Some of my friends say, "You're so organized. I could never be organized enough to plan all of my meals and make my grocery lists." Boy, do I have them fooled. This is what "organized" looked like in my house this morning.
I was trying to finalize my grocery list and sort coupons, in addition to guzzling the 2 cups of French Roast required to bring clarity to my morning.
Here is the finalized list. I post the meal plan and grocery list weekly on this blog, but in reality, I plan for 2 weeks at a time. I only shop every two weeks as well. We usually need one quick trip to the corner store in between big shopping trips to replace milk and fresh fruit. This list looks more substantial than the posted weekly grocery list for a good reason, that list only encompasses dinners. At least 3 of us in the household eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home every day. I have to purchase enough groceries to feed us for 14 days or approximately 54 meals.
I try to keep a running list. As we run out of an item, I write it down. Sometime during the two weeks, I make the meal plan for dinners. As the shopping trip approaches, I look through the current store ads and write down the specials. Finally, the day before, I sit down and make my shopping list. I make notes if an item is "on special", so I remember to look for that special. Next, I go through my coupons. If I have a coupon, I highlight the item on the list so that I know I need to give the cashier a coupon.
How do you all do it? I'm curious.
Why am I babbling on about grocery lists and coupons? Here's the thing; I'm trying to cut back on our grocery spending. I recently heard a statistic stating that the average American family spends $30 per person per week on groceries. So for a family of 4, that's $120/week. That means for my 2 week shopping trip, the bill should be around $240. I seem to come in about $40 over this budget every two weeks. That's at least $80 over for the month! $80X 12...let's see, that's $960...almost $1000/year! $1000 dollars!
I am looking at my receipt right now. I saved $50.53 with specials and store savings and another $19.88 with the coupons that I brought to the store. That's a grand total of $70.41 saved + I earned $2 off/gallon of fuel with the store's rewards program. Before you congratulate me on this savings, you should know that I still paid way more than I had budgeted this trip. It's not that I'm just throwing stuff into the cart. Impulse buying. I really, really stick to my list. So where have I gone wrong? What can I do better? Readers, please sound off! I'd love to hear comments and/or suggestions on this one.