We have been a single income family of five for over a year now. We've been able to do this because we watch what we spend, including groceries. I actually enjoy a good deal and take great satisfaction in knowing I've saved us some money.
I take pleasure in going through all the flyers and making lists of what's on sale. From there I determine what we're going to eat for the week. Some people have asked how can I know what we feel like eating on any given day. The answer is simple. We can't afford the luxury to not.
If we bought our groceries daily based on what we wanted to eat on a whim we would end up spending more. More time in the grocery store, more waste, more money... and we'd eat out a lot more! We don't have time to waste in the evening trying to figure out what's for dinner. My brain turns to mush around that time, nevermind trying to plan a meal with kids going crazy! That does not appeal in the least!!
I don't like having to pay full price for things, especially things that go on sale regularly. Meat is the perfect example. We don't buy meat unless it's on sale. When it is, we buy in bulk and freeze it in individual packages. Therefore meals need to be planned so, if it's necessary, the meat has a chance to defrost.
The challenge I'm feeling lately has more to do with our choice to try and buy more local foods and eat healthier. We do very little shopping in the middle of the grocery store, shopping the outer edges for fresh fruits, veggies, dairy and meat. We're trying to eliminate most of the pre-packaged processed crap. We're trying not to buy anything
- where some form of sugar is listed in the first three ingredients or
- with ingredients you can't pronouce or
- made with ingredients you don't have in your own cupboard.
In our attempt to eat more local foods we would like to visit some farmers markets this summer. However, last summer we found that often the prices at the farmers markets were quite high. Unless you're buying a very large quantity of produce, there weren't any deals to be had. Therefore we're in the process of planning our own vegetable garden. We're also looking into a local program that runs from May through Sepember, that will provide you with a weekly box of local produce delivered to your door. I digress.
I regularly check coupon websites like websaver, brandsaver and gocoupons. These websites allow you to select the coupons that you can use and want and then mail them to your house. I've signed also up for all kinds of savings websites like Groupon, Bargain Moose, and Wagjag. I find you have to be careful because sometimes these websites almost entice you into spending when you wouldn't normally... because the deal might be to good to pass up. You know what I mean?