Thursday, November 4, 2010

Running to the Store on Thrifty Thursday

The stomach bug has hit my family, and in turn, all my daycare kids, with a vengeance this week.  If there is a blessing in that, it is that ite waited to hit me until I was able to nurse my kids and husband back to health!  I am hoping I get this completely written and posted today! 

It did, however, remind me of a great way to loose track of how easy it is to spend way to much at the grocery store. 

It hit my daughter, so, I ran to the store to pick up crackers and Gatorade.  I left with more than that.   Then, I had to run back to the store a few hours later for a can of soup.  The next day, I had to run to the store for a thermometer (My girl dropped ours and it broke!), thermometer covers, anti-nausea medicine, more Gatorade, more soup and more crackers. 

See a pattern here!?

Making multiple trips to the grocery store for a few things here and there is a great way to blow your grocery budget without even realizing it!  Its easy to go for a few things, and leave with a few things more than you intended. 

I am no where near as good as the pro's, who can go to the grocery store loaded with coupons and come out with $200 worth of groceries having only paid a few bucks.  But, I can buy two weeks worth of groceries for my family of 4 for about $180.  And we don't eat lightly....I have been known to make a 9x13 pan full of casserole, give my kids and I one helping, and watch my husband eat every bit that is left!

There are two simple things I do every time I go to the store.  I make a menu, and a list, and I stick to it religiously.

On Fridays, I get out my spiral notebook in which I keep all my menus and lists.  I list out Sunday - Saturday two times, then write out the meals beside them.  I go through each meal and write down everything I need to make them.  Suppose the menu takes flour, and I already have flour.  I write it down anyway.  I may not need flour now, but I might later!

What I like about this approach is that it reminds me of leftovers I might otherwise forget.  Roast on Sunday?  Great!  On Monday, I will not have to buy anything for our meal, because I will use all the leftovers and turn them into Shepherd's Pie.  (I have to re-create leftovers because Barb Wire man refuses to eat them.  He just doesn't know he is eating them!)

I do cut coupons, and rarely buy name-brand anything.  There are something things that are better as name brand, but for the most part, they are all the same!

I am hoping to one day have 52 weeks worth of menus and shopping lists compiled.  Then, I can just grabbed  lists, rather than having to sit down each time!  That will be a time saver!  Hmmm, maybe I should turn it into a book!?

I hope all this makes sense, as I am simply not feeling well today.  How do you save money at the store?  What is your approach to grocery shopping?

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