Sunday, February 10, 2008

"The Grocery Game"

The current topic of conversation seems to be grocery shopping. This must be because I recently declared that we are trying to cut back on our expenses. Everywhere I go, people are talking to me about the ways that they save money on their grocery bill. This is indeed an expensive area of our budget and I decided that February would be the month where I tried to take control. I wanted to learn how to get the most for our dollar. I am finding that there is a huge learning curve in the land of grocery saving and this has been more of a challenge than I ever dreamed!

A week ago my friend M mentioned to me a site that she has successfully used in the past called The Grocery Game. I went and checked it out and though I don't fully understand it, it looks really cool. They claim that you can save hundreds of dollars each month on your grocery bill and they offer a 0ne month trial for $1. I might try it for a month and see what happens but paying $10 every 8 weeks is a bit of a turn off for me. I am so stubborn and would really have to be convinced that I would truly save a bundle to pay $5 a month to belong. I will let you know if I end up trying it out but for now I plan on just playing my own grocery game :)

So, I have become the queen of coupons over the last few weeks. When I was last at my mom's house I went through all of her old Sunday papers and clipped away. I only clipped coupons for the things we use but there were so many back issues of the Sunday paper that I walked away with a bundle. I really struggle with balancing coupons. Most coupons require you to buy more than one of the item and that stresses me out as I operate on a weekly budget.

Many people have mentioned the coupon websites out there like and couponbug. Some charge a fee and others are free. I plan to investigate them but S does not like it when I have to install foreign software on my computer and most of these websites require you to download a program....I will have to investigate that further.

My friends L and C both mentioned the low income grocery store in our area as an option for me. L goes there every couple of weeks and claims she saves a bundle. C has not yet tried it but plans to bite the bullet and leave the beautiful grocery store that she and I currently shop at. I talked it over with S and we thought that we would give it a whirl but go to our regular grocery store for meat and produce. Well I did that today....I ended up spending $30 more than last week and last week I was $25 over budget! Aaaahhhh!!!!!

So here is what I have concluded so far.....I need to operate off of a monthly budget and not a weekly budget. If I plan on using coupons or stocking up on things on sale...then it only makes sense. For example, right now I have a one month supply of Z's chicken fingers in the freezer because of a coupon I had (and knowing Z, now that I have all this chicken he will start to refuse to eat them). So I have 18 days left in the month, a house full of food and $150 left in the grocery budget:) It is a challenge but I think we can do it. We plan to "live off the land" (eat what we have in the house) which means creative cooking times ahead. The money left in the budget will be used for meat (weird coming from a former vegetarian), produce and dairy products. I am pretty sure that we are all set on the rest and if I have to bake my own bread or go shopping in my mom's cupboard...then so be it ;) I will let you know how we make out.

Oh, I almost forgot, I wanted to update you on our Biggest Loser Family Competition. We only have a few weeks left but I am down 8 pounds and S is down 10.8 :) I have 7 more to go and he has 7.2 :) We are working out like crazy, eating better and only drinking on the weekends! We have even cut that back too. We are doing well in the competition and hope to finish in the top 3. I will update you again soon!!!


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