Friday, March 16, 2007

Frugal Friday: Groceries for Less

Yeah! Friday is finally here! Is anyone else as excited as I am?! The boys have been puking all week, and I, for one, am looking forward to a little break. This is our one weekend this month where we don't have any major plans (except for March Madness of course!), and the thought of it just makes me smile.

The other exciting thing going on is Frugal Fridays hosted by Biblical Womanhood. If you haven't already, check out her post today. I have been doing some of those Kroger/Dillons deals this week, and wow, this is a week to really stock up! My favorite deal is the Pillsbury deal where if you buy 10 products, you get a $5 Catalina to use on your next purchase. I have done this 4 times, using coupons to get my subtotal down to $5.00, and paid with the $5 Catalina from the time before. So I just paid tax basically. It keeps rolling over! I don't know about you, but this kind of thing makes my heart race. :) Being a homemaker is exciting stuff!

It seems like everywhere I turn, every conversation I have with friends, every blog I read, people are talking about frugality recently. We're all realizing that we can live well on less, even if we already thought we were being reasonably careful with our money to begin with. In my own situation, for instance, last year I was talking with a friend from the chapel about how I had found this website which gives you menus for an entire week where everything comes from Aldi, and the budget is around $50, I think. I was impressed! We have always spent more than that on groceries, we try to entertain a lot, and well, Dave is a big eater, what can I say? :) Well, my friend said that she never spends that much on groceries, and she only shops at Aldi...I was blown away! I could not fathom it! :) But a year later, after some tips from Crystal who graciously met with me and taught me how to shop for deals and use coupons, I can see how it would be possible. Probable, even.

Let me tell you what I mean. At the beginning of each week, I go to CVS, Walgreens, and Dillons and get whatever free or almost free deals they have that we either need or will need in the near future. I can get almost any household product I need from any of those stores, and I try to squeeze in a couple things at each place. Like toilet paper, or trash bags, laundry soap, etc...especially if I have CVS coupons for $4 off a $20 purchase, etc... I hardly ever pay anything out of pocket at Walgreens anymore (my gift card keeps rolling over), and at CVS I usually spend under a dollar. I then hit Dillons as my last stop, and get whatever manager's specials I can find on produce, meat, and dairy, etc.. or 10/$10 sales that combined with coupons and Catalinas that print, make for great deals. Most of the time I spend less than $15 here. I then go home and plan my week's menu based on what is in my freezer and fridge. Anything extra that I need, I pick up quickly at Aldi the next day. I usually spend around $20 at Aldi, sometimes a little more. Then, with the extra, I go to Sam's club every so often, and stock up on their reduced price meat early in the morning.

And the exciting thing is, we haven't compromised what we are eating! This has always been my husband's thing: he doesn't want me to cut back TOO much on our grocery budget, because he isn't willing to eat pasta all the time or beans or ground turkey (I have tried!). We usually have meat and 2 veggies and some homemade rolls (or Pillsbury crescent rolls this week!) at every dinner. Gotta keep the husband happy!

I've been reading more tips for frugal living here.

But, lest you think I am a complete tight-wad, I am sitting here anxiously awaiting my husband's arrival home in 45 minutes so I can leave for my not-so-frugal haircut and highlight. A girl has to look nice, afterall!


andyandjenica said...

Haha, you're so funny about the cut and highlight! I agree.

Thank you for the details in scheduling and planning! It takes a little of the overwhelming aspects out for me.

dave & rachel said...

Ha! I's terrible, isn't it? When Shawna did hair in her basement before she got pregnant, it was wonderful! I am really missing that!

I used to be overwhelmed by the thought of shopping at multiple stores too...and the whole couponing thing, it just seemed so impossible. But now that I've been shopping this way since October, it doesn't feel like any extra work. But I do enjoy it a lot now (because of the challenge of it), as opposed to how I DREADED going grocery shopping before when I only hit Aldi and Walmart.

Where do you grocery shop?

bandanachick said...

Haha, thats funny about your hair cut and color. I just got my hair cut last night too!
I have gotten so much more excited about couponing too. Today when I went on base they were handing out to everyone big stacks of coupons and it totally made my day. There were some really good ones in there!
Anyways, I just wanted to say hi since I haven't talked to you since I saw you last!