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!
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!