Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do I feed my family for $60 a week, you ask?

Well ask and you shall receive. Believe me when I tell you saving money at the grocery store is no easy task, it take time and energy. Many people are not willing to do it, I used to be one of those people, until I took my grocery bill from $400-500 per month to $200-250 a month!

First of all you must, must, must clip coupons, print coupons and save coupons. Get the paper on Sunday (this cost about $1.50, but you can save 10x that if you utilize the coupons and sales properly), get coupons from your family and friends (both my husband's parents and mine save the coupons they do not use for us and mail them to us) search other blogs and online for printable coupons at sites such as Coupons.com, Redplum.com and WOW printable coupons. But, never use a coupon just to use a coupon that defeats the purpose. Only buy things that you need that you have a coupon for. If you do not have a coupon, but need the item buy a smaller size and see if a coupon comes out or you can find one later. Do not hesitate to write a company and tell them how much you like/use their product if this is a product you can not find coupons for often ask if they can send you some coupons, I guarantee they will!

Secondly, for my military friends ALWAYS utilize the commissary!!!! I do not care what you say 9 times out of 10 the commissary is ALWAYS cheaper than any other store around. We only have Publix grocery stores here, therefore in this post you will see an exact comparison of everything I bought at the commissary and the prices at Publix.

Do look at the sale papers for your local grocery stores. The only things I ever buy at Publix are the buy-one-get-one free sales that they have every week and occasionally they will have meat on sale for really great prices. The great thing at Publix is you only have to buy one of the item and you will get it for half price, if you do buy two of the item you can use a coupon for each item as well. Also, every Sunday Publix has a penny item, you get the coupon off of their sale ad in the paper, this week it was sweet tea and as a true southern gal their sweet tea is amazing!

Also, make sure you sign up for your local grocery stores loyalty/savings program. Publix does not have a loyalty program, but they do have a baby program and you get amazing coupons from them, I just got one for $5.00 off diapers, which can be combined with a regular Huggies coupon as well, so I had a $1.50 off Huggies coupon combined with my Publix coupon and I got $6.50 off a value box of diapers! Publix also has a Upromise card, you scan that and percentages of certain purchases will go into your child's Upromise account(if you want to know more about Upromise account click here). You can also link your Kroger, CVS and Piggly Wiggly cards to your Upromise account to save! Kroger has a loyalty program and often will send coupons to you to use at their store. Kroger has a Catalina program, if you buy certain $ amounts of products you will get a coupon at the register for $ off your next purchase, you can also use coupons with those deals. Kroger also has many 10 for $10 sales a lot of times on produce, you do not have to buy 10 to get the for $1 each either.

Another suggestion that I have that I strongly recommend you stick to is a menu for the week/month. Now with that said, before you go to the store make a menu of what you will eat for the week and get all items you will need for that week. If the main item that you need is not on sale then you need to change your menu. How I do it is this, I make a menu with 6 meals (we eat out on Sundays) that we would like to have for the week, then I make a sub-menu with 2-3 meals in case the main ingredient, say chicken, is not on sale or I can not find a good cut, etc. Now since you have all of the ingredients you must stick to the menu, you can change the days you have the food, etc but stick to the menu!

Stockpile, Stockpile, Stockpile! When your commissary has a case lot sale, take part in it! When there are items on buy-one-get-one at your local store that you use frequently (Publix often has pasta and spaghetti sauce) buy as many as you are allowed to buy, don't forget to use as many coupons as you can! Once you have a good stockpile built you can shop your own pantry for many of the staple items that you need for the weekly menu and you will not have to spend that money at the store!

Now on to the fun part! Since I only have Publix and the Commissary that will be where all of my shopping takes place, the good part for my blog readers, most of you live in Columbus or Savannah and you have both as well! So onward to this weeks shopping excursion!

Commisary vs. Publix (the first price listed is the commissary the next is publix)

Kraft Shells and Cheese (I bought 2) $1.69 $2.59
Fruit Chillers Fruit Cup $2.15 $2.49
Frosted Flakes $1.79 $3.99
Generic Fruit Loops $1.99 $2.69
Yo-Plus Yogurt $1.59 $2.50
Oscar Meyer Beef Franks $2.00 $3.99
Tater Tots $2.31 $3.39
Kid Quizines(I bought 3) $1.50 $2.19
Store Brand Hamburger Buns $.79 $1.19
Store Brand Hot dog Buns $.79 $1.19
Northland Apple Berry Juice $1.98 $2.99
Northland Apple Juice $1.50 $2.99
1/2 Gal 2% milk $1.65 $2.29
Heinz Ketchup 36 oz $1.49 $2.79
Del Monte Green Beans 8 pack $5.18 $10.32 ($1.29/can)
Kashi Cereal Bars 18 count box(bought 2) $2.25 $11.67($3.89/per 6 count box)
1.5lbs boneless pork chops $2.50 $6.56
1.25lbs ground beef $2.00 $3.36
1.25lbs ground beef $2.01 $3.38

Total $39.41 $75.15

6% surcharge or 7% sales tax +$2.37 +$5.26

Grand total $41.78 $80.41

minus coupons -$4.50 -$4.50

Final Total $ 37.28 $75.91

The proof is in the pudding! I had a 50% savings by shopping the commissary! For all of my military friends this is why you should shop there!!!!!!

I did however purchase a few items at Publix but they were super good deals!

  • Oceanspray Cranberry/Pomegranate Juice B1G1-$3.99 but 1 for $2.00
  • Special K with Redberries B1G1-2 for $3.99 but I had these amazing coupons for $1.00/1 use two of those and you get each box for $1.00
  • Shredded Cheese Publix Brand $1.67
  • Green Leaf Lettuce $1.49
  • V8 Fusion Passion Fruit (our commissary does not carry this) $3.99 use this coupon for $2.00/1 and you get it for $1.99
  • 1/2 Gallon of sweet tea $1.49, this was the penny item, so after the coupon I got it for 1 cent
  • Gerber prune juice $2.59(paid full price, hey I had a baby that needed some help!)
  • Breakstone Sour Cream B1G1-$0.99, bought 1 for $.50
  • Old El Paso Gordita Kit-B1G1-$2.99, bought 1 for $1.50

The total at regular price would have been $ 28.76

The total after sales and coupons was $14.09 that is a $50% savings!!!

I fed my family for $51.37 this week. The other $8.63 goes straight to the Disney World fund!!!

I used $9.98 in coupons and had $8.98 dollars in B1G1 savings, the rest was just comparison shopping and Great finds!!! By utilizing the coupons and B1G1 I saved $18.61 this week, this is a low week for me though I usually have at least $15 in coupon savings, but we did not need too much this week!

I will be back soon with some more great finds!


Noele Marie said...

We have started doing this. We made a two week menu that will last until payday. We stick to the list and only one of us goes to the grocery (cuts back on the kids asking for things). I cut out grocery bill in half this past week! Amazing. Another suggestion I have to add to your wonderful ones is to buy generic as much as possible (it tastes the same anyway!). Great tips Cortney!

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