Home » Finances » September Savings Challenge Week 3

September Savings Challenge Week 3

This week’s challenge was to trim the grocery shopping budget.  I used to be (pre-baby Ike) pretty good at going to several stores to catch the sales on items.  We have fallen into a sort of slump where I go do major shopping once a week at where ever is close by, then hitting Publix on the way home 2-3 times a week.

Average grocery bill:  $200 a week!

Average amount of food wasted:  Way too much!

I’ve been practicing for this week’s challenge since the beginning of the month, since to me, this one has been the most difficult behavior to change.  We aren’t great at planning, and sometimes we have extras at the house, and sometimes we just want to go out.  So and so is in town, the food trucks are here and it’s beautiful, OMG I want pizza!  Things come up.  I don’t know who is going to be all about the watermelon or salad, and who is going to be on a straight carb loading diet lest all the produce will go to waste.

Anyway, blah blah blah Woe is me.  Boo hoo.  To the plan! My goal is to cut the weekly bill in half.  Which seems extreme, but I mean $200 a week in groceries for a family of 3.25 is a bit excessive.  $100 should more than cover it.

I pulled the sale ads for both Kroger and Publix via Southernsavers.com and used the handy coupon matchup tool.  Then I did some research on Costco pricing.  I go back and forth on warehouse club shopping.  It seems like everything is a great deal, until I have a doubled coupon with a B1G1 sale and then I end up with free things.  But, research has shown (both mine and around the web) that organic meat and produce from Costco is usually the best deal, provided you can eat all of it.

That said, I found this out about a week and half ago and rushed over to Costco to buy organic chicken breasts and some organic blueberries.  $142 later, I had a watermelon, chicken, mexican coke, a pallet of LaCroix, prepared chicken wings, and wine and I don’t even remember what else.  So yes, I had saved about $4 on the chicken and $1 on the watermelon.  Then then spent another $100 so my net savings for that visit was -$95.

Take 2 this weekend.

Costco Visit Saturday

Spent $48

Bought:

  • 4 lbs Organic Ground Beef
  • 4 lbs kiwifruit
  • 2 lbs strawberries
  • gogo squeeze organic applesauces
  • dozen 15 oz cans of organic tomato sauce

The strawberries are already gone.  I used 1lb of beef to make chili, and froze the rest.  We use tomato sauce in Spanish rice, soups, spaghetti, et al so 12 cans will be used pretty quickly.  The cost worked out to be $0.56 per can.  For some perspective, Walgreens is running a special this week with an in-ad coupon for 2/$1 8oz cans of tomato sauce.  I think Costco is winning.

Then there was our regular grocery shopping.  I made a list, I clipped, printed, and electronically added coupons.  I made careful notes on what size of what to buy.  Here’s how we did. (Ike helped of course, by taking a nap in the carrier so I could focus).

Publix Visit Sunday

Spent: $54

Bought:

  • beans – pinto, kidney, and refried
  • hominy
  • onions
  • taco seasoning – three packages with a coupon
  • gallon of organic milk
  • ranch mix
  • herbs – mint and cilantro
  • Super Puffs – Ike’s favorite snack with B1G1 coupon
  • lemons
  • yogurt
  • cantaloupe
  • canned tomatoes
  • dish soap

With all of that, I made:

Chicken Tikka Masala via Skinny Taste

We had – rice, chicken, spices, sour cream on hand

Chili via an old Weight Watchers book

We had – nothing on hand but I really wanted chili and canned beans and tomatoes are pretty inexpensive

Will make later this week:

Salmon and roasted vegetables

We have – Salmon, Potatoes, Vegetables on hand already

Three multiple serving meals plus a little stock piling and fresh produce for snacking.  Our grocery total for the week was $103.  Pretty close to my target!  We are still eating leftovers and I will make fish tomorrow to switch things up.

 

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