Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I have issues, grocery issues

I started 2009 with a mission to REALLY save money. We cut back dramaticllay (well for us it is). We rarely use our credit cards, we put the heat way down this winter, insulated the heaters, crawl space and windows. We also rarely eat dinners out.No more Friday night take out. Take out is now considered a treat, not a Friday night necessity. I also cut back on my entertaining. I hardly invite people over for huge dinners. Now I go out once a month with my girlfriends and that's my entertaining. No more buying water bottles either, we all use reusable water bottles. Oh is it ever tough, but we are doing really good so that is a reward in its self! The one place I really have to work on is my grocery shopping. I am known to shop at variously places and take multiple trips during the week. I hate spending hundreds of dollars every month and having nothing to show for it. It always feels like we are "out" of something, and I find myself at the store yet again, picking up things that look interesting. Not the things we need. I do love to cook and entertain. I also love to try new foods, new recipes. Sometimes those things are just not budget friendly. I know I should set a limit for myself, but food shopping can be like shoe shopping. Seriously, where with shoes I conjure up outfits, with food I conjure up wonderful meals. It all makes senses in my head. Stay with me people.
Yes I need to get firm with the food shopping. I need to limit my unnecessary trips and unnecessary purchases. I'm just replacing one thing for another and I know this!!! So here are a few of my ideas that I plan to use to get this to be "doable". Who knows, maybe if you have the same problem it will work for you too?
1) First things first, you have to CUT COUPONS- but only the ones for products you would really use anyway.
2) Don't be afraid of store brands. Many of them are just as good if not better than the "real" brand. Target line of food products are great! My kids LOVE their granola bars better than the name brands.
3) I try to buy an item on sale and if I use it regularly, I'll buy an extra. This way when I do need it, it was on sale. If I have a coupon for it, it's even better!
4) Give yourself permission to buy a splurge items for yourself. For me it's Hummus and WW pitas. oh I cant forget the Snyder's Sourdough Fat free pretzels.
5) Buy your produce at discount places. We have 2 places near us called Portobello's and Produce Junction. Bulk fruit, cheap prices!
6) Shop at a store you really don't like (for me it's Walmart and Sav A lot) it can be worth the trip. The prices really are lower on the majority of the items. Just suck it up for savings sake.
7) Try to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store for 1 or 2 things. This is where it all falls apart for me. I will go in for milk and end up spending $50 on stuff that wasn't even on my list. All cause it looks interesting or god forbid if I am hungry while shopping?? ugh, the worse!
8) Menu plan. I don't do this much, and I need to start!!! I decide the night before when I have to defrost a meat.
9) Make a list and stick with it.
10) When making dinner, cook extra and have leftovers for lunch the next day! This really helps me with my Weight Watchers points. I know how many points are in my lunch PLUS its saves the hubby and I lots of $ per week. I use to hate leftovers, now I love them!

Let's see if I can stick close to those GREAT ideas (if I say s myself). It's now time to practice what I preach!

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