Stretching a Buck in the Grocery Store

Today I got to do one of my favorite things, grocery shopping! I came away pretty pleased with myself.

stretching-a-buck

This is my shopping for two weeks. We already have a freezer and cupboard full of dinner items, so I mostly bought breakfast, snack, and lunch foods. I stayed under budget and only spent $43 this time. ( our budget is $60 biweekly) I am learning how to shop as we continue to live within a reasonable budget. Here are a few things that help me. I am no extreme coupon-er and I don’t take hours to plan it all out, but I have a few things that help me stay on track with feeding my family. ( consisting of a dog, cat, husband, and baby growing in my belly)

1.) Shop the ADs. Take a few minutes to scan through the weekly ADs that come in the mail (or in your email) to see who has what on sale. Circle items that go with your meal plan or are things you normally would buy.

2.) Shop around. I don’t go to the same store every week. Sometimes Albertson’s is having better sales on what I need than Tom Thumb. Aldi’s and Wal-mart are almost always on the list of places I get everyday items, but the other stores I ride their sales. I’m also not afraid to stop at more than one store. I usually set aside a few hours of an afternoon for my grocery shopping and running errands. I might make a loop hitting up 3 or 4 places. It doesn’t take much more time out of my day.

3.) Stick to the LIST. I always make a list (based off of meal plans). I write down which items I am getting at which store and in order of stops. I even put on there if i need to stop at the bank or library. Having it all in front of me saves time of having to go back out or loop around because I missed a stop. It also helps me stay on track with my budget.

4.) Buy sale items in bulk. I buy toilet paper when it goes on sale in the 24 or 48 count size. It may sit in the pantry for a month, but it is cheaper over all and isn’t going to go bad. Other things that won’t go bad and are great to buy more of if they are on sale is pasta, canned veggies, meat (freeze it), fruit (freeze it), soaps and detergents, etc. This week fruit was on sale at Aldi’s. I bought more than normal and froze half of it for smoothies.

Speaking of buying items in bulk. Here is an awesome list of when things go on sale and when to stock up! (click on the image to go to the list)

grocery-store-sales-cycles

Guess how much this fruit cost me?

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$4.50

That is quite the deal for fresh fruit, so I took half and froze it.

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I also had some apples someone had given us. I peeled, sliced, and soaked in cold salt water before freezing to keep them from getting brown. The berries I rinsed and put into bags. Pineapple I cut into chunks. The bananas I just peeled and froze.

It looks so good I want a smoothie right now 😀

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The other half I portioned out for lunches this week.

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As you can see my freezer is still quite full with made ahead “meals for one” from previous weeks. As well as portioned meats from earlier sales. Buying in larger quantities when possible, helps in the long run.

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Right before the baby comes my plan is to make a bunch of “meals for one” and crock pot freezer meals. The last thing I want with a new baby and house guests is to think about what anyone is eating for dinner. I’ll also be gearing up on dry stock items the few months before.

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