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 discovered, “I hereby pledge to lower my food budget this year!”
Even though I planned to get less, spend less, I overdid it again. The pantries, I can purge and donate, so that’s not an issue. My freezers are busting loose! I need to shift/make/eat some things to fit the Thanksgiving turkey in there. Good news is that if I can’t get more, I won’t be putting out the cash.
This week for just food I spent $113.22, waaaaay higher than my weekly budget. But remember, I’ve been below for many weeks. This puts me at still $362.11 under budget for the year! Here’s where my dollars went:
BagNSave: Surprises: nearly FREE chicken! Smart Chicken bl/sl breasts 1.99/# – $2 coupons = .53 and .56. (I am pleased to have shared this deal with an elderly lady on a tight budget so she could get her package for .29.) Smucker’s apricot preserves for recipes 1.19, and spreadable fruit .85. Pict Sweet 1# bags frozen vegs .89 w/.55 insert coupons. TJFarms frozen mixed berries 2.49. Leaf and Romaine lettuce .99. OF canned vegs 3/$1 (got several of the corn for the food pantry). OF 32 oz chicken broth 1.99 – $1 OF coupon = .99. Didn’t get the .50 dairy sticker discount on my yogurt. Had to point out the Smucker’s coupons didn’t take off. Total spent for food: 22.85
NoFrills: I got a Catalina for $2 OYNO from Pillsbury (bought 5). Nice deal on the cinnamon rolls: .98 – .50/1 printables = .48 (for nice holiday morning treats), and crescents: .98 – .75/3 insert coupon = .73 each. Healthy Harvest pastas .99 – $1/2 = .49 each. PM’d shredded cheeses @ .99. This is the second week I have not been Thrilled with my NoFrills experience. (I let last week go without comment.) This week, I was distracted and did not see that the peanuts rang up much higher than shelf price. I only got a refund for one reusable bag. I almost wasn’t given my change; I had to ask for it. Total spent for food: 21.57
Aldi: Basics and pantry items. Yay — found the white cheese queso! Gallon milks are STILL 1.79!! Total spent for food: 19.34
Super Saver: I really overdid it with the deals at SS this week! But I was able to donate about half of the pantry items, and more to clear out my shelves. I got FREE Celestial Seasonings herbal tea (.98 clearance – $1 coupons), FREE Renuzits and .38 Fabuloso. Honeysuckle White tenderloins 3.98/pkg (which serves us two meals), little of this, little of that, it all adds up. Total spent for food for us: 49.48
Lesson of the Week: Pay attention! Things are ringing up incorrectly, sticker coupons aren’t being applied, coupons are being set aside as rung when they don’t go through. I’ve come to trust my regular stores a bit too much, and am taking for granted that everything has been ringing up right in the past. Easily, I was overcharged $2 this week.
Second Lesson of the Week: Put on your game face when you go to a store that offers incredible deals. I thought I was ready for SS, but I let my eyes get wide and let my guard down. Still, great deals, and I can always donate.