Please leave comments on what you do to save money at the grocery store, or feel free to ask me questions!
I have always liked the grocery store- I don’t always like what I hear at the checkout though. Lately I have been leaving the grocery store with the biggest sense of accomplishment! I love it! Why do I feel so accomplished? Because Will and I have been doing an amazing job of eating really well, but not spending money like we do.
It’s hard work. But it feels so good!
Today for instance, I came away from the grocery store having spent $49.52. But here is what I bought:
- 2 bunches of green onions
- 4 packs of strawberries
- 8 ears of corn on the cob
- 10 yogurt cups (yoplait, not the off brand)
- a bag of lemons
- a loaf of bread
- brown sugar
- chocolate chips
- cocoa powder
- paper towels
- 2 cans of baked beans
- 18 Large eggs
- a pot roast, and
- 2 steaks
Yeah I know. It’s an impressive score for a newbie wife. And you don’t blame me for feeling totally awesome after leaving the grocery store.
See, Will and I recently revised our budget and decided to try to cut our grocery budget down. Our goal is to spend $200/month at the grocery store. If possible we try to have that number include things like shampoo, body wash, laundry soap, ect.
It all starts with a plan. You have to plan out what you are going to be eating. The way we do this now wasn’t possible for us until a couple of months ago when we got a chest freezer. Before we could only hold enough refrigerated/frozen food for maybe 2 weeks (even less since our wedding cake was taking up 20% of our teeny freezer). Now that we have Chester (I just decided that it’s name) out in the mud room we can stock up on meat when it goes on sale, freeze it, and build the following month’s menu off of the meat that we have stock piled in the Chest.
Month #1 was April; we did it! Actually we only spent $195. =)
So here is how we accomplish it:
- Make a menu and try to stick to it
- Don’t over eat
- eat leftovers
- use the crockpot
- clip coupons
- look for the “manager’s special”/marked down items
- side items like rice or potatoes
- don’t be afraid to use the off brand
For starters, when making the menu, try to make dishes that have overlapping ingredients. For example, pick dishes that use the same fresh vegetables. That way you don’t end up with a bunch of half used, rotting bunches of vegetables in your fridge.
This menu doesn’t have breakfast and lunch on it because breakfast is a rather unvarying routine that we are used to keeping eggs, and toaster strudel on hand for. Lunch is usually leftovers for Will and yogurt, fruit and granola bars for me. We also keep a pantry pretty well stocked for baking. All that being said you might think that $200 a month for two people is impossible, but honestly we could eat even cheaper if we had to… life just wouldn’t be nearly as yummy.
Check out the Kitchen Adventures page of our blog for some of our favorite recipes!
Here is what the original Menu looked like:
Some of the changes were due to having leftovers. Some were scheduling issues. Others were we just really didn’t feel like eating what was on the menu so we made something different. The thing about making something different is that we would always stick with the same ingredients that we had on hand, so that while the menu changed we didn’t have to spend any extra money.
I watch the Kroger add a lot. If something that we use frequently is going to be on a big sale then I stock up and freeze it if possible. I also clip coupons from the internet, from Will’s Mom’s Sunday paper, and Kroger offers digital coupons as well.
When it comes time to make the grocery list, I know about how much most items that we buy cost, so I am able to make a grocery list each week that adds up to just about $50, or however much we have budgeted.
Something else truly wonderful that I have learned is that when you make a meal in the crockpot, it goes so much further. I think it is because most of the time you end up shredding the meat (which stretches it so much further), you serve it over rice (which is filling), or there is a lot of liquid involved (which is also very filling).
I plan on gradually posting the recipes for some of this food. The problem is we don’t normally take pictures. So bear with me patiently.
Here is what May’s menu is supposed to look like: