Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grocery Budget Warrior! And Homecooked Meals!

Now I don't really intend this to be a money saving blog. I mean other than how it directly relates to toddler savings. But that being said- more money saved in groceries means more fun money to dress up that munchkin.

I am really serious about groceries. I buy mainly organics. We eat very cleanly and I try to never make us anything from a box. I feel that one of the best things I can do for Sammy and my entire family is to prepare healthful & varied meals that taste pretty darn good.

My tools for this undertaking are generally pinterest and a notebook. I open my pinterest to my food board and list out each day I need to plan a menu for. I shop in two week sections so that I only need to do this bi-weekly. This cuts down on some of the extra prep time it takes to prepare meal ideas and surf. Then I save that time back by only couponing once and only shopping once.

So after I have looked on pinterest and gotten meals written down for every dinner meal- I fill in what would generate leftovers for two adult lunch portions. I try to line up the meals in a way that generally I have meals that make leftovers from Sunday-Thursday. I don't worry about those on Friday & Saturday. I tend to make lunches on Saturday and Sunday anyway so it gives me a little bit of leeway.

Now I am not perfect. I tend to buy a loaf of French bread or something that we can use to make a lunch not involving leftovers. I try to add in four of those servings into my meal plan and that gives me some wiggle room as tastes may change and the husband wants a break. We try to only eat out once a month so I really don't have any wiggle room other than switching up what each meal may contain.

While I am deciding what to make, I generally list ingredients on a second page in a "grocery list" page for each recipe I will make. I need to know what ingredients I need to prepare meals. I don't shop at the grocery store for meals- I shop for ingredients to make meals. That is an attitude change that will save you a lot of money. You want to make sure you get enough milk, eggs, vanilla- whatever to make your meals.

I also have a list of items that are staples we need each week- Organic Milk, Stoneycreek Yogurt for Sammy. Their entire dairy section for Sammy. See a pattern. Is Sammy actually bovine...?

After I have all of that listed- I try to group by sections in my grocery store. I write freezer items on the top, next dairy, then cleaning stuff. So I don't have to backtrack very often. It helps! And it helps me do coupons. I print coupons from and Then I pop onto Target's savings app- Cartwheel and then fill that up with items on my list. I pay with my target debit card and save an added 5%. Generally we spend about $180 for two weeks of groceries. That also includes any toiletry type items and hair care products.

So there you have it. I have a grocery budget of $240 per two weeks so every month I am able to put back about $120 into my family's savings. It feels amazing to be in control of what we eat and what we spend. It takes some time and forward thinking- but it is worth it and I cannot imagine going back to just getting whatever sounded good at the grocery store.

Just a final note: I know a lot of moms are really busy. I totally get that. Hopefully you're able to take something away or see a way something else would benefit you after thinking outside of the box. I will say after doing something for a while- you just get better at it. I do cook everything from scratch but I really don't think of it as a time waster. I am able to wash a few dishes while I cook- have a conversation with my husband and a rare glass of wine or tea. I can tickle Sammy and feed the dogs. This is not down time- I turn it into productive time. I work and get home around 6pm and know that sometimes after work seems like a mad dash. Hopefully you see something that can assist your family in having more money and feeling better about the foods you consume!

No comments:

Post a Comment