Sunday, March 22, 2009

Saving money at the Grocery store!

If you are visiting my site for the first time- WELCOME!

I am a real everyday house-mama who is trying hard to save money, time and sanity! I post recipes, bargains, real life stories and crafts /activities for the kidlets. Many of my readers has been asking me how I save so much money grocery shopping so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you how I grocery shop.

I used to go to the grocery store and pick things off the shelf that looked good to me. I never used a coupon. I spent a fortune and got home and had nothing for a complete meal. I ended up going back a couple more times for ingredients that I needed. (Which meant more money!!)

When I decided to stay at home with my baby, I started to menu plan. I would plan out 6 meals ( We have pizza on Fridays) including meat, side dishes and bread. At first the thought of planning a whole weeks meals seemed overwhelming to me. Then I started to see how much time and money it saved me!

Since I had a list of all the ingredients that I needed for that week, I was less tempted to spend on extras. I also had everything I needed for the week, so no more wasted trips! The most wonderful part of the meal planning is the fact that I never opened the fridge and whined to my husband " what are we going to have for dinner?". Many times that whining would lead to going out to eat or eating junky food.

So here is how I do my menu planning. There is no wrong or right. Each person does it differently and you should use what works for you! Here's some tips:

-Shop the ads for the week. (For this example I will be using this weeks Kroger's sales ad.)

- See what corresponding coupons you have. There are some awesome sites such as Stretching a Buck that does the sales ads and coupons for you!

-See what you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. So many times I have enough in my freezer that I do not need to buy meat for a week. I try to take advantage of the B1G1 roasts and the really cheap meat deals so when its not on sale, I won't spend a fortune.

- Use the most of your ingredients. If you have a recipe that calls for carrots try to plan another meal or side dish that uses carrots so there is no waste. ( I hate throwing out food!!)

-Don't buy something just because you have a coupon!!! If you won't use it, then keep movin sister!

- Get the most out of your meats. Butterfly your chicken and you get 2x as much out of it! (Your portion size will be more appropriate as well!) Do a roast and then use the leftover meats for tacos, soups and samwiches.

Here is an example of how you can shop the sales ads and coupons and save a fortune!

I would purchase these items at the store this week:
3 Cheese ( On sale $1)
Tortilla Chips (On sale $1)
Black beans (On sale $1)
Ro-Tel diced tomatoes (On sale $1)
Refried beans (On sale $1- use a coupon and they are .50 each when you buy 2)
2 lbs of Hamburger ( On sale $1.77 a lb)
Sour Cream (On sale $1)
Bread/buns (On sale $1)
Rotisserie chicken (On sale $4.99 -you get 2 meals out of this!)
Carrots (On sale $1)
3 lb bag red skin potatoes (On sale 2.99)
Salad (On sale $2.50)
Pasta ( I buy Kroger brand for .99)
2 Hunts pasta sauce (On sale $1)
4Pillsbury breads(On sale $1- use coupons they end up being .30 - .50 each!)
Pork Roast (On sale $1.79 a lb)
Kroger mac and cheese ( On sale .44)
Green Giant veggies ( On sale $2)
Milk ( I can usually find manager special for .99)

Total grocery bill: $34.27

Meal #1 - Taco salad, re-fried beans
1 lb hamburger ($1.77)
Ro-Tel tomatoes ($1)
Black beans (.50)
Salad ($1.25)
Cheese (.50)
Tortilla Chips (.35)
Sour Cream (.25)
Re-fried Beans (.50)
Total cost of Meal: $6.12

Meal #2- Rotisserie chicken, roasted carrots + red skin potato wedges w/ seasoning, rolls
Rotisserie chicken ( $2.50)
Roasted carrots (.50)
Potato wedges (.99)
Crescent Rolls ($1)
Total cost of Meal: $5

Meal #3 - Pork Roast, Mashed red skin potatoes, mixed veggies
Pork Roast ($1.79)
Red Skin mashed potatoes ($1.50)
Green Giant mixed veggies ($2)
Total cost of Meal: $5.29

Meal #4 - Homemade Chicken noodle soup, Biscuits
Rotisserie chicken ( Boiled in water and seasoned to make broth ) ($2.50)
Carrots (.50)
Celery ( I had leftover from last weeks menu)
Onion ( Also had leftover from last week)
Garlic (Found in my fridge)
Pillsbury Biscuits - (.50)
Total cost of meal: $3.50

Meal #5- Pasta with meat sauce, salad, french bread
Hamburger ($1.77)
Hunts pasta sauce ($2)
Kroger Pasta ( $1)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (.25)
Salad ($1.25)
French Bread (.50)
Total cost of Meal: $6.77

Meal #6 Shredded BBQ pork samwiches, Mac and cheese
Leftover pork from Roast ($1.79)
BBQ sauce ( From my fridge)
Buns ($1) - I can use whats left over for samwiches for lunch
Kroger Mac and cheese (.44)
Total cost of Meal: $3.23

Whew! That was loooooong! I hope it helps in some way to shed some light on my methods of saving money. My hubby used to look at me like I was crazy until I started saving 30 - 50% of my entire grocery bill!

Do you have a helpful tip? Leave a comment to share with others!


Cindy June said...

It is so nice of you to share ways you have saved money with so much detail. Not only are you a great mom you are also a very giving person. Thanks so much!!!

tscrapper said...

Just found this blog, and you have so many great tips! thanks for sharing!

The ADD Housewife said...

WOW! Super information thank you so much for sharing!
Take care =)