Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9- Grocery Budgets, Meal Planning, & Coupons

I dread going to the grocery store each week.  I hate spending so much money.  Back in Virginia we ate out a lot.  Too much.  Since being in Rhode Island and on one income we have really scaled back the eating out.  When we do go out it is usually not something expensive.  However I have been spending a ton at the grocery store.  I have been meal planning and making detailed grocery lists, but I am still spending a ton.  Last week I had 3 coupon fliers and went through them all and cut out one coupon.  There was only one we could use for something we like, will eat, and that was on the meal plan.  I try to grocery shop once a week.  Last week I spent $150 at the grocery store, $16 at BJs, and $12 at the local market. We are a family of 3.   INSANE!!!

I wish we had an extra refrigerator so I could stock up with meat is on sale, but our current freezer is small and I cannot fit too much in it.  I also probably need to be better at shopping sales.

I make breakfast for Chris and Maddie every morning, so that is 7 breakfasts.

They both pack their lunches for work/school so that is 10 lunches.

I eat a lunch at home every day, so that is 5 for me.

Plus snacks to go with lunches and dinners each night.

This is what we did this past week-

Monday- Steak and cheese subs
Tuesday- Greek Style Grilled Chicken Wraps
Wednesday- We went to a new local Mexican place.
Thursday - Spaghetti
Friday- Crock pot Chicken Tacos
Saturday - Madison and I went out of town so we ate out and so did Chris
Sunday - We ordered pizza... thinking they were buy one get one half off, but they weren't.  The good news is Maddie loves taking leftover pizza for lunches during the week.
Here is my plan for next week -

Monday - Grilled Steak & Veggie skewers, baked potatoes, and corn (which I have)
Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas (using leftover chicken from last week) and Mexican rice
Wednesday- Beef Tacos
Thursday- Chicken Italian sausages, baked beans, and macaroni and cheese before a school event
Friday- Subway $5 foot long subs

I would love to be at about $100 or less total each week on groceries!  I stopped at Trader Joes today when we were in Massachusetts and spent $30, so that gives me $70 for the rest of the week.

I am stunned when I saw this lady's grocery budget.  But I am impressed.

I would love to know the size of your family and the amount you spend each week at the grocery store if you don't mind sharing. 


B. Wilson said...

There are just two of us, but I'm a couponer. I use and shop the sales at each store. I don't drive all over town, but I know which store has the best deals for specific items and stock up on those as I'm in the area. Example: TJ's has cheap oatmeal and some freezer items we like. Buy a few at a time and don't go back for awhile. Aldi (you have this? They are cheap without coupons, esp. for meat and dairy) is great for everyday items if you don't want to coupon. I use Target coupons (website) paired with manufacturer's coupons to get great deals there. My local grocery stores have good produce and I buy there. Only buy what's in season. But I have to mention that you spend more because you are making more meat than me. I'm a veggie, so I only make meat for the husband-- which usually consists of adding a chicken breast to a meal 2x/week. He eats vegetarian most nights with me since he gets meat at lunch and prefers a half-veggie diet for health reasons. What you really need is a list of some solidly cheap recipes to make and to stock up on meat. I buy ground meats in bulk and I don't have a big freezer either. I put them in quart-sized ziplocs and smash them down until they're less than an inch thick. They store quite well. Beans, rice, and in general, Mexican food fills our house a lot. It's cheap and my favorite. I spend about $30 a week on groceries, so about $120 a month for 2 of us. That would be higher if there were 3 of course.

I also don't deprive us-- we get all the goodies we love, but I usually stock up on them. My cheetos (yes, I know) were $1.49 on sale and I had coupons for them, so $.99 for a bag of Cheetos. I bought a few so I could have them when I wanted them and not impulse shop.

You like sausage? I know that can be cheap and filling (Johnsonville style) and I love Zatarain's red beans and rice mix. Pair those for a cheap meal!

What a long post. ;) Sorry. Love helping people save money!

Miss M! said...

There are three of us. I don't coupon because I find that most of the coupons available are for processed food we don't buy OR for junk we don't need. I mean, yeah, I can save a buck on a bag of chips, but I'm still spending two I shouldn't, so how is that a savings?

I do shop sales and meal plan around what is on sale in our area that week. I try to use what is in the freezer already, but buy stuff like meat especially when it's on sale to put away for another day. I make most things from scratch and try to not rely on mixes and such because they're full of extra garbage we don't need.

Ooh, but I love me some Oreos.

Anyway, there are three of us and we probably spend $150 - $200 on groceries/household items every two weeks. Some weeks it's at the higher end of that simply because our toddler won't eat fresh produce, but he will eat those pouch baby food things and they are EXPENSIVE!!! Also we have to feed him those Pediasure things so he definitely is making our food budget go up.