In my first meal planning post I told you how I meal plan a month in advance and how that helps with our current budget. A reader asked how I shop, so I am going to try to tell you a little about that. We are members of Sam's Club; I like their prices and selection better then Costco. I usually go to Sam's to stock up on things we need there first, then go to a regular grocery store. Here is a run down of the things I buy at Sam's every few months:
Toilet Paper- every other
Dishwasher soap-every 3 months
Frozen orange juice- every other
Trash bags- every 4 or so months
Flour- every 3 months
Yeast- every 6 months
Oatmeal- every other
Canola Oil- every other
Kids gummy vitamins- every other
Vitamin C- every other
Zyrtec- every 3 months
Macaroni Noodles- every 3 months
Sliced cheese- every other
Hot dogs- every other
Random seasonings - as needed, they usually last 6 months or so.
Powdered sugar- every other
*I always buy my milk at Sams because it is usually $2 a gallon. I go there once a week and buy 4 gallons. I am super good about going in and getting what I need and getting out. I know some people cannot do that. I don't really have a choice, I know we don't have the money for extras.
Each month I buy a lot of the same things because I know we use them, here they are:
5lbs shredded cheddar cheese
3 doz. eggs (hopefully not buying these anymore)
Hot dog buns (I buy 2 packs and divide them up and freeze them)
frozen whole fryer chickens (2 in a pack)
Fruit and cereal bars
Graham Crackers (these are $2 a box when you buy 4 and these are a great snack for the kids)
The rest of our groceries I get at our local Kroger store King Soopers or Albertsons if there is a good sale. I try to stock up on things like cereal, salad dressings, beans, veggies (canned or frozen), crackers, capri suns, ketchup, mayonaise, mustard and stuff like that. When I stock up that means I am usually buying around 10 of one item at once. I have a big pantry in my basement as well as a chest freezer. I try to buy store brand cereal for about $1.50 or less a box, salad dressing for under $1 and veggies for about $.75 or less...the others are just what I deem a good price. Prices fluctuate a lot but things seem to go on good sales about once every 6-8 weeks. I also get things for our dinner meals at KS- things like cr. of mushroom soup, sour cream, pizza sauce, bacon, sausage..stuff like that.
*I buy our sandwich bread at KS because I havent been able to figure out how to make good homemade sandwich bread so I buy the store brand stuff for about $1 a loaf. This is also something I buy once a week...about 3 loaves a week is good for us. Occasionally I get lucky and check the day old section and find loaves for about $.50.
*I do go to the store once a week and buy milk, bread, produce and eggs if we need them. I try to check the ad's and go where I can get most of those things on sale. Thankfully I don't need much when I go once a week so taking the kids with me is no big deal. And again I stick to my list!
*Both our girls are allergic to peanuts so I order my non-GMO Soy butter from Canada on amazon.com. These run $25 for 6 jars and last about 6 months. And I buy big jars of honey from the Farmers Market every 6-8 weeks.
*I buy my ground beef at a butcher called Ranch Foods Direct. I buy 20lb bundles so this lasts us about 5 months.
*I just bought my own wheat grinder, so hopefully I can buy wheat
berries and save more doing it that way as well as eat healthier!
Things I make myself are:
Bread for dinners
I am going to attempt to make re-usable paper towels - right now we just use rags instead of paper towels.
*I take my grocery money out of the bank right after payday and that's all I get for 30 days so I have to make it stretch. It's a little harder to impulse buy this way. And as I said before I stick to my list; sometimes if I see something I meant to put on my list and forgot then I will go ahead and get it. I don't really use coupons anymore- only if it's a really good deal on something I was already planning on getting.
I hope this has helped you or will help you to shop more purposefully and be able to save some money. Now I have an excellent giveaway for you!!! As you know I reference Money Saving Mom a lot! I get a lot of good ideas from her. I have a brand spanking new copy of her book up for grabs!! Here it is:
This would make an excellent starting point for some of you just starting to budget more and watch your spending! Crystal has awesome tips for cutting spending and saving money!!
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