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Who said Friday the 13th was unlucky?

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:

Spent: $39.73

Saved: $63.09

That's no typo - I got over $100 worth of food for a little under 40 bucks.

Dinner tonight will consist of the corn (I'll cook it all but half will be scraped off the ear and frozen for another night) some chicken drumsticks, and homemade buttermilk biscuits. That's $0.75 for the corn, $0.50 for the biscuits, and about $1.80 for the chicken. Not a bad Friday night dinner for $3.25.

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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