Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tackle It Tuesday- Groceries

One of my goals this year was to get my finances under control so I can join accounts with my husband.  He has never required this, it is something that I wanted first.  I have one outstanding credit card prior to us being married that I need to take care.  Now I have two outstanding medical bills as well.  The way the groceries keep going up and my income has decreased due to child support being lowered it makes it tough for me to have extra money for the newer bills.  I am tired of spending 2/3 of my income on food.  My husband was shocked at how much I spend, with shopping at ALDI's I still spend over $200/week.  It is more in the neighborhood of $235-$250/week.  Although we have had 3 of the children move out basically the cost has not gone down too much due to the increase cost of food.  We do go through less cereal now, when everyone lived at home we would go through 15 boxes of cereal in one week, now we go through 8 boxes.  Our children find a bowl of cereal is a nice snack as well as breakfast.

I have managed to find away to lower my cost.  We watch for sales and we will stock pile at the time of a sale.  Yes, I said it...stock pile.  If we find cereal on sale for $1, you betcha' we will end up purchasing about 20 boxes.  We have found Hy-Vee brand cereal for the different brand of Cheerios will go on sale like this every 4 months or so.  They also had their bagged cereal on sale for $1 as well, so at one time we may have had 25 boxes/bags of cereal in our pantry at one time.  I stocked up on Mac n' Cheese this way as well.  $.25/ box, so I bought 20 boxes.  Pasta Roni is a favorite so when they are on sale for $1 I pick up 20.  You get the point, when I see something at a good buy I pick up multiples, if there is a limit.  I will go to the store a little more often within the 2 or 3 day sale and have my husband go as well.  I have been able to stock pile peanut butter for $.99 this way.  I am glad I did because I heard that peanut butter cost will be going up.

At first when we started watching the sales, I was not sure how much of a savings the sale really was, so I created an excel spread sheet and went shopping.  Everything that I typically buy, I priced at the stores I shop.  This way I have a price at each store and I can compare to the ads to see am I really saving or not.  I have to admit I love this way of shopping.   The milk I cannot buy 2 weeks worth but I do get 1 week worth, always 6 or 7 gallons of milk.  Thankfully we have a second refrigerator in our garage to store it.  This week our great buy was milk.  ALDI is typically where I buy my milk, for a gallon of milk I am currently spending $3.03.  (I recommend if you have a spread sheet, take it with you every 3 months or so because costs do go up.)  Hy-Vee had a coupon that was good for 3 days, 1/2 gallon of milk for only $.99 (limit 2), if I purchased 2 at that price I am only spending $1.98 per gallon.  See the SAVINGS!!!  Naturally, we went to the store often and ended up with 8 gallons of milk during the 3 days.

At this time my pantry is pretty well stocked so now when I go shopping I plan my menu for 2 weeks and pick up just what I need, meat, some snacks, veggies if needed, bread and milk.  This new method I have, I only spent $200 even for 2 weeks.  I love it.  Now I have some extra money to put towards the medical bills.
Here is a picture of my pantry at this time.  I cannot even add my canning to our pantry at this time because it is so full.



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