$80 Per Week in 2010 — Week 7

I’m on a mission this year:  spend $80 or less per week on groceries for my family of four!  After reconciling all our expenses for 2009, all the while remembering the splurges during a special family celebration and replenishing of food storage, I realized I could and would do better in 2010.  With the skills I’ve obtained, and the deals on some web sites I’ve recently discovered, “I hereby pledge to lower my food budget this year!”

I’m still under budget this week!  I’m pretty proud of myself.  The deals just keep presenting themselves, and as long as it’s doable, I’ll take advantage of them.  I’m finally at the point where I’m just getting deals, and the only “must gets” are essential paper products, milk and salad greens.  The rest is flexible, pretty much.  Lucky us!  For our budget, here’s a summary of what I got this week:

Target:  The Stouffer’s Deal, along with tomatoes, tortillas, and M&Ms.

Aldi:  One trip for milk, and a lovely surprise of fresh oat bran bread (the kind I normally get) for .65/loaf!  A second trip for more milk (just 3 total, though!), produce, and crackers.

Baker’s:  Eggs for .99, Farmland sausage for $1-$1/2 MQs, salmon for 3.50/#, potatoes.

BagNSave:  Split chicken breasts .79/# (later seen at NF for unadvertised .69/# — DOH!), pollock for 1.69/#, Kraft cheeses 1.50-$1/2 MQs, brown rice, bananas, and frozen shoestrings.

No Frills: StoveTop stuffing (cheaper than the OF brand w/coupon!), Totino’s pizza rolls for snacks, sauerkraut (**Aldi doesn’t sell canned sauerkraut anymore!), OF tuna .39 each.

This week for food I spent $62.84, which is totally acceptable and within my $80 budget(Running total = $95.21 under budget for the year.)  Again, this is food only, for an adult male, teenage male, adult female and growing 9 yo male.  I know I can do even better, so for next week, I’m lowering the budget, to $65!  I’ve convinced myself that some of the convenience foods are “worth it” because I’m so far under budget.  But being under budget regularly only means the budget is too high to begin with.  I based my budget on last year’s spending and what I saw as a 12% grocery price increase the last quarter of ’09.  But I’ve got another important factor now — I’m again putting more attention into how I’m spending, couponing, Target deals, and a return to simpler meals.  Plus the grocery deals have been incredible!

I’m waiting for the February Frozen Food Month deals to appear.  This is the last week of the month, and I haven’t seen a thing on this yet.  Curious.  Maybe because we’re all having our own versions of the deep freeze, perhaps?!

This is the Lenten season, and we are practicing a more focused lifestyle this year.  More thought and reflection, less “business as usual.”  The meatless meals twice a week are just an outward expression of what’s going on inside, as small gestures of our meager sacrifices within.  Plus, it’s good for our bodies to fast from meat every once in a while, and to eat smaller portions.

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