Monday, April 20, 2009

Shopping Sales and My Budget

I know you were all waiting for this news...I have managed to get my grocery budget down to under $100 a week. I am now averaging around $90 a week on groceries and household expenses. Some weeks I've spent only $60. I was spending close to $120 a week so that's $30 a week I've been cutting out.

I took my friend, Rhiannon's, advice and started shopping just the sales. To really make that work, you need a few things:

a price guide to what the baseline prices are for items (I decided our local Walmart was normally the cheapest place to buy groceries and made up a list of all the normal supplies I usually buy. Then I went in and wrote down the normal price of every item. I also did this with the bread store in Lincoln as that is where I can get the cheapest bread.)

access to store ads (Since I have to drive 45 minutes to get a larger town, I generally only look at the two local stores ads. Surprisingly enough, they often have sales that are comparable to the large chains. I do go to Lincoln about every two weeks where I try to get my bread at the bread store and take advantage of Walgreens ads. If a bigger chain has an unbelievable price on something, I may arrange my trips around that. For example, Hyvee had shredded cheese for .99 a bag. That is almost 75% off of the normal price of cheese. So I did shop in the larger town just for that.)

and a stockpile of food (To be able to just shop sales, you need to have most of your basic items already in your pantry so that each week you are only buying a handful of shelf items plus your produce, dairy, and meat. I'm still working on this as there are times where I have been out of items but didn't have the item in my stockpile and it wasn't on sale so I had to pay regular price. But I am getting more and more things acculumlated. And I have a super small kitchen and hardly any cupboard space. But if you're creative you can make room for it all.)

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