Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Shopping with Shirelle!

I should offer my disclaimer before I delve into my trip. There are a lot of ways to save money at the grocery store. I have my method, and it probably isn't even the most frugal. I do know people that successfully coupon and save a lot more than me. I haven't had much luck with couponing, so this is the current frugal method that I use to save money :)

Sunday was grocery shopping day. It's usually a half-day affair, as I only go once every two weeks.

Our shopping trip actually starts on Saturday night. I sit down with the ads from all my local stores, my grocery list, and my meal plan list. First I scrounge around my pantry/freezer and see what needs to get eaten. We still have a bunch of corn tortillas, and we have an insane amount of cheese that I got free from work. I have 1/2 lb. of leftover italian sausage, a couple lbs. of beef stewing meat, and several lbs. of chicken breast.

Pork chops are on sale at Sack and Save, and they also have chicken drumsticks/thighs for 88 cents/lb. I pick apart the ads and figure out where the best prices are on produce this week--Sack and Save has strawberries for $1.88, and yellow onions 3lbs./$1. They almost always have good deals on produce that aren't marked in their ad, so I'll pick some up when I'm there. Kroger has watermelons on sale for $3.88, and I know that will last us a while.

Here is the dinner meal plan for the next two weeks:

Homemade pizza with italian sausage, salad
Fried Chicken (the husband requested this), mashed potatoes, and a veggie
Homemade mac and cheese and broccoli
Fish tacos with rice and refried beans
Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, eggs, grits)
Homemade "hamburger helper" and some kind of veggie
Bean burritos (homemade), lettuce and tomato
Pork chops, sweet potato pancakes, corn
Beef and Cheese Enchiladas and beans
Oven chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes, swiss chard
Tuna Casserole, some kind of veggie
Meat and potato quiche (this is a new recipe) and sauteed zuchinni
Beef curry and fried plaintains
Pantry/freezer meal

My first stop is Sack and Save. If I get there early in the morning, they usually have meat and milk marked down. I get what is on my list in the produce department, and notice that they have watermelon for $2.50, which is cheaper than Kroger, so I pick it up there. They have peaches for 68 cents/lb. and I pick some up for Michael.

I head over to dairy and immediately see the all the red mark-down tags. I pick up six gallons of milk at $1.99 each, and the dairy guy offers to mark some more down for me, but I tell him I can't fit anymore in my tiny freezer!

On the way to the meat department I notice they have hamburger buns marked to 50 cents for an 8-pack, and I pick some up, mentally deciding that I will make tuna melts with them one night. I head to the meat department and pick up the pork chops and chicken on my list, and I also notice that they have ground pork marked down to $1, so I pick two of them up. I buy the bacon that was in their ad for $1.99, and pick up TP at 78 cents for a 4-pack. I also pick up a couple of boxes of sugary cereal for my husband--they were 3/$5 in the ad. At the checkout counter, the girl looks shocked at my milk purchase, and says, "You know these are all like two days from their date right?!" I spend $50 at Sack and Save.

I'm done there, and I head over to Save a lot. I first go to the counter and buy $40 worth of gift cards. They have deal going on right now, where you save 10% off of gift cards. I buy a lot of my staples here--they have red tape bananas for 25 cents a lb. and I buy a lot of those to make banana bread for breakfasts. They don't have any good deals on meat or dairy, so I pass those up. This is my default store for canned goods, cereal, baking goods...they have great prices on staples if I can't find them on sale elsewhere. I only spend $20 at Save a lot, so I still have my other gift card for the next shopping trip, and I head over to Kroger.

I usually spend the most at Kroger. I first go grab a juice from the produce aisle which is (oops!) not on the list, and not particularly frugal. I don't have the kids with me, so I'm savoring the fact that I don't have to share my juice with a greedy two year old.

In the meat aisle, I grab some marked down ground beef, and in the dairy aisle I score another 16 ounce container of sour cream for 50 cents. They've had these way marked down the last few times that I've been in. I bypass the milk because I am stocked up! I pick up beer for the husband at (gasp!) 5.99 for a 6-pack. He'll have to settle for Modelo in the can, because I refuse to spend more than that. I pick up one brick of cheese that was on sale in the ad for $1.50. Next I pick up bread, which for whole wheat is $2.50! I consider baking my own bread again. I buy 2-2 liters of Dr. Pepper, that was in the ad for $1/each. I pick up a few staples....yogurt for the boys, frozen peas, brown rice, noodles, peanut butter(have a coupon!), toothpaste and floss, applesauce and my expensive coffee which is $5.99/lb. I'm realizing that we could save a lot more money if we drank more water!

I get everything home and make my husband and kids unload it all!

I took $190 with me, and came home with $35. So I spent $155, but I still have a $20 gift card, so I actually spent $135 on two weeks worth of groceries.

$67.50 a week is not bad!

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