We have a new budget of $75 a week, or $300 a month for groceries. That includes food, paper products, health and beauty and dog food. Of course since I breastfeed and cloth diaper, we don't have any expense for formula or paper diapers and wipes.
Our first stop this week was Aldi, which I had never been too and was pleasantly surprised. We spent $31 and got a variety of "staple" items plus a few extras. We got a pound of strawberries for 99 cents, and they were better than I have seen in a regular grocery store in awhile! I already had milk, but it was super cheap there at $1.69/gallon.
Today I went to Hy Vee and Walgreens to round out the shopping. Here is what I got for a total of $21.08:
Cheez Its, 9 oz $2
Cheez Its, 4.5 oz, $1
Gummi Fruit Lunch Bag, $1.49 (I needed a $1 filler for my RR and Addison loves these!)
2 Pack Nutri Grain, $4.99
Pop Tarts, $2
There was a $1 coupon on the Nutrigrain Bars and I had a $10 RR from earlier in the week, so I paid a grand total of 48 cents for all of this!
I got quite a bit because they had awesome sales this week, including:
Farmland Hot Dogs, 78 cents
Farmland Bacon, $1.99
Farmland Sausage (2) $1 each
I had 2/$1 Farmland coupons and 2/75 cent Farmland coupons, so I paid a whopping $1.27 for all of the Farmland meat- I was so excited!
They also had iceberg lettuce for 68 cents, 100% Whole Wheat bread for $1.50 and butter for $1.38, among other deals.
So, out of the $75 budget I have spent $68, because I had two earlier trips to Walgreens this week. $7 left that will "rollover" into next week. I find that if I break down the monthly budget into weeks it is easier for me to manage and I am more likely to stay within the budget.
One of the best tips I have read (I got it from moneysavingmom.com) is that always make a list with your NEEDS first. Then you can fill in the rest of the budget with sale items to stockpile. Luckily, we don't need a whole lot at this point because I have a good food stockpile. Mostly our needs weekly are fresh fruits (and some veggies, although we have been eating from the garden this summer), milk, and staple items I can get at Aldi for cheap, like eggs, flour and sugar.
I originally started with a budget for $125 a week and as I have learned to coupon, bargain shop and grow my stockpile, I have lowered that total. Had I started with $75 a week, I know I would have failed and gotten discouraged. Next month, with James eating a majority of meals at the police academy, I am lowering it to $150 a month, or $37.50 a week. Hopefully by the time he finishes, we can keep our food budget at $250 a month.