Friday, April 1, 2011

First attempt at lowering the grocery bill...

This is my 100th post! Woo hoo!

Times are tough right now. Finances are tight. Work is scarce. What's an aspiring housewife to do?

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."
{Proverbs 31: 11-14}

I've set my mind to making the best effort to lower our monthly bills. I've spent several hours on the phone with utilities, phone & internet providers, etc. in order to accomplish this. I've also made a large effort to reduce our spending. One area that we knew we overspent was the area of food. We didn't really didn't have any idea how much we were spending.

Until I stumbled across this video series from Money Saving Mom.
Since then, I've been reading, researching, clipping coupons, and learning as much as I can.

The first thing that needs to happen for you to lower your grocery bill is to figure out how much you're spending. I averaged our weekly grocery store bills over the last 11 weeks and determined that we spend about $94 per week in groceries. And that doesn't count dinners out (or Starbucks)!!! There are only two of us!! Back in our intern days, we could survive off of $120 each per month for food. So that's sort of become my goal (I guess it wasn't official until now). That would be $60 per week.

Since we shop at Target often, I asked my husband what he thought about getting one of their debit cards in order to save 5% off every purchase. He originally said no because we're already earning points with our current debit card offered through Chase. With our Ultimate Rewards card, we can earn points to get cash back. However, Chase is eliminating this card, thus the option of a Target debit card went back on the table. This time, I got a YES!!!!

One of our local Targets is now carrying groceries! The others are close behind (coming in June!). Hooray for an automatic 5% savings on groceries!!!!! My new card just arrived in the mail today, so I took it for a test spin. Since Target matches the prices of their competitors, I looked through the weekly ads to see if there was anything we were out of/would use. Then, I looked at Target's online coupon supply, as well as a few other coupon sites to see what was available. I printed my coupons and then planned my shopping trip!

Here's what I ended up with:


A LOT of items were on sale. I couldn't use a coupon on everything (obviously), but I did score some excellent deals!

4 boxes Kraft macaroni & cheese $2.00
(Originally $1 per box, price matched to competitor's weekly ad)
3 packs Crystal Light raspberry lemonade $7.77
(Originally $5.18 each, coupon for $3 off when you buy 3)
Large box Multigrain Cheerios (my new favorite) $2.99
(Originally $3.79, price matched to competitor's weekly ad)
HUGE box Lucky Charms cereal $2.44
(Originally $3.89, price matched to competitor + coupon for $0.55 off)
2 NYC Nail polish colors $0.44
(Originally $0.97 each, printable coupon for $1.50 off when you buy 2)
Up & Up spray sunscreen 50 SPF $5.64
(Originally $6.64, Target coupon for $1 off)
4-pack Up & Up tissues $3.49
(Originally $5.49, used $1 off Up & Up tissues coupon + $1 off Up & Up brand product)

I also had a coupon for $3 off when you spend $30 on groceries. So I also bought...

8-pack of Butterfingers (husband's request)
Harvest Cheddar Sunchips (husband's request)
Barilla whole wheat penne pasta
Target brand whole wheat rotini pasta
Target brand whole wheat spaghetti
Target brand pasta sauce
Garlic bread
Hot Pockets Pepperoni
Target brand lasagna

After using my own reusable bags for a $0.05 discount per bag and the 5% discount from using the Target debit card......

Total spent = $39.62!!!
Total savings = $14.36!!!!!!!

I'd say that's not bad for my first attempt at lowering the grocery bill!!

Thanks for reading!

I'm linking up with:
504 Main

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UndertheTableandDreaming


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