Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Week 1: The Bi-Weekly Shopper

I'm definitely a bargain hunter, so I've decided to start making my savings known to others!

I usually buy groceries on a weekly basis, but this week I thought I would try to prepare for two weeks. I planned my menu for the next two weeks and made my list. Much to my surprise, I was able to buy two weeks worth of groceries for our family of three, for under $80 (including Jaxson's diapers)! Normally, we spend $60-65, plus the gas for making an extra trip there. Now, this may not work for us every week, but we'll see!

Let me start by saying, I DESPISE WalMart and no longer shop there. We decided to make it our New Year's resolution to give them as little money as possible. So far in 2008, we've spent less than $12 at Walmart. Personally, I think most of their stores are dirty, a great deal of their employees have poor attitudes, they never have enough lines open, and their prices are often higher than many other stores. I shop at Target, because I enjoy the customer service and clean environment they offer. I know some people are opposed to shopping at Target, but again, it's just my personal preference. I also shop at Aldi, because they have great prices, great customer service, and no buggies in the parking lot to hit my car! Check out more at (www.aldifoods.com).

So what do we eat?
Saturday: garlic parmesan crusted chicken, parmesan pasta shells, and green beans ($4.96)
Sunday: cheesy smoked sausage jambalaya ($3.58)
Monday: corned beef and cabbage casserole with fresh new potatoes ($4.50)
Tonight: salmon croquettes, southern fried potatoes, and baked macaroni and cheese ($3.68)

As you can see, we are not eating rice and beans every night. And the garlic parmesan crusted chicken was absolutely delicious. We will definitely be making that more often! We have leftover food almost every night, that we can either freeze or take for lunch during the week.

Just for price comparison, here's what I spent at Aldi this week:
  • Loaf of bread: $0.69
  • Jambalaya rice mix: $0.99
  • Cream of mushroom soups: 2 @ $0.47
  • Canned green beans: 2 @ $0.39
  • Chocolate pudding cups: $0.88
  • Fresh garlic: $0.79
  • 64 oz. apple juice: $1.49
  • 5 lb. sugar: $1.69
  • Corn dogs: $1.49
  • Cream cheese: $0.99
  • Butter quarters: $1.99
  • 2 lbs fresh lean ground beef: $4.74 total
  • 5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts: $5.49
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage: $2.29
  • Head of cabbage: $1.49
  • Bag of 7 onions: $1.49
  • Gallon of milk: $1.99
At Target, I bought:
  • Bottled water: $3.99
  • Luvs diapers: $15.99
  • Chef Boyardee meals: $0.89 each
  • Corned beef: $1.79
  • Cotton balls: $1.09
  • Little Debbie cakes: $1.43
  • Sliced cheese: $3.09
  • Smoked turkey lunchmeat: $2.79
  • Chicken Caesar pizza: $4.49
  • Breyers Ice Cream: $3.79
As you can see, I had several ingredients for my recipes on hand already. I'm going to start posting our weekly menu, along with recipes and costs. This is just one area where we save a great deal of money. We are trying to become debt free (with the exception of our mortgage) by the time we're 30!

Another way to save money is by using coupons. This sounds like common sense, but many people say they don't have time to do this. Time is money. If I can save $20 on a shopping trip by using coupons and it takes me 30 minutes to cut them out of the paper, then it is well worth it. My job doesn't pay me $20 to work 30 minutes, so until I start making $40 an hour, I'll keep clipping!

I hope this blog will help lots of others come closer to being debt free too!

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