Have you ever ended up somewhere and had no idea how you got there? Well, that’s what happened to me and my retreat from Once-A-Month Shopping.
Somehow I went from shopping once a month, to shopping twice a month, to shopping once a week. And with each step backward I took, I saw the grocery bill rise. But, I let it happen and even thought it was no big deal. I told myself it was because we were eating healthier, more organic items (and to an extent that was true), but then I felt the crunch (aka Buying a New Van) and knew the grocery budget was the first place that needed to be streamlined.
I went back to my Original Shopping List and reworked it, tightening up even more. Yesterday, I made a new Master Meals List and a new Master Grocery List and then went shopping to see what the savings would be.
Are you sitting down???
I had been spending between $150-$200 each week on groceries for our family of 7. Last night I spent $355 for the entire month!
Now, this is not the complete total because I will have to purchase eggs, milk, and some fresh fruits and veggies along the way, but WOW! I can hardly believe it! This totally renews my faith in Once-A-Month Shopping!
I also went back to shopping more than one store. I stopped doing this at my husband’s insistence during my last pregnancy. It was just too much for me to traipse around from store to store trying to save money. He felt my time and energy were more important than what money could be saved. But last night I decided to go to 2 stores: Aldi and SuperTarget (they are in the same vicinity and there is a better selection of organic at Target than there is at WalMart and our local Kroger store). I managed to fill only one cart per store (but I still had my handy dandy 11 year old in tow just in case!)
It had been quite some time since I’d been in Aldi and was pleasantly surprised at just how much of my list could be purchased there. I even got a good buy on some organic cereal that wasn’t on my list but that will definitely eventually be used.
At Target I found high fructose corn syrup free bread (I do buy some bread because there are days when bread making just doesn’t get done) for $1.49 on closeout and bought all they had (ahhhh, the joy of multiple freezers!) I also had a coupon for the organic chips I like there.
Now the real test begins…
Just how long will all this food last us? Can we make it until October 15th? How much more money will go into replenishing the perishable items?
I was very careful to make sure I had a solid list of repeatable meals for both breakfast and lunch and a nice array of dinner meals with room for eating out approximately once a week. So far I am very pleased with what I came up with and excited to find out if I really will see a difference in the bank account this coming month!