"Saving at the Grocery Store": Shop at Multiple Stores

Last week I posted on the benefits of making a price book as a money-saving tool for helping you learn your prices. One key benefit of a price book is to show you where to shop. As you track prices for meats, produce, canned goods, and other household items, you may notice that one store will have lower prices on paper products while another store has the best prices on organic fruits and vegetables. The point is this: No one store has the best price on everything, so if you really want to … [Read more...]

What is Meal Planning?

Last week I started my new series on "Saving Money at the Grocery Store" and gave you a how-to-guide for making a price book.Today, I want to offer another super practical way to save money each week at the grocery store: Create a Meal PlanMeal planning involves planning in advance the meals your family will eat.  Here are some questions people often ask about meal planning and my answers:How often do you meal plan? Do you plan breakfast, lunch, snacks, & supper or just supper? First of all, … [Read more...]

"Saving at the Grocery Store": Making a Price Book

When I first started really working towards saving money at the grocery store, I was newly married and eager to please. I had always bought whatever I needed at the store without a thought to cost, but now that the money was ours rather than mine, I felt compelled to watch my pennies a little more closely. One way I learned to do this was by creating and keeping a price book.  The idea behind the price book came from Jonni McCoy's book Miserly Moms: Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy. I … [Read more...]

"Saving at the Grocery Store": A New Series

Recently, a friend asked me how I manage to spend only $75 a week at the grocery store. Let me start by saying that I have a $100 weekly budget for both food and household items, which includes diapers, paper products, and other toiletries. On average, 75% of my money goes toward food and 25% toward household items. Of course the proportions vary depending on the needs of our household: most weeks I can get by spending only $10-15 on non-food items; some weeks I will need to make considerable … [Read more...]

January Pantry Challenge Update #3

This week marks the fourth and final full week of the January Pantry Challenge.  For updates on previous weeks, click here and here.This past week I spent roughly $50 on groceries, buying mostly fruit, dairy, and canned beans.  It is really UNBELIEVABLE how expensive food is!  Even though I only bought the bare minimum of what I thought we needed for the week, I still spent considerably more than I'd wanted, and I didn't even buy any meat! We've eaten up almost everything in the fridge, so there … [Read more...]

Pantry Challenge Update & Menu Plan for the Week of January 15th

We're still going strong with the January Pantry Challenge.  Even though I spent more than the first week ($38.75), I am proud that this past week my total was under $65 at the grocery store.  (Usually, we spend roughly $75 a week for food.)  We've being go through yogurt and fruit like crazy, so I'll be making a batch of homemade yogurt this week.  Trust me: If you eat a lot of yogurt, you should really make it yourself.  It's so much more cost-effective than buying the 32-oz tubs, especially … [Read more...]

Pantry Challenge Update #1 & Menu Plan for the Week

Last Monday I posted my initial goals for the January Pantry Challenge that I am participating in with Life as Mom and scores of others across the globe. Each week I plan to give you an update on my progress. My original goals were (1) to lower our weekly grocery budget, which hovers around $75 per week; (2) make & keep a running inventory of what's in our pantry, freezer, and fridge; and (3) shop only for the basics and my stockpile. (1) Last week I kept all my receipts so I could keep track of … [Read more...]

Will You Join Me For a Pantry Challenge?

Well, it's the start of a new year and with that comes new beginnings, new goals, and new attempts at productivity.  When the door to our freezer wouldn't shut the other night, I decided it was high time for another "Eat-from-the-freezer-and-pantry Challenge".  So, I will be participating with Life as Mom and other bloggers in the January pantry challenge. Essentially, a pantry challenge is what you want it to be; you set your own personal goals.  The first year I participated I wrongly … [Read more...]

Menu Plan for the Weeks of January 1st-14th

I've decided to menu plan for two weeks instead of one during this month's pantry challenge.  I think it will relieve the anxiety I feel every Saturday when I start looking at the fridge and freezer contents and ponder what we'll be eating for the next seven days.  Instead of getting antsy five times this month, I'll only suffer two or maybe three times tops.  Yes, I'm being a bit dramatic, but if I can do this two-week meal plan, then it'll ease some of stress.  I really don't like making … [Read more...]

Summertime Pantry Challenge: The Results

Now that our Summertime Pantry Challenge is over, I would like to review the good and the bad that came out of our challenge.The GoodWe ate a lot of food from our freezer and pantry, making way for fresher veggies, fruits, and meats and using up older canned and dried goods.We tried some new recipes that we really enjoyed that will be a part of our regular repertoire, namely Grilled Ground Beef Gyros, Lentil Hummus, and Chicken Souvlaki.I shopped at the farmer's market, and we ate fresh, … [Read more...]