I had listened to 7 sessions of Grocery University’s audio series, and read a handful of blogs, when I ventured out on my first weekly shopping trip, coupons and husband in hand. I needed moral support. More than that, I needed math support.
Ideally, I should have listened to ALL of the GroceryU sessions, but I needed food and I wanted to just try this whole thing out on a small scale so I wouldn’t feel too overwhelmed by it all.
OK, remember, I was spending $150 per week. Even though GroceryU does not recommend you consider the only form of success to be a shopping trip where you spend less than your usual budget, I have to admit, that was my goal…to spend less than $150.
Things I wasn’t prepared for:
- I forgot one store deal required you buy 10 of a mix of any participating products, which means, buying 12 requires you to find 8 more to get the deal on two sets. I needed those 12 things, but was not prepared to buy the other 8. I ended up buying something that could be used as a second meal for us, making it less of an issue and a definite learning experience.
- I had looked at the weekly ad online and then forgot to pick one up at the front of the store before shopping. That was a mistake.
- It took me longer to shop than I had anticipated based on how short my list was. Because I wasn’t able to just grab-n-go, I was in the store about an hour, which is about how long I am there for a 2 week shopping trip–this was a 1 week shopping trip.
Things I was pleasantly surprised by:
- There really were some good name-brand deals. I honestly didn’t think name brand items could EVER be a good deal. To say I walked into that store skeptical would be an understatement. To say I walked out of the store with a happy spring in my step would also be an understatement!
- My grocery list was unusually short. Due to the fact I was pulling from my pantry with purpose, only shopping for one week, and shopping mostly from the sales, the grocery list looked rather meager. I began to wonder if I could really get a week’s worth of meals from that list. As I shopped, I was tempted to pick up some other things, just in case, but I kept going over my meal list in my head, and it all continued to add up, so I fought the urge to buy more and stuck with the plan.
I also made a compromise that I hope to remedy as I get better at this…
I bought things I haven’t bought in years because we don’t eat those things anymore.
You should have seen my children’s (and my husband’s) faces when I brought home ice cream and brownie mix and pizza rolls. You’d think I had handed them $100! The ice cream was Breyer’s (you know, the brand you can read all the ingredients on without wondering what kind of chemicals they injected into it), the brownie mix was for Communion Sunday meal at church, and the pizza rolls were for a quick meal before vacation. Those were the only “junk” items I purchased, but I felt okay about it, considering they all had purpose.
So, I’ve kept you waiting long enough…what was the grand total for my weekly shopping trip?
My receipt tells me I saved $45.78 using vendor coupons and store coupons!
So, now what? Well, skeptic that I am, I wondered if it would last. I mean, after all, I have 7 mouths to feed and guests in and out of the house all the time. Would $85 worth of groceries make it a full week?