Monday, November 3, 2008

Thriving at the Grocery Store

With our income getting cut temporarily, and the economy what it is, I decided it was time to take a hard look at our grocery spending and see what we could do to trim it a little. Even before my hours got cut, J and I had decided that eating out at $20 a pop (for a cheep meal) was really eating up our spendable income. We don't want to be those people who have to turn down their friend's invite to dinner out, so we decided that eating in would help us make sure we had a little extra spending money when we needed it.

Then last week, we find out that our income is shrinking some for the next few months at least. So, this weekend, before our weekly grocery store trip, I decided that I was going to figure out how to get us more for less.

We stopped at the gas station on the way home from our weekend eating out lunch trip (which by the way was financed by a coupon I'd found in the mail for a buy one get one offer at a new bbq restaurant we'd been meaning to try). I bought a paper, and took out my scissors.

Now, I'm throughly opposed to buying stuff just because you have a coupon. I've seen that lead to spending that wouldn't have normally happened, and saving money on something you wouldn't have spent money on in the first place, isn't really saving money in my book.

So before we started planning meals for the week, I made sure to clip only coupons for things we needed, or at least used regularly and would need again eventually. Then we pulled up the weekly sales circular from our local Harris Teeter. We then planned our meals for the week around the things that were on sale, specifically the meat since that is the most expensive part of our grocery bill usually.

It was so much fun! It was like being on an adventure hunt! And whenever you found a really good deal, it was like "HA! HA! Take that sucker! We win!"

So, to total it all up, we spent just a little over $150 (which is a little on the high side of our average but not outragous). In that $150, we got enough ground beef to last us for 2 weeks! A wonderful roast for 50% that will feed us and our two best friends on Tuesday night while we watch the election results roll in. And some AMAZING wild salmon that I will be able to cook on Wednesday night when I'm off of work. Additionally we got some things that weren't on sale, like a flour sifter and a bread pan that I need for a recipe I want to make soon (more on that later!), and some of our favorite... drumsticks! MMMMMmmmmmm......

And with all that we saved... over $35 between store discounts and coupons. Oh and Harris Teeter doubles all coupons below $.99!!! Woohoo! (Never thought I'd be getting excited about double coupons!)

I know it seems like a very small thing, but with everything going on in the economy and with my job situation, I firmly believe in celebrating every single victory! So, what are you doing to combat these difficult financial times? Feel free to share you victories, large and small, in the comments!

Oh and don't forget to vote!!!

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