Another week at the grocery store. . .

And I was still over budget.

I do hope that we will start to see changes in the grocery bill. I am sure it takes some time. The point of The Grocery Game is to stock up. Basically, I look at it this way: you buy from the store at the best price and you stock your grocery store at home. So you buy when you get a good price, not when you need/have to. I like the concept. It goes along nicely with the “be prepared” and “food storage” concepts we are taught at church. It can just be so hard to do.

The “list” was a little overwhelming. It was too much all at one time. I finally sat down and created a spreadsheet of my own for each store list. I took the items *I* wanted/needed from the list. This helped because for somethings I had different coupons than what were listed on The Grocery Game list. I also had a couple of coupons they didn’t list. I then adjusted and re-evaluated until I got close to my budget. Of course I was off because I forgot how much a previous purchase was. Oh well, we’ll make it up later. Somewhere. Somehow.

I wasn’t convinced I saved a whole lot of money this trip. I didn’t spend any less!

Of course, I bought a lot of meat I hadn’t planned on buying. Usually I pass by the “manager’s specials” on meats. They don’t always look too great. It is better to pass by the ones that they are trying to get rid of. This time, however, they looked pretty good. There wasn’t even any discoloration on some of them. Since it meant I was going to be getting them for about half price, I decided to go for it. I mean, I was going to go home and seal them up using the Food Saver anyway. So I picked up 4 meals of boneless, butterflied pork chops, 2 meals of bone in pork chops (1 we ate the next night), and 5 meals of beef (top sirloin steaks, and something else). They weren’t rib eyes, but they will work. I was getting unhappy with the fact that I had a freezer with nothing to eat in it. I like having stuff in there that can be fixed in a hurry and stuff to pull out on a whim if we just happen to want steaks one night. So the barren freezer needed to go. It certainly isn’t going to pass as full, but it is a start! My savings were pretty much eaten up there.

Then I just stood there in front the pantry. It was pretty barren there for a while. It certainly isn’t FULL, but it isn’t empty either. Am I comfortable with the fullness? Absolutely not. I want it full again. I want to know that if anything happens we really do not need to go to the store for more than the absolute essentials (milk, eggs, etc). So from that standpoint, I think that I got the pantry “fuller” than I would on a normal grocery shopping trip. I suppose that is good. I don’t feel like I wouldn’t be able to survive a month without a grocery trip.

I did get some good deals, aside from the meats. I am sure over time, the spending will even out and I’ll see more progress. I decided I’d focus on 1 item this week and see if I could buy enough to make it 10-12 weeks. I picked canned soups last week. This week I picked Capri Suns and Kool-Aid Jammers drink pouches. The kids seem to enjoy them. They are great for on-the-go and for the older boys’ lunches when they pack them. Randall’s was running a “buy 20 items get $20 back” special. These happened to be one of the items on the list. The best this is that you get partial credit for 10 items or 15 items. The Capri Suns and Kool-Aid Jammers were also on sale for $1.88 a box. I bought 10! That gave me a total of $13.80 after my $5 back. My individual price? $1.38 each!!! So that was my stock up item this week. I am not sure what it will be next week, we’ll have to wait and see on Saturday once all the lists are released in this area.

Other good savings I got. . .

I found Pampers Easy Ups training pants on the clearance rack at Randall’s. I had a $2 coupon from the cash register last week! That made the package $5.99 so I had to go look and see what the full price was for that particular package. The package I got was on sale for $10.99 that week! I basically got it for just more than half price! SCORE! I didn’t necessarily “need” pull-ups this week. We still had some at home. Taking the “stockpile” mentality to heart though, it was a great deal I likely wouldn’t find again so I had better get it! It wasn’t even on any of my lists. They had Huggies Pull-Ups but not Pampers. I didn’t have the coupon for the Huggies so it wasn’t a spectacular deal for me. I could get them cheaper at Wal-mart.

Scott paper towels were on sale at Kroger for $1 a mega roll. I had a coupon for $1 off 2 mega rolls. Again, this was a cash register coupon from the week before. I normally don’t buy anything but Bounty paper towels. That is my preference. I have been buying more store brands lately because the price is better. Well, I bought 2 rolls and got each roll for $0.50 and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about buying something I’ve never tried before!!! I didn’t absolutely need paper towels this week. We still had some at home. Again, taking the stock up mentality, I bought 2 rolls.

Post-It Notes can be expensive anywhere you shop. I’m talking name brand here! Even at Wal-mart or Target, they can set you back a few hundred pretty pennies. The deal was at HEB. . . two coupons for $2, so you’d end up with 2 packages for next to nothing ($0.39 each). Well they were out of anything in the $2-3 range. I wasn’t buying. I found them at Kroger for around that price range. I got a package of 4 Post-It Note square pads for $0.79, I held onto my 2nd coupon as they didn’t have the particular style the coupon indicated. But I have Post-It Notes!

The Windex Multi Surface Antibacterial cleaner will set you back almost $3 at Wal-mart. Regular price at Randall’s is $3.99 but they were having a “buy one get one” sale, I had a coupon for $0.75 so I ended up only paying $1.62 each. That’s just slightly more than half of what I’d pay for a single one at Wal-mart. We use that stuff and the regular Windex Multi Surface cleaner.

I hope that this coming week will yield some cheap deals as well. I was seeing the need to buy multiple Sunday newspapers each week just for the multiple coupons. I could have used it on the cereals and the Windex. I am sure I’ll get strange looks for that one. But for $5-6 a week (what I have been told is a sweet spot for coupon savings), I have more than saved double that in the sure face value of the coupons itself. Yesterday I saved about $31 in just face value coupons (not counting the ones that were doubled and tripled). With multiple coupons, the savings could easily double!

I hope eventually to be able to learn how to do this myself without having to pay for The Grocery Game lists. I think I will start creating my own database of original prices, sale prices, and what coupons I have. I can then generate my own lists. I know that it will take time.

My friends that do this assure me that it does get better. I sure hope it gets better quickly.

1 Comment

  1. Can I just say….you made me homesick for the grocery game!! I did it too before we left. It is VERY overwhelming at first…takes a few months to really get organized and see some major results. But that is totally how I got my food storage! It does work..stick with it for a couple months. Hearing all those deals you got makes me so homesick for Kroger and Randalls! Good luck!!

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