Now that its the end of the month, I can tally my grocery spending and see that $100 per week was a lofty goal for the way we want to eat. Since February is exactly 4 weeks, I should have spent $400 but came closer to $450. Now, this is much better than the $600 + last month and the $6-700 per month of the past, but I think I can do better. I'm going to give it another try.
My strategy for February was to try to buy just what I needed each week, and to learn to make as much as I could homemade-- in batches for convenience. I also stocked up when I found great deals on things I regularly buy, such as organic milk, eggs and cheese. One thing I didn't think about was that we drastically cut back on our meals out, and that hubby would be home and I'd be cooking more lunches. I also did alot more baking, and found myself running out of things like flour and oil mid-week because I'd underestimated what I'd need.
For March, I'll reintroduce coupons and the "shop in anticipation of need" strategy and see how well that works. There are very few coupons out there for the things we regularly buy, but there are some. The ones we can use the best are store coupons and promotions, especially in combination with MFR coupons. I hadn't been taking the time to work out those deals, so I'm going to put some effort back into that.
My first effort at this new strategy was at Randalls today. I normally don't shop there because they are so overpriced, but today they had a coupon to save $10 off a $50 purchase. I happen to know that the $10 comes off the pre-coupon total, so if they take off $10, THEN subtract the coupons, one can do pretty well. They don't have all the organic things we buy, but I was happy to see that the small list of things we buy non-organic were on sale, AND I had coupons for them. They also had some good prices on pot roasts and chicken breasts. These weren't organic, but we go about 50/50 on that. If I find them on sale organic I buy them. Otherwise, we eat non-organic and it might as well be as cheap as possible--LOL.
So here's what I got:
25.5 oz box Kelloggs Raisin Bran
2 boxes Triscuits
1 2-liter bottle diet 7-Up (was free, so I got it for my daughter's birthday party in a couple of weeks)
1 bottle Joy dishwashing liquid
1 lb real butter
3 loaves 100% whole wheat bread
2 pot roasts, 4 lb each
2 pkg boneless, skinless chicken breast, 2.5 lb each
2 lb broccoli crowns
2 lb roma tomatoes
2 lb zucchini squash
4 lb bananas
3 lb organic onions
I spent a total of $35.52 after coupons. The total before discounts was $100.04. Considering this includes 13 pounds of meat (!!) I was satisfied.
This may seem a little lopsided for a grocery list, but we are stocked up on milk, eggs and cheese. We have 6 pounds of organic apples in the fridge left from a good sale, and a new bag of organic flour for baking. We were also fortunate enough last week to get garden produce from my parents, avid organic gardeners, so we have lots of lettuce and some bags of frozen yellow squash and swiss chard. I made a new batch of yogurt with our bargain milk, and we have some salmon and a few other meats in the freezer.
Monday is my usual grocery shopping day, and this Monday I will go into it not needing anything. At that point, I can stock up at my leisure and at the lowest prices I find, putting us that much further ahead for the following week. Its my hope that the snowball effect will keep the grocery bill down without compromising the quality of our diets.
We'll see how March works out!