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My own September Grocery accountability




I kept meaning to post this but we have been so busy.


I want to only spend $400 this month on groceries. For me groceries includes all non food/household items like toiletries, tp, trash bags, etc. As I have posted before, I have a lot of meat in my fridge, and I am trying to eat out of the pantry and freezer as much as possible this month.


Anyway, as I said, my goal is $400. Our budget is $600, I want to put back the other $200 into savings/bs2.


Week 1:


Meijer: $74 and change-This included some diapers, some school supplies, and then some basics like milk, flour, etc as well as some drinks.

Fresh Thyme: $13-produce

Apple Orchard:$20-apples (duh, right? lol)


Week 2:

Meijer: $135-included LOTS of tide, I should be stocked up till the end of the year. Also, a total and complete junkfood run, which we could have done with out.

Kroger:$14-a few lunch box items, some cereal, and a couple of bags of frozen veggies

Apple Orchard: $15-different orchard, apples and peaches.


So, totals for week 1 and 2-$274. Not doing so good.



However, next week, I have one more small trip to the orchard planned, and then I just need some cheese, milk, and only a couple of odds and ends to round out the menu.


Speaking of menu...for this week:


Breakfasts-cereal X2, Biscuits and gravy, Apple Cinnamon muffinsX2, Bacon and Eggs, and pancakes


Lunches-out with mom one day (used my allowance) SandwichesX2, Grilled Cheese, Leftovers, Quesadillas, bunch of stuff on a plate.


Dinners-taco casserole, baked chicken, cashew turkey stir fry, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, calamari steak parmesan with conch stew. Yesterday we were going to have Tbones, but with everyone sick, so way was that happening. Even today, I still feel like crap, but taco casserole is really easy.


I am currently working on the menu for the last two weeks of the month, and I will post that once I get it finished. I am hoping that I can finish it out without having to buy hardly anything else.



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Do you plan the purchases you make, say the Tide, or do you see a great sale and stock up?


I know you do spreadsheets, etc. Just curious if this is in your budget or opportunity knocking.

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I have a couponing spreadsheet I use to plan all my grocery shopping.  I plan it all out very carefully, looking through all the sale papers and stuff.  I actually check the sale previews for the next week before I finalize my list so that I don't get something that's going on a great sale the next week.  Which is what happened with the Tide actually.  I was just about out, and the sale that week was get $5 back WYB $25.  I had $3 off 1 coupons so I nearly stocked up then.  But, then Friday I checked the sale previews and found that they were going to be get $5 off instantly WYB $20.  Much better deal.

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Really, "how long" is a difficult question to answer, for two reasons.  The first is that my grocery shopping list planning is all tied in with meal planning and couponing.  I will be putting my menu together, looking through recipe books, and see that a certain recipe calls for carrots.  So I will then check to see if any of the stores have carrots on sale and then check around to see if there's a coupon (usually at earthbound farms.)  Then I will send that coupon to my printer and once the list is all put together, all the coupons I sent to the printer I then cut and put away.  The second reason is that it depends on the weeks too.  Some weeks, there's not much on sale, or I don't need to get much, or the coupons aren't very good, or all three or whatever.


One other thing is that I am often working on the stuff in little bits through the week.  I might be playing around on Moneysavingmom.com, and come across a post that lists a new coupon for say...trash bags.  Then I remember that there is a good sale at kroger, so I check the sale paepr online to confirm, probably check my cabinet to see if we have boxes or room (because it doesn't matter how good the sale is, if there's no more room, there's no more room, the sale will come back around.) then I will pull up my spreadsheet and add it to the list. 


I can tell that generally speaking, it takes me about 3ish hrs a week to grocery shop-that's from the time I walk out the door at home, to the time I pull back in the driveway.  I can also tell you that it takes about an hour to go GET my coupons...but that I probably actually only go do that once a month.  Sometimes I grab them on the way to or back from my mom's, some weeks it's not worth it to buy coupons, some weeks my mom gets them for me out in Indy and mails them or drops them off when she's out here.  This week there's only about $1.50 worth of coupons coming out, so it's not even worth it to pay for a paper.  I can also tell you that on weeks that coupons are really good, it can take like 2 hrs to cut and organize, but on weeks where I am not even buying a paper, it only takes a few moments to cut and organize the Qs I print.  But for the actual grocery list planning and weekly menu planning it's really hard to pin down a time frame.  It would probably take less time if I just set aide a block of time, kid free, and focused on JUST that. 

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Ok, so, out of curiosity, I actually timed myself this time around.  Through the week I did make one or two additions to the grocery list, but very small and not much time.


So, today at 10:25, I started working on a menu and grocery list for 2 wks.  Two whole weeks menu and grocery lists for each week, with both sale papers and my coupons.  I finished it at 12:45, and had to stop once to get Dani Lee ready for school and get her on the bus, plus change CJ's diaper and throw a load of laundry in the wash.  Probably took 20 minutes total.


Which means that for 2 weeks, it took me 2 hrs, menu and grocery list.  Didn't have much to get actually, so probably most regular 1 week planning would take about an hour and a half, for menu and grocery list. 


As of right now, I am looking at saving about $150 on the two weeks.  That's $150 off the budgeted amount.  If I manage to stick to that, it would put us at $175 saved off budget on the month, so that's ok.  Not quite goal, but not bad.  And then according to my Meijer receipts, I am saving 39% off regular prices, on average.  That doesn't count savings at other stores, Meijer is the only place that I can see my receipts and I haven't been tracking them myself. 



Also...full disclosure, our beef will be here probably by the end of the month.  It's going to be about $400 to $450.   But that money is already in savings, saved up from grocery budget savings. 


I will list the rest of the menu later, I have stuff to do. 

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Gah! I had a big old post with my menu and it's gone.


Breakfasts this week:bacon and eggs, apple cinnamon muffins (x2), Oatmeal (x2), Cereal (x2)


Lunches this week: buffalo chicken wraps (well, was on the menu, we skipped them and went with leftovers,) nuggets, sandwiches (x2), quesadillas, grilled cheese, leftovers


Dinners: roast turkey with mashed taters and sauted carrots, grilled chicken with taters on the grill and mac salad, slow cooker chicken stroganoff over noodles (which I thought was gross, DH liked it though), calamari parmesan over noodles with steamed crab claws and conch soup, breakfast for dinner (pumpkin pancakes, bacon, eggs,) pizza, baked pork chops with potatoes and salad.



Then next week-


Breakfasts:bacon and eggs, pancakes (x2), breakfast pizzas, oatmeal, cereal (x2)


Lunches: sandwiches (x2), grilled cheese (x2), quesadillas, nuggets, and on Sunday for football I am going to try a selection of junky football food, but made from scratch.  A taco dip with chips, some deep fried cheese bites, buffalo wings, etc. 


Dinners: Sloppy Joes with fries, Peppery shrimp alfredo over noodles, maple teriyaki salmon with rice pilaf and a salad, saucy chicken legs with au gratin pototes and green beans, pork roast with hot cinnamon apples and sliced cucumbers, pizza, turkey soft tacos with spanish rice.




This is my shopping list for next week


3 Salmon Filets

3 Bacon

12 lbs Bananas

2 Lettuce

1-2lb Sweet Pepper bag

3-Potatoes 10lb bag

5lb Grapes

1 bag Lil Snappers Pears

1 bag Onions

1-3lb Bag Carrots


Cereal (4 boxes at $1.99 each plus coupons)

plus 4 gallons of milk from Aldi.  I am going to have to add flour to the list too, I only have enough to finish out this week.  But, I am looking at around $65 to $70 for all that.  I might drop one of the bags of potatoes, and maybe a bacon, not sure. 

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