Just got home from the store - I took my late-week shopping lesson from a few days ago, and when I checked out the sale listings on Couponmom I made special note of the items that were deeply discounted - anything over 60 percent off. Those would be the most likely to clear out before the end of the weekend, and since I don't know if I'll get to the store again before next week I didn't want to take any chances.
Boy did I make out well. I was already pretty well stocked for high-need items (produce, milk, eggs, etc) so this was really just a trip to load up the pantry and the freezer. I picked up split chicken breasts for 99 cents a pound, kielbasa was BOGO, ears of corn were 29 cents each, and I have enough Hamburger helper to carry me on plenty of nights when I just don't feel like working too hard in the kitchen. Between the meat purchases on Thursday and today, I have enough in the freezer now for about 3 weeks worth of dinners.
I giggled when I read the receipts from this trip:
That's no typo - I got over $100 worth of food for a little under 40 bucks.
I'm so much more aware of how much we spend each week - and more aware of how completely in the dark I was about our actual grocery "budget" before this (I use that term VERY loosely!). I don't think I ever actually tracked our weekly spending, let alone restricted our budget. I just used the "only buy what's on sale" strategy as much as I could, but without any real plan. Planning meals ahead of time is still something I struggle with, though in all the reading I have done it is ALWAYS one of the key components of living frugally across many different writers and bloggers. A woman at work made a good point the other day as well, about cooking the "old fashioned" way - as in, only using what is in season locally instead of relying on imports from other states and countries to fill the fridge. With gas prices getting worse, I think I could sacrifice my Florida oranges if it means I can load up on apples from the orchard down the road for half the price.
If the schedule allows, I hope to post some more specific meal planning tools in the next week, as well as the promised food storage tips. In the meantime, happy Father's day weekend!
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