen french fries $3.00
Shirataki Tofu Noodles $1.99
After coupons and store loyalty card savings I spent $26.63.
(4) 1 gallon bottled water $3.52 (we have a well which has hard water so we use this for our Keurig)
Cotton balls $1.88
Tetley Tea Regular $3.88
Tetley Tea Decaf $2.88
Frozen cauliflower w/ cheese sauce $2.98
Frozen cauliflower $1.38
Frozen green beans $1.08
(2) Toaster Strudel $4.56
Shredded carrots $1.48
Red bell pepper $1.78
Red onion .79
Frank's Red Hot sauce $2.08
Borden cheese slices $2.48
(4) frozen meals $4.00 (husband takes these to work)
(3) Raman Noodle cups .84 (son eats these)
Orange marmalade $2.58
Turkey sausage $1.14
Bar Keeper's Friend cleanser $1.74
Cherry Heart candy $2.48 (that was an impulse buy. I love these!)
Total spent: $52.87
The last store is Aldi. I had to take two photos for this one.
Look at all the produce!
Chicken broth $1.49
(2) Hot Pockets $3.78
1/2 gallon skim milk $1.69
Dill pickle slices $1.69
American cheese singles $1.99
Laughing Cow Cheese wedges $1.29 (actually their own brand)
Heavy whipping cream $1.89
Light sour cream $1.29
Extra Virgin Olive Oil $3.29
Egg substitute $1.89
Shredded Parmesan $1.99
(2) yogurts .78
Light Ranch dressing $1.39
Unsalted butter $2.29
Slivered almonds $2.49
Frozen strawberries $1.99
Frozen blueberries $2.49
Smoked Turkey cold cuts $3.49
Ham cold cuts $3.49
Frozen broccoli florets $1.09
Light shredded mozzarella $2.99
Light shredded cheddar $2.99
Frozen corn .95
Frozen peas .95
3 lb. Golden Delicious apples $2.49
Fresh Pineapple $1.79
3 lb. onions .89
3 lb. navel oranges $1.49
2 lb. carrots .69
(3) cucumbers $1.99
Mini sweet peppers $2.89
(2) Fresh Broccoli $1.98
Fresh garlic .99
(3) Green peppers $1.89
(8) Roma tomatoes $1.79
Fresh spinach $1.89
Bag Salad mix $1.89
100 calorie Sandwich Thins $1.99
Total spent: $78.99
I did also spend about $13.00 for two large packages of boneless chicken breasts at another store. It was on sale for $1.79, which is a fantastic stock up price.
Grand total spent: $236.31 to feed three adults for two weeks! I would say that's pretty darn good. I was way under budget.
You're probably wondering about meat and bread. Like I said before when something is on sale I stock up. I already had meat and fish in the freezer. I also had a couple of loaves of bread, bagels and english muffins too. Most of what I bought at BJ's will last a month. As you can see we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Things like the hot pockets, toaster strudels, raman noodles are for my son. He likes quick things for breakfast and lunches. He's skinny as a rail......go figure. He does have a physical job so I guess he burns it all off.
I didn't need any paper products or laundry supplies either because I have a small stock pile. Again, I buy these when they are on sale.
I realize prices vary depending on where you live. This is what the prices were for that particular week in my area.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how I save at the grocery store. Plus, you got to take a peek at what we eat.
Thanks for visiting.