Friday, April 11, 2008

How To Spend $50/week On Groceries

"How do you do it?" "How can you feed a family of 6 on $50/week?" "Does that include household items?" "Do you ever have other families over for dinner?"

These are a couple questions I hear on a fairly regular basis. So, I wanted to point out a couple of the things I have changed in my shopping and cooking in order to make a $50 budget doable.

1) Only buy thing on sale!! This is the biggest change for me. Instead of making a list of the things I want to buy so that I can make what I want to make, I buy what is on sale and we eat that. We do not make quick trips to the store to get (insert grocery need) in order to make dinner. We look at what we have on hand and figure out how to make that work. And yes, sometimes that means cereal for dinner.
To clarify, this does not include milk, eggs, bread, produce or meat. I have found those things rarely go on sale. Also, when it comes to meat, I still buy all my meat at Sam's Wholesale. I have found that they are cheaper than the grocery store half-price sales.

2) Use Coupons!! This is just as important as only buying things on sale. I used to think that coupons could save me $3 or $5 in a shopping trip. Well, when I only clip the 1 coupon for something I want and then leave it in the car or at home, I never saved a thing! Now, I have a coupon organizer for all my food items and a separate one for non-food items. I take them with me everywhere I go and I save up to $60 just in coupons in ONE trip!! Remember, coupons are not only found in the Sunday paper (although I always get my paper). There are tons of printable coupons online. Check out my coupons link to the left to see where I go to find great coupons. Also, if you need multiple coupons for the same item, buy them here
The Coupon Clippers

3) Stock up on sale items. When something goes on sale and I know it is something my family likes, I stock up. To see what I am talking about, check out my posts here and here. This way, I will have plenty of the item until it goes on sale again. This also helps me in planning meals for more than just our family. We often have meals with my extended family (we all live on the same street) or friends. I am amazed at how much less I spend and how much more we have on hand. It has been such a blessing.

4) Figure out how to get all household products for free or nearly free at CVS. This is a great program and one I have become very addicted to. The best detailed post I have read on how to get started with CVS and how to keep going is at Southern Savers post CVSing Guide. If you haven't ventured into this world because it seems too confusing or overwhelming, I challenge you to try it for 1 month and see if you think it is worth the savings.

Well, I hope this has been helpful. It sure has been a great adventure for me these last 5 months. My favorite thing to do is to try and beat my savings from the week before. It is so fun to get to the end of my transaction at the grocery store and see that I have saved more than twice the amount I paid.

13 comments:

Bren said...

Thank you for your blog and helpful posts. Yours is the first I check to see if I missed any Publix deals when the new circular comes out. I just began doing this, but last night's trip to Publix.... Spent $64, saved $62. I have one less child, and my budget is nearly twice yours, but that's still good compared to what it used to be. I was afraid I'd have to give up some of my nutritional "musts" to bring our budget down, but that hasn't been the case. I have had to pass up some good deals because we're dedicated to only whole grains, no corn syrup, no hydrogenated oils, no processed snacks... and yet, I'm feeding a family of 5 on less than $100 a week, about $65 less per week than before I began doing this. And my pantry is PACKED. Thanks again.

Last night I passed up the white bogo pasta for $1 off each (10 coupons/10 boxes) off the whole grain. I got organic canned tomatoes for pennies. Classico - of course! While I normally make my own bread, I did also try the Pillsbury manu/store coupon deal on whole wheat dinner rolls. (I include this only as proof to those who say that couponing doesn't work for "health nuts".)

With practice I hope to get closer to your $50/week budget (slowly).

Tammy said...

WOW! You are good!

Billie said...

Great tips! I finally am down to $75 per week!

Also, great post at biblical womanhood! I've constantly stuggled with getting up early...it's nice to know that others do to and that it's ok to work it another way in your morning!

Deb said...

Holy COW! You wouldn't believe what we spend. And most of it is because I get to the end of the day completely wiped, without food in the frig. I have to get out to the store tomorrow. I'll have to keep your ideas in mind. Whoo!
Deb
www.AsWeWalk.typepad.com

Terri said...

I am also a homeschool momma.... look forward to following your blog! You have some great tips.

Andrea @ The Train To Crazy said...

Wow. Just wow. We only have 5 eaters and we spend so much money on food. I haven't spent the time to figure out the coupon thing but this is inspiring me!

Jill said...

Okay, so so glad I stumbled upon your blog...we too are homeschoolers, and husband works for Publix..so we do love the sales...I have been very overwhelmed by the coupon thing, but I think I could do it with your tutoring...so I am favorite-ing you today, and look forward to learning a lot. Thanks again.

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Jill,

You can do it!! At first, it takes some extra time and effort. But, after a while, it just comes natural (kinda like homeschooling :)

31 Girl said...

I am so overwhelmed by this! We have to get our grocery bill down - I am commiting myself to learning this. i am going to start with CVS and Winn-Dixie to see how I do. Thanks for your info.

Tracee

Kelly said...

Hi Cassie, I'm a Christian homeschooling mom also, praying to learn all I can about stretching the dollars God entrusts us with. I've only been couponing for a month. I recently stumbled upon your blog and want to read this post, but can only access the comments. Help! Thanks, Kelly

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Kelly,

I'm not sure what the problem is. Here is a direct link to the post:
http://homeschoolingfour.blogspot.com/2008/04/how-to-spend-50week-on-groceries.html

Anonymous said...

Hey, My parents are christian and they homeschooled me and my two sisters From Preschool - year 10
I find this budget really great, I just got married and hopefully will be starting my own family soon :)

I just wanted to say ( I know it has nothing to do with this certian post) but dont shelter your children from "life" or the way people act to much ( it's easy to do when you homeschool them because their home a lot) I know once I got pushed out into the real world it was absolutely crazy, it maybe nice to see your children innocent and not knowing bad things, but in the end it would be better to expose them to things and then explain why those things are wrong. Anyways I love your blog!

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Anonymous,

I was also homeschooled from K-7th grade. My philosophy is to definitely shelter them while they are young to a certain degree. I know they will have to be exposed to things, I just don't want that to happen in Kindergarten. We are very open and talk about difficult things often. Thanks for the comment :)