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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Grocery Trip #1...

We went over budget by $13.48.

Now, as a first time shopping trip trying to keep it down to $60 or less, I can say that we still saved $50 from last week's trip. But we were off the goal.

Here's a recap....

Pre-Grocery Prep
We knew that we were going to be shopping in Eden Prairie this weekend, so we decided to shop at Cub. My meal planning was based on what was on sale this week.

Per a tip from my friend Chris, I joined CouponMom.com to browse coupons for items that we may find helpful. I compared couponmom with the Cub add and actually found some additional savings on things we planned to pick up.

I also broke out the calculator and put that in my purse. I learned this trick from my mom. Sadly, since living with the Big Guy, I've stopped using it. Time to go back to the basics!

At the Store
Well, here is where we had a communication break down....

This is new for the Big Guy, so I can't say "...if only he would have....", but the problem the Big Guy has is that he just grabs and goes. He isn't the best at comparing the labels or prices. He made an effort today, though, and for that, I am proud of his effort.

Where we had our communication break down was over pork loins.

Here's the thing. The Big Guy loves, loves, loves pork. And pork loins are his weakness. Guess what was on sale? Pork loins. In fact, they were buy one, get one. As we were leaving the meat dept. he asked me if we should pick up 2 loins. My reply was "Find out how much they are, let's see where we are at before we check out and if we are within budget, we'll get them."

He came back and said, "The sign says $5.20."
I said, "$5.20 total?"
He said, "Yes. $5.20 total cost."
I said, "Go for it."

When we checked out, I went to the end of the belt to bag the groceries. The Big Guy paid and I asked, "How'd we do?" Because I was excited, people!! Excited with a capital E!

"Not bad," was his reply. "We spent about $75."

The look on my face said it all. I was frustrated. How did that happen? I used a calculator! I had coupons! I made a list!

I looked at the receipt thinking maybe the coupons didn't work or something. Nope. They worked fine. It was the pork loins. Yes, they were $5.20....each. And with our guesses on produce (the "per pound" stuff...), we were over by $13.48.

What did we learn
Menu planning based on the ads seems like a no-brainer....but for me this is new. And I liked it. It cut down on the impulse buys, which is always a plus.

Produce is always a crap shoot on cost when it's "per pound". The scales are a good tool, but not exact. We'll probably always guess at the cost when it comes to per-pound produce.

We also learned that when sending the Big Guy to find out the cost of an item, he needs to be better at reading the fine print.

Or I just need to do the shopping myself.
Or not be persuaded so easily.

Meal Plan
So, what are we having (or have had so far) this week for dinner? Here it is....

Sunday Night: Asian Pork Roast
Monday Night: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuesday Night: Rachel Ray Soup
Wednesday Night: Taco Bar
Thursday Night: Left Over Night
Friday Night: Planned night out for dinner
Saturday Night: Big Guy's Family Christmas--dinner at his parent's place.

What's on deck
My BFF and a few other ladies are talking about Once a Month Cooking. This is still in the works, and will probably not have any impact on the weekly budget. However, it will certainly help with the meal planning.

More to come on this.

Because honestly, me and the BFF cooking a month's worth of meals is going to be comedy in itself.

Trust me.


JJ said...

Sounds like a pretty good start. Do you want to borrow the make ahead recipe books? As much as I like them I don't see myself using them in the near future. I also have a food dehydrator if you want to borrow that as well (per the suggestion from your mom). Let me know and I will pack them if you want to borrow any or all of the above.

The Ardent Viper said...

Great job Kelley. Another tip: Go grocery shopping by yourself. I find that if I take the wife with, items not on the list or more expensive alternatives get placed in the cart. Now that you have enjoyed the coupon clipping aspect, remember that Rainbow has double coupon day, limit 5 thought, on Wednesdays. And the Coborn's down the road in Glencoe has triple couple Mondays and double coupon every other day but only on coupons under $1.

Also, as for pork loin. You may noticed that BOGO deals on pork loin are not always the best, you can often get pork loin cheaper per lb - even after factoring in the BOGO. But I look forward to reading more.

Oh yeah, I like to compare shop the ads every Sunday...sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Your menu looks delicious! Glad you had fun trying to save money. It is a challenge isn't it!

Stopping by from SITS. Have a great day!

American in Norway said...

I am IMPRESSED.. I have never been that organized... but I am trying.. Going try to snag some dinner ideas from you1 : )

Aubrey said...

What a great idea! Anything to help save a few dollars is a-OK with me! Now I know what to do when our ads come on Wednesday. Isn't couponmom.com great?!

Amy said...

Good start! Don't leave the Big Guy at home, you need to train him, otherwise you will ALWAYS be doing the shopping. Keep in mind that Cub and Rainbow often have better prices than Costco so it really pays to look at their ads, you may end up moving over some of your Costco budget.

Your cost cutting is inspiring!

Janice said...

Kelley -

Here's another couple of websites you might want to check out:

$5 Dinners


Debt Proof Living