Makin’ Groceries on a budget

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Mr. LL and I are trying very hard to save every penny we can. I’m the grocery shopper in our relationship, so it falls upon me to try to reign in the grocery spending.

I use coupons, mainly ones I print online because I can pick the ones I want and cut them quickly and efficiently. However, I also will grab the coupon inserts from my mother’s Sunday paper. I used to mainly use those and not printed coupons. I think I go in cycles of what I like to do/use as I work on different systems of organizing them. I do the bulk, if not all, of my grocery shopping at Winn-Dixie. We participate in the Rewards program and I love it. I look at the week’s sales before making my list, and I also load coupons onto my rewards card.

I also really like the Fuel Perks that Winn-Dixie offers. In case you don’t know, the Fuel Perks at WD are money off gas at participating Shell stations for purchasing certain items. An example would be if you purchase a 12 count box of cookies from the bakery section, you’ll receive 5¢ off your fuel purchase next time you fill up. I know some people who will just buy the FP items, even if they don’t need them. I’m not like that; I will purchase an item with FP if I know we can use it and that it is something we need for that week (or sometimes, if it’s something like toilet paper or other non-perishables that we will need to replenish eventually if not that week, then I’ll get them because of the FP).

Also, each week, Winn Dixie will have deals that sometimes are just great. Like, buy two sticks of this brand’s deodorant and get five other items free (and I get to still use coupons on those free items, so its even better). They’ll do deals like this with food, cleaning products as well as personal care products. Sometimes with pet items too (but WD seems to be very dog biased with it’s deals). Also, there are a ton of Buy-1-Get-1 deals every week. I utilize those a lot, especially if I have a coupon that is only good if I buy two or more of an item.

My goal is to spend $30/week or $120/month on groceries. This does not include toiletries or pet related items, just food and food related items (foil, ziplocs, etc.). I haven’t figured out the toiletries (toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.) budget just yet; and for pets I figure about $45/month on food and kitty litter. For a few months, my weekly trips have been ranging in the $50-$85 range, but I haven’t broken things down in terms of food/pet/toiletries. It’s hard for me to think like this but I’m trying.

I’d really like to get the spending under control, and I’d like to stop wasting food. I don’t know that I’ll make a return of my Food Waste Friday  posts, even though they were very popular. I just find myself tossing the food and not even thinking to stop and take a photo. I know I could still do a text only post, but I just think that those are so boring. I’m a visual person, and if the post looks like something that I wouldn’t waste my time reading, then I don’t post it on my blog.

However, I may do one soon because I’m going to clean out the fridge and the pantry in the next week or so. So, we’ll see.