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grocery store savings

Budget BUSTER #1 Grocery Shopping

I despise going to the grocery store.

Not just like a slight dread but like legit hate every second of it. It’s ALL the prep work.

You have to find the recipes on pinterest that you want to try. Make the list of all the stuff needed to try out these new fancy recipes… then it’s finding coupons and looking through the pantry to see what you have/need. Then it’s realizing you are never going to do all of that and starting over with your same ol’ weekly recipes. {I can’t be the only one…right??}

My husband will NEVER understand all of the work it takes to go to the grocery store. (Though I try to explain every single time we go…) I try to keep up with what we have/need, find my coupons, match the ads for the best prices, decide what night is going to be what, look at our calendar to see if we have anything planned that night, who will be home, who is gone… it’s legit like a never ending cycle!!! STOP THE MADDDDNESSSSS!!!

Two things that have helped:

Clicklist

eMeals

Clicklist is amazing and I use it when I can! You can do it through the Kroger app or desktop and fill your cart, pay for it, then set up a pick up time. It REALLY is life changing! After the first few times you use it you will start to incur a $6.00 fee.

Pros: I believe that I spend less when I use Clicklist. I am not tempted by impulse purchases or a “bargain” that ends up wrecking my budget.

Cons: The fee. You have to decide if that $6 fee is worth not going inside. You might make the perfect list and still forget something. Walking around the store may spark that memory of a forgotten item and you won’t have to make an extra trip to buy it. IF you use coupons then it is more difficult. You pay for your items from your comfy couch, but when you get there and they bring them out to you, you then hand them coupons and they go back inside and bring you back out cash or a gift card. (I’ve had it happen both ways.) Either is great but I have had it take $20 minutes before they came back out. Not griping just telling you the cons.

Price: $6 per trip (be on the lookout for a occasional freebies from Clicklist)

grocery.jpg

eMeals is a great meal planning site that literally gives you printed recipes, meals PLUS the shopping list!!! Wanna know something super cool- It is DAVE RAMSEY approved!! You can sign for free for 14 days and see how you like the program.. You choose your meal plan (family meals, vegan, gluten free, etc.) and from there your program is built. I still spend some time matching my coupons to the list and deciding what I already have and don’t need to buy but it is a time saver for sure. Several of the meals are not worth trying (in my opinion) but if you desperately want to try new meals on a budget while saving time- combine eMeals with Clicklist and there ya go!

Pros: If half the battle is planning meals– then here ya go! Problem solved. You can print the recipes/grocery lists and re use them later! I chose to pay for it for 1 year at a time and I print every weeks meals/list and file them away for next year.

Cons: A LOT of the recipes I don’t want to eat. I don’t think of myself as picky but a few of the recipes required bottles of stuff that I bought and will NEVER use again because I won’t be remaking it. It’s a nice way to try new stuff though. So maybe that isn’t a con…

Price: $50 per year, $10 for 3 months, first 2 weeks free!

Other tips for not busting your budget at the grocery store:

1- Know your family staples.

Each week {most weeks} we are going to have some form of Mexican food, hamburgers and spaghetti. Quick, easy, and yummy! That means no matter what I am picking up a few taco seasoning packets {or making my own when i’m feeling super frugal}, jar of tomato sauce, and hamburger meat. I can use the meals I always have in rotation and then I really only need to focus on having a few more. When Kroger runs their taco seasoning on clearance, I stock up! When Spaghetti sauce is 10 for $10, I just grab my coupons and head out the door. Know what you make on a regular basis and keep extra on hand!

2- Shop on Tuesdays.

It stinks because that is ALSO senior day, but that is also the last day in Krogers week. Which MEANS the mark-down wands will be waving their magic powers all over the store. That is a terrific time to get meat and produce on sale. Go later in the evenings {learn from my mistake} and enjoy a less stressful time to search the bargains.

3- Cut and freeze.

We don’t like to waste at our house. If I have to invite friends over to eat to avoid wasting food– I will do it! When I find meat on sale I will bring it home and cut it up, bag it up, throw in the deep freeze. For example– yesterday Kroger had pork loins on sale for .99 a pound!! (HOLY MOLY!!!!) We stocked UP! Several I froze whole knowing that we will throw them in the smoker and invite friends over for a game night. But 2 I cut up into smaller portions for me to throw in the crockpot during the week. What would have been $55.80 for 20 pounds of pork loin was $20. Now THAT is what i’m talking about. I also freeze bread, buns, and chips.

4-  I’d love to have a 4th point but i’m a Baptist preachers kid… so I have to stick with 3!

What are YOUR tips for saving at the grocery store? Share them with me in a comment or by emailing roxyrambles02@gmail.com

Also–the link to the lettuce wrap tacos is one I found on pinterest earlier this year when I did the Whole 30. It was AMAZING and super easy!!

Thanks for reading!

For now,

Cara Roxanne

The grocery store dilemma…

This dilemma literally eats us “trying to save money and live on less” kind of people. We don’t know what to do. We struggle with what is the BEST way to grocery shop.

The average family spends $149-$289 per week on groceries, according to US Weekly. Read their full article here. (and no, they did not pay me to post this link…but they could!! and should) 🙂

How much do YOU spend?

I’ve tried it all kinds of ways. I literally did my homework. I have tried:

-couponing

-shopping only once a week

-trying to buy 1 month at a time

-trying the bi-weekly route

Ultimately YOU must decide what works best for you and your family. But, for the sake of this post, let me tell you what I have learned through my research.

I spend LESS money when I go in with a list that will cover 1 month worth of groceries. Here’s how I do it…

First, go through Pinterest or recipe books or wherever you go to find recipes. Come up with 10-12 meals from there.

Second, I decide which of those meals are “two-fers”. I know when I make Crockpot Lasagna (okay so I have only made it once) that it will cover us for at least 2 meals. But you also must decide which meals will only cover you for 1 day. Then you put those numbers out to the side. In my case, I write down the meals then add the numbers and typically that nearly doubles my list. Not always, but it can.

Third, shop at your house first! Write down what each recipe calls for and then look in your pantry/freezer FIRST. Scratch off the items you already have.

Fourth, make a list of things you need outside of those recipes. Oatmeal, peanut butter, etc.

Fifth, make a list of things you cannot buy to last a month. For us that is salad, carrots (we eat those like crazy yet my vision is no better), and bananas. I have to go to the store once a week to buy those. Nobody wants to eat a 3 week old banana… probably not even a monkey.

This is how WE do it. May not work for you, but it’s worth a shot!

Another thing– I mentioned before that I couponed for a while. And that is TRUE and I loved it. However, I never couponed well on food. Even with the coupon, the off-brand tended to be cheaper. So when I say I couponed I meant for things like deo, detergent, soap, etc. If it works for you, then do it! If you are a name-brand spaghetti noodle buyer, then by all means, get some coupons!! But if you tend to buy the off brand any way, you are better off to save that time.

grocerystore

Some people assume that if you try to grocery shop on a budget that you must be eating crap. Nope! Not true at all. This months menu (which goes from the 18-18th) includes the following:

Crockpot Lasagna, Homemade Chicken Enchiladas, Vegetable Stir Fry, Grilled Chicken Salads, Grilled Burgers, Crockpot Pork Chops, Porkloin, Roast…. to name a few. If you do it right and PLAN AHEAD you can have amazing meals that are healthy and good for your family without spending a ton of money!

Next to our car payments and mortgage, the grocery bill used to be one of the most outrageous bills we had. Yet I was spending a small fortune at the store yet finding myself with nothing to cook or going out to eat! Planning is crucial. It’s like I told you in one of my first financial posts, if you don’t have a plan–you WILL fail! If you just say “man I wish we could save money” yet do nothing about it, it will NOT happen.

What are your tips? How do you save money? I’d love to hear from you!

For Now,

Roxy

 

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