Friday, November 4, 2011

Save Money on Groceries to Make Room for Travel

Several weeks ago,  I purchased, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America's Cheapest Family by Steve and Annette Economides. I had watched the Economides family on TV a few months back and though the book sounded intriguing, I doubted that it would really deliver what it promised. Besides, I may never be featured on Extreme Couponing, but I do consider myself a pretty savvy shopper most of the time.

I didn’t think much more about the book until my new Vision Forum catalog arrived and the book was included as one of the Frugal Family resources. I decided to give it another look. Even with my reservations, I was eager for it to arrive so I could begin digging into its pages.

We are planning a trip to Florida this winter and one of the ways I plan to fund that trip is by reducing our grocery bill.

I began by taking a short quiz to determine what kind of shopper I am. Turns out that my suspicions were correct, I do know a thing or two about saving money on groceries. Still, the Economides words encouraged me to continue reading the book and guaranteed that they could still teach me a thing or two.

After reading partway through the book I decided to put their advice to the test. 

The first thing I decided to do was to find some really inexpensive recipes. I could have scoured the internet for free, but since I was a bit crunched for time,  I purchased an e-book, Molly Makes $5 Dinners and $3 Desserts Cheap and Delicious offered through The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Store.

After pulling together a list of 19 recipes, with a few desserts thrown in for a special treat, I created a shopping list by type; dairy, bread, canned goods, meat, fruits & vegetables, etc. 

If you’re curious as to what meals I selected, you can see them here, My Meal Plan.

Next, I quickly went through the sale ads to locate which store offered the best savings for the week.  I decided that I would shop at Aldi and Kroger.

My first stop was Aldi. Since I planned to really stock up, I asked my son to accompany me, as I planned on filling two carts. I spent $210.77 for 206 items.

Next stop, Kroger. I spent $149.64. Of course, this is where I bought all of our meat and stocked up on Pepsi for my husband- a huge budget buster. I also splurged 11.04 on a turkey, but I got a ton of fuel points- which saved me 20 cents at the pump, plus we’ll be able to at least two meals out of that one bird. I saved an additional $78.03 with my Kroger card.

To get the most savings, I purchased large packages of meat and cheese and divided them into smaller meal proportions as soon as I got home. 

I have noticed that I spend significantly more on groceries since our move back to Ohio. I’m now spending about $200 a week to feed my family.  That figure does include all of our toiletries, etc. but does not include eating out, which can easily add $50 –100 more to our grocery bill if we aren’t careful. 

My grand total for this experimental shopping trip was $360.41. That may not sound like a huge savings over what I typically spend, but keep in mind that I will be feeding my family of five the 19 MAIN meals that I shopped for, plus breakfast and lunch.

I also managed to purchase extra toilet paper which was on sale and stock up on a few other items that we use regularly, like my husbands’ Pepsi.   

My husband has been eating breakfast at home and we’ve not eaten out as a family once in the past two weeks which is when I last bought groceries. Not so bad after all.

I’m excited to think that maybe, after I finish reading Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half and put all that I learn into practice, I will actually be able to do just that. And maybe I’ll be able to pay for that Florida vacation solely on what I save on the cost of groceries.


Are you concerned with your grocery bill? What are some of the ways that you are trying to cut back?

**Just so you know, I am an affiliate of Amazon so if you choose to follow the link I’ve included for Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, it will give me a few cents. However, I am not an affiliate for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine store.


  1. Great job!  Our Aldi's opened this week and we got a a few free groceries opening day.  yay!

  2. So glad that your Aldi's opened up and now you can take advantage of some great deals! I had to drive to Decatur when we were there so I'm really excited for you! :) Our Aldi just opened a brand new store, which is great, except that they moved things around and it threw me off when I went in with my shopping list prepared in the order I should have found the items on my list. I'm LOVING my menu though- takes all the emotion out of cooking. It doesn't matter what I FEEL like making for dinner- I just make what's on the menu. We still haven't eaten out once and it's been over two weeks. I think that's a new record for us! Woot! Woot!


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