Thursday, October 7, 2010

Coupons, deals and sales!

About 3 years ago my husband and I read an online article on a family of 4 that was spending $100.00/ week on groceries! yes, you read it right $100!!! and they were eating pretty decent food too. So my husband challenged me based on the article.

Now at first I was a little skeptical, could I do it? would I be able to do this? and most of all interested in showing my hubby that I was up for any challenge and WOULD BE SUCCESFUL AT IT!!

So that said, I began researching first I checked out all our local grocery stores and also membership clubs, coupons from the Sunday paper and online. I shopped each week at a different store to see which DID have the best price and quality. It is important for you to know that my #1 priority besides quality was also to eat fresh cooked meals, yes we do eat out mostly on weekends because that way I get a little break not from cooking but cleaning the kitchen after everyone has eaten the last bite and plus I love certain foods that I have no idea how to prepare at home or have turned out shall we say BURNED? -yes you may laugh here-.

I concluded after my research that unfortunately for fresh produce there are no coupons! it's a little sad considering that we are told to eat healthy foods and from each food group. Families are left to choose based on budget mostly pre-packaged meals that are offered at $1.00 or less! I'm always wondering if Doctors, Politicians, Dietitians have ever been to a super market and gone aisle by aisle taking note of prices and tried for lets just say a month to purchase groceries with the budget of any working class family. We can only hope they'd do this right? I once read that a Politician decided to do so and was he surprised to find out that he can only afford potatoes, apples, pasta, 1 gallon of milk and soda which is sold for less than a $1.00 for a 2 liter bottle when a gallon of milk is sold for $2.59/gallon!  surprising right?

Now let's get back to my family's case, $100/week in groceries could I do it? I DID AND STILL DO! how you ask? well here is a couple of things to take into consideration:

  • Have a checking account where $115.00 are deposited weekly and use ONLY and ONLY for the grocery shopping! that way you will make sure you don't go overbudget. The extra $15.00/week is in case of an emergency. Yes there are emergencies like when certain eggs had salmonella and were on recall and all the grocery stores decided that instead of $1.22 for 18 eggs customers should pay $2.22 for the same amount of eggs! it's true $1.00 whole dollar more!
  • Plan your meals for the week, including snacks. When you plan your meals you can buy ingredients that are included in more than one meal! i.e. Monday meal #1 omelette with toast and juice, meal #2 turkey and swiss sandwich and fruit salad, meal #3 spaguetti and meatballs with iced tea and garden salad. fruit/veggies/pretzels/cheese sticks for snacks.
  • Grocery shop after you've had a meal, because then you are not tempted to make some additions to your list!
  • Review your weekly advertisements from the grocery store to make sure you get more bang for your buck.
  • Shop in bulk when it comes to: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, cleaning supplies. I usually go to my local warehouse/membership only store for these items. Plus it saves me on gas and trip when I'm down to the last roll!
  • Don't buy bottled water! I know it's easy to just grab a bottle and go, but not only are you spending about $3.49 /35 bottles that could be used towards a gallon of milk and some bananas but you are also contributing to pollution! so why not buy a reusable and not to mention trendy water bottle that you can refill from your home and take along with you!
  • If you see that lean ground turkey is on sale at $3.50 / pack and it is not on your list buy it anyways, you can always freeze it for next week!
Now our $100/week budget also includes toiletries, baby jar food and the occasional craving. What our budget doesn't include is diapers, baby wipes and formula.

Finally have fun with this!! try it out as a game for a month and compare to the month before. You will notice the difference and the savings!! This week our grocery bill was only $80! -yay!- and I'm proud of it!


  1. Que interesante lo que escribes, la verdad que se requiere de disciplina y sobre todo que tu pareja tambien apoye la causa.
    Gracias por compartir.
    Good article.

  2. You're welcome! siempre me preguntan que si como le hago por eso es que decidi escribirlo.