September 30, 2009

Keeping the Costs Down

I'm seeing more and more people worried about their grocery budget and trying to find ways to cut cost. It's been awhile since I've talked about how much I'm spending at the grocery store, but I guarantee that the most I've spent in a weeks worth of groceries has been $60 the past few months. Remember that it's just the two of us, so many meals provide us with leftovers that we then eat for lunches.

Last commissary visit I spent $65. I also went by Fresh and Easy for a few things from their sale ad (or to get items that just looked icky at the commissary). I spent $7. DH went by the commissary last Friday and bought more water for us and fresh baby spinach. He bought A LOT of water (we just can't stand the taste of the water here at all), so that was $12 total. So for two weeks we spent a total of $84. I don't think that an average of $42 a week is too shabby at all! :D

For this Friday's trip, I have 30 items on my list. This includes extras (staples that I have good coupons for), personal items, and a few items for travel. I'll update soon as to how much I spent. I only have about $8 in coupons where I usually have between $10 and $20 worth.

Speaking of coupons, I still don't go out of my way to find them. I check on a few sites (which I have linked on the sidebar) each week. I only print out the items that I ALWAYS USE. Right before I go grocery shopping, I check to see if there's anything else there that I need. A coupon is useless if you're not going to actually use the product. Just because you can get a good deal on a product doesn't mean you have to get it. Just get what you need! Sometimes if I'm extra thrifty, I good product name brand site and see if they have any coupons that I can print for that week's trip.
Secondly, I also make sure to clip all the coupons I find (and know I'll use) from Red Plum and P&G mailing ads. In some areas of the country these can only be found in Sunday newspapers. Out here I've gotten the occasional Sunday paper for free (their sad attempt at getting us to pay for future ones), and there's hardly anything in it. Not worth it at all here, but it may be where you live.
The third place I find coupons is from the store shelves and store ads. I'm one of those annoying people who takes a handful of coupons (if they have a while till they expire) if I see them hanging there by a product that I use a lot. And I always take the commissary ad they hand out. Always a few good coupons in there. I take all my coupons and save them till I need them. That's about as much work as I'm willing to do. I have zero desire to buy coupons online from others. I have no desire to search a dozen sites just for ONE coupon to save me fifty cents. I'm all about saving money, but not at the cost of my time and sanity. :)

I went to the commissary yesterday and spent $27.15 on 24 grocery items. I saved $6.95 with coupons. I also went by Fresh and Easy where I spent $11.62 on 7 items. Total for groceries is $38.77. I could have done better if I hadn't bought extras like a pie pumpkin, 2 cans of pumpkin, chocolate chips, etc. I'm not going to use any of that stuff right now (well, I'll cook the pie pumpkin and freeze the puree), but I decided it made sense to buy extras now to keep down the grocery cost for the next time when I am buying for a full menu. Oh, and yes expect lots of pumpkin to be seen on upcoming menus! Mmmmm!

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