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.