I haven’t exactly been on top of the grocery shopping lately. Frankly, I haven’t really felt like it. But everyone around here insists on eating multiple times a day.
The freezer is empty and the cupboards are bare. I know I need to do some cooking and get my reserves back up, but I don’t really feel like it (did I say that already?) Last weekend I tried to work up the energy to go shopping and cook. I was making a list and grousing commenting that I didn’t want to spend the 3 day weekend cooking when my husband said “cook or don’t cook, I don’t really care.”
We may or may not have had a bit of an argument at that point.
So all week long he’s been saying things like, “there’s nothing for breakfast” and “what were you planning for dinner” and “there’s no food in this house.”
I reminded him helpfully that had I chosen the Don’t Cook option.
After about three days of this, I felt I had made my point started to feel sorry for him and decided to go shopping.
I made meal plans, wrote out lists, checked the specials (Safeway is having excellent specials this week), and made notes of the items that were both on sale and that I had coupons for.
Then I went shopping. I hit 2 grocery stores and brought home $456.23 in groceries – and paid only $314.12 for them. That is a savings of $142.11.
A hundred and forty-two dollars! That’s thirty-one percent!
I realize that spending three hundred dollars on groceries is still A TON OF MONEY. However, I am going to turn all those groceries into 10 weeks worth of dinners and stash them in the freezer. I am planning to make Mexican Gumbo, Ham and Bean Soup, Irish Beef and Stout Stew, Burrito Meat, Pizza Dough, and a zillion muffins. I bought two huge roasts to make Comfortably Domestic’s Danish Roast Beef, which looks delicious.
I also bought 8 ribeye steaks and a bunch of chicken that I portioned to be grilled; 20 boxes of the healthy pasta (Barilla Plus); 4 packages of tortillas at 99¢ each; and saved ten dollars on 4 jars of jelly. TEN DOLLARS.
The savings that really blew me away was on laundry soap. My whole life, I have bought Tide. Never used a coupon, never paid attention to the sales, just bought it (did you hear that? I think Nicole gasped aloud.) However, I saw in the newspaper specials that Kroger had All laundry detergent on sale and I had coupons for $1 off. I bought 4 bottles of All for less than one bottle of Tide. Since the bottles are different sizes, I figured it out on a per-load basis: buying Tide cost me around 25¢ per load. The All will cost 7¢ per load. That is less than one-third the cost!
I am muy impressed with myself, yo.
My husband and I agreed when I decided to try this that I would not buy anything out of the ordinary, and would continue to strive for high quality food and ingredients. In the spirit of true honesty, I will tell you we did veer from this agreement briefly when I discovered some coupons for Starbucks ice cream. I brought home 4 pints today.
If there is anyone left reading, let me also tell you about two couponing websites I found that focus exclusively on healthy and/or organic food deals: Healthy Life Deals and Organic Deals and Coupons. For those of you lucky enough to live near Whole Foods, they also have printable coupons on their website.
I’m hooked, people.
Tomorrow I will publish Nicole’s next installment. For those of you trying this out with me, there are supposed to be 3 coupon inserts in this Sunday’s paper.