After trying out Natural Grocers last week, I’m going back to my tried-and-true stores: Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market. There’s something to be said for grocery shopping in familiar territory; knowing where everything is makes the shopping trip much more efficient, both in time and money. A well stocked pantry (dried beans, pasta, dried herbs) also helped with meal planning and staying on budget this week.
Week Two of the 60 Day Grocery Makeover is shaping up to be a success. I’m learning how to be a pro-fridge-forager, seeking out and using up all the things. This makes me happy because the more miles I can get out of our groceries, the lower our effective weekly grocery budget will be.
Last week, I talked about finding the ingredients for an impromptu cauliflower soup by a perfect assemblage of odds-n-ends in my fridge. I love it when you can accomplish two things at once; cut down on food waste AND maximize the grocery budget with no extra shopping. Two birds, one stone? Indeed! This week, I was again able to extend our weekly menu by an extra day, but this time it was by getting two dinners from one.
Today marks the close of week 1 in the 60 Day Grocery Makeover. I’m happy to report that I mostly stuck with the meal plan, with the exception of substituting out one meal for another (more on that later). I did end up having to run out to the store once this week to get a couple of things:
Sprouts: $2.15 for organic tomatoes
Whole Foods: $7.93 for a loaf of ciabatta bread and a jar of roasted red peppers.
I ended up spending $ 134.82 for week 1 and I feel really good about coming in under budget. That gives me an extra $15.18 in padding for the month of December, which I’m sure will come in handy for the holiday meals coming up.
Weekly Grocery Haul
I had a pretty epic grocery shopping trip last week. By that, I mean that I got a ton of stuff on sale. Since so many thins I usually buy were on sale, I bought extra. So, this week, I was able to go lighter and keep my grocery bill low. We had two leftover nights last week too, which means I was able to save a meal or two for the meal plan this week. I’m really excited about the money saved because – you guessed right – it’s going straight toward a credit card. That’s the debt repayment tactic here – any extra penny is being put toward debt.
This week, I’m giving some tricks I use to keep grocery costs down. Really being strategic about planning out a weekly menu, shopping with a list and managing leftovers can seriously save money on groceries. When you consider that the big 3 household expenditures are housing, transportation and food, learning how to better manage your kitchen is a great money-saving opportunity. Of course, it’s not all about money. Just think of how much healthier food you prepare at home can be for your family. For much less than going out to eat, you can put whole, nutritious foods on your table that will be a benefit to everyone.
This is part one of an ongoing series of our weekly meal plan and grocery shopping trip. Each week, I’ll provide you with a daily meal plan and grand total spent.
Of Food Budgets And Success
I feel really good about our meal plan this week. As the picture shows, shopping frugally doesn’t mean going without or eating Ramen and Spaghetti O’s. Rather, I’ve found great deals on nutritious whole foods for the week. I was able to pick up a few extra items for later that were marked down without going over the budget. How exciting!
Meal Planning And Soup Making
It just so happens that I’m checking my pantry and freezer while making a grocery list today. I’ve found quite a few great meals, including a yummy soup for today.This is yet another proclamation for my love of soup on wintery days. Today, Boulder is expecting 10inches of snow and I find myself lucky enough to have the day off. That means I can look out the window and exclaim, “oh how pretty the snow is,” without having to deal with driving in it. It also means I’m craving a warm bowl of homemade soupy goodness.