Monday, August 9, 2010


As you may or may not know, before I had my 3rd child, (nearly 3 months ago...I know I can't believe how fast time goes!)  I tried to keep my weekly budget around $50, even flirting with $40/week for everything not only food, but hygiene items  and diapers! (yep, if anyone can tell me how to get my 5 and 3 1/2 year old out of Pullups at night, I would greatly appreciate it!).  Well, over the summer I've been a little above that, but I'm determined now to get back to that $40-$50 range.  I thought I share a few tips on how I try to do this...every family is different so you may not be able to immediately drop your family grocery budget to $50 a week but if you follow these pieces of advice I promise you it will drop . . . significantly.

1. Making Meals from What’s on Sale and what you have!
So many times, people make a list of what they want to have for the week and then go buy the items to make that meal.  If you can do a little more planning you can save quite a bit of money!  First look to see what's on sale and look to see what you already have and plan your meals around that!  For example, I had quite a bit of hamburger that I bought when it was really cheap, I cooked it and froze it in 2 cup bags.  I have quite a few tomatoes from the garden, and black beans, corn and rice.  All I needed to buy was Tortilla shells and I had a meal!  So just take a few minutes to see what you have before making your list of meals for the week!

2. Stockpiling
This is probably the most important point I can give!  When something is cheap, you want to stock up on it!  As in the Meijer post that I posted on Saturday, I was able to get 4 boxes of Cinnabon cereal, 4 packs of Keebler crackers and 2 packs of Pop Tarts for $.05!!!  I didn't just do the deal once, I did it multiple times!  Now I won't have to buy any of those items for quite some time and it was next to FREE for all of it!!  Building a stockpile will take time, however once you have a stockpile you're not running out when you need something and paying full price, you just run to your stockpile! ( I'll post a few pics of my stockpile in the days to come!)  I typically try to get a few copies of the coupon inserts that are in the Sunday paper so that I can buy multiple items rather that just having 1 coupon and therefore only being able to buy 1 item!

3. Shopping at CVS
I love CVS!!!  This is where I get so many things for free!  I don't think I've paid for toothpaste in a few years!  When you buy certain items you will receive Extra Care Bucks (ecb) which you can spend on your next order.  (the ECB items are listed in the CVS ad every week!)  There are even many times that you can make money on items at CVS!  Last week they had Sobe drinks buy one get one free, and you could pair that with a buy one get one free coupon from here and just pay tax!

4. Not Being Brand Loyal
This is also a big one, if you're brand loyal it's tougher to keep your spending down!  So many times I hear people say they buy generic brands to save money, that's great if you need something and don't have a coupon, however I have found you get a better deal by buying a name brand item that's on sale and pairing it with a coupon!  Then stock up on that item!!  Now obviously there are certain items that we are brand loyal on, deoderant for example but it does help if you don't mind trying something new!

5. Planning ahead
If I know that an event is coming up, if we're having a birthday party, or having family in, I try to think of what I need and purchase some of those items even weeks before the party.  I already have all of my Mentos gum that I'm giving away for Halloween and I didn't spend a dime!

These are just a few pointers, I'm sure you have some to share...feel free to leave a comment.  I plan on keeping track of what I spend starting this week and seeing if I can keep it to the $40-$50.  I recommend that you keep track of what you spend for one week, you'll be surprised at how quickly the money goes out!  Then try to put a few of these tips into place and see if you can lower your weekly food bill!

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