**I hope this posts on Friday. I love the delayed posting feature blogger offers but it doesn't always work correctly, so if it's not Friday ... well, the intention was there!
Gift of Green commented on my grocery budgeting and deals so I thought I'd expand a little on that.
To be fair, Jason isn't home most evenings so our bigger meal is usually lunch ... which we'll do with entree, salad, fruit, etc. but still it's not as big as dinner would be.
Once a week, usually Thursday evening, I check the grocery circulars (online), read shopping blogs, check my coupons from the Sunday paper and Internet, and write my lists for each store, with notes about what coupons to use. Then I paperclip each list to the corresponding coupons. I dislike grocery shopping so only buying what's on my list is pretty easy ... my goal is to get the heck out of there.
I used to do all my grocery shopping at Sam's and Costco but am now at a point where I'll buy produce, milk, eggs, cheese, and chicken at Sam's but not really anything else.
Once every three weeks I go to the bread store and stock up (never paying more than $1 a loaf). I don't think we've bought bread at a grocery store in at least a year. We don't need to ... the bread at the outlet store is perfect. We also get buns, bagels, and English muffins there. One day a week everything is 20% off ... we try hard to get there then. I've been to bread stores in other areas, some are more expensive than ours and some are less ... it seems to be pretty hit or miss. $15 worth of bread products will last about three weeks at our house, and that's eating a loaf of bread almost every day.
When the pantry starts to run really low I'll go to the dent and bent store. I can easily fill (to the top!) a cart with canned fruits and veggies, taco shells and seasonings, seasonings, juices, organic snacks and cereals, etc. for $50. Our local store is very well organized, so while I do look packages over carefully it's at least quick and easy to find everything.
We pretty much plan our meals around what's on sale. If I end up with ingredients I don't quite know what to do with I google them all together and see what pops up. We've come up with some winners, and a few losers, this way.
I find that the best way to stay on budget is to use cash. When our budgeting "week" starts (Thursday) I'll withdraw the alloted cash for the week. It's much easier for me to not go over budget that way. I don't do that every week and the weeks I don't are the weeks I'm more apt to spend more than I'd like to.
I'm not a grocery $ saving pro. I don't think I ever will be ... I am so thankful that there are bloggers out there, like The Centsible Sawyer and Be CentsAble who are pros and do the legwork for the rest of us, it makes a world of difference.
I hope that's helpful.