Friday, January 7, 2011

Grocery Stock-Up

Last night, Robert and I went to the grocery store. This was an exceedingly necessary trip. We hadn't gone to get groceries since before our Christmas trip to see my folks and only the fact that they sent us home with bags of frozen food kept us going even this long! A fun little sort-of tradition we've developed is that my folks, who have a tendency to stuff both their large fridge-freezer and the downstairs deep freeze with way too much food, will go through their collection at the end of our visit and give us all sorts of stuff. This give them room in the freezer, and gives us all sorts of wonderful stuff to eat. We've had mini corndogs and French Toast Sticks, an excellent beef stew that I made into shepherd's pie with the addition of some frozen mashed potatoes, and all kinds of lovely things to eat. Waste not, want not, right? But we needed milk and margarine and formula, and there was a good sale going that I wanted to hit up, so it was grocery time!

Grocery time was originally going to be Sunday, but Sunday morning I woke up feeling weird and icky. I made it to church because I was worship leader that day, but by the time I got home, I was just feeling rotten, and starting to run a fever to boot. I sort of stayed away  from everyone at church, so I hope I didn't pass it to anyone. M watched Robert all Sunday and let me rest, which was helpful as I was almost totally nonfunctional. But by Monday morning, he had it too, which was even worse. We were both running at about 25% capacity, while Robert was still at 100, which made things hard. Working in shifts, we cared for him and slept, and eventually by Tuesday, we were starting to feel better. Robert never got sick, thank god. He was the only one of us who had a flu shot this year, which probably had something to do with it.

Anyway, with that happening, groceries got pushed forward to last night, which meant that I had to do all this month's WIC shopping and Meijer's big 11-for-$10 sale and use the other coupons I wanted to use all in the same visit! Eee! With Robert as my trusty navigator, we set out. This month I did something smart! Even though Meijer keeps the frozen food in front, I skipped it for once, and went straight for the baby aisle! I did all the WIC shopping first, stacked it all into a shopping basket, and put the basket under the cart. Not only did that keep it out of the way, it made it so much easier to get out and keep together at checkout time! I will always do that from now on. It took us almost an hour and a half for me to gather the sixty-odd items on my list (I did the 11-for-10 deal four times over, and got other stuff as well) and by the time we were getting towards the end, Robert was more than done with shopping. It was getting late, and he was tired and hungry! The nice lady in the deli saved our day by giving him a whole potato wedge, which was by far the largest french fry Robert had ever seen. And you know how he feels about french fries. Eating his way through that kept him busy all the way to the checkout counter, and most of the way through the line. Phew.

I'm trying a new experiment this month, one that is very popular with a lot of the frugal bloggers I like to read. You get your grocery budget for the month, and you take it out of the bank in cash. Before you go shopping, you figure out about how much your groceries will cost, and you take that much with you in cash, and you use it to pay for your groceries. You look at the money as you give it to the cashier, and you physically take your change. Not only does it make you think harder about how much you're spending, but when the money you've taken out of the bank for the month is gone, you're done shopping till next month. This was my first time trying it, so I carefully figured out all the prices and coupons and stuff before leaving home, estimating on what I didn't know for sure. I thought it would be around 55 dollars, but because it was my first time, I took 70 with me. It turned out that my sixty-odd items, a bulging cartful, cost me 53 dollars, a savings of 61 dollars total. Not bad for a rookie! That's still a third of my budget for the month gone, though, and it's only the sixth of the month now. I have lots of creative plans to make sure that the money and food stretches. After all, I have new silverware, new storage containers, and new pots and pans. I have no excuses not to get awesome in the kitchen!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful boy you have there! You are really good at stretching your dollars. I remember last year at this time clipping coupons and sorting them with you. You taught me alot but I think I am a hard case. Also, I have to think that you got your ability to budget and coupon from your Dad. Grandma J would always scope out the deals before going on a shopping expedition. It is a great skill to have.


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