Sunday, July 25, 2010

Step 2- Efficient grocery shopping, meal planning

Budget- $80 a week (all groceries, home care supplies, and baby supplies)

Thursday is the day our grocery fliers come so this week I decided not just to grab the Giant flyer, but to actually page through all of the fliers.  Initially I was handwriting all of the different ad's items and prices, but 5 post-it notes later and a ceiling fan "incident" I was frustrated. So I decided using technology was the best way to plan my grocery calculations.

First I categorized the items in the A column.  I started my spreadsheet the way I typically went through the grocery store.

Lunch meat
Boxed goods
Deals/Bonus Card

Then across the spreadsheet I put the store names followed by a Coupon column.  I gave myself a time limit (this could take me 2-3 hours if I really left it) of 30 minutes.

I then thought about what would make it worth to shop at what stores.

1. Most sales vs. cheapest items (most sales one this time)
2. Deals that could be used later (Giant and Walgreen's had these)
3. Most items on sale from meal plan menu
4. Closest to one another
5. If I could use coupons or other newspaper coupons

By the time I was finished I decided which 1-2 grocery stores and which 1 pharmacy I was going to go to.  I'm going to head out to Giant and Acme as well as the Walgreen's.  Giant and Walgreen's each had a deal/bonus card that will later reduce another bill.  Giant's shopping will save us 60 cents a gallon in August and Walgreen's we will earn a $10 gift card.

I also sat down and meal planned for the week. I selected 4 "first dishes" and 2 leftover dishes. Leaving me one day of no planning, but using a freezer supplied item.

Good luck with your grocery shopping!  Once I've used my spreadsheet a few times and worked out the bugs I'll be willing to share!  I'll update later how much money we saved and how close (hopefully below) I stuck to our $80 a week budget!

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