In January our food budget for 7 people rose to $800/month. I thought this was reasonable since I matched it to USDA food cost data. However, at the end of February I discovered this hard-core couponing/money saving/stockpiling/CVS/Walgreens lifestyle. After a few months of learning the ropes at my old budget, I decided to attempt the ambitious goal of reducing our budget to $400. I had read other blogs where women were spending $40 and $75 per week to feed their families, so $100/wk seemed reasonable for us. Last week I spent $78 and so was able to carry an extra $22 into this week’s allowance. So here’s what I did.
I was disappointed last week that I didn’t restock on diapers when Pampers were on sale. But, this week, low and behold, I found a rebate form for Huggies that I had printed weeks ago. So, with coupons in my tight little fist….
3 packages of Huggies @8.99 each = 26.97
Minus $3/15 coupon.
Minus (3) $1 Huggies coupons.
Total came to 20.97 + tax. Paid with $ and ECBs. (The balance was $.88 after ECBs and coupons – very cool.)
Will get a $5 rebate from Huggies.
3 packages of Huggies diapers for $15.97 or $5.33/pack – that’s the kind of price for diapers that I paid 10 years ago!
Not too much going on at Wags for me these days, but I’m okay with that since I don’t have my new rebate $ back yet. I don’t want to shell out any more cash out of pocket until that $ is loaded on my card.
But they had a great deal on cereal and I had register rewards to use, so I made the stop. My new goal for cereal is 50 cents/box. So far, it’s working! I have 10 boxes in the cupboard that were free, $.47, $.50!
4 Smart Start cereals = 10.00
1 little filler $.69 (I bought honey instead of M&Ms – going for some nutrients.)
Subtotal was $10.69 + tx
Minus $6 Smart Start coupons
Paid $4.69 + tx (couple bucks cash and some RRs)
Got back $2 RR.
Makes the cereal $.50/box
I went to three grocery stores (insert shocked face here). But, they were within five miles of each other and no children rode shotgun on this trip. I spent $106.00 (including CVS and Wags). I’ll spare you the long story about my milk woes and how my favorite store didn’t have what I wanted and how none of the three stores had the Indiana Jones cereal for next week’s bday boy, but I still need to get 4 gallons of milk and the cereal . I think I can swing that with the $16 I have left to spend.
I also picked up ground beef, chicken legs, and brats at good sale prices – all of which will carry us over the next few weeks. Not entirely, but I have carry-over. Also, I splurged on the bday boy’s request of corn dogs. These were not on sale (grimace), but it was cheaper than going out to eat for 7 people.
I did a lot of “cherry picking” – just going into stores for what I saw in the sale ads. But, I’m learning to keep my eyes open for unadvertised specials. Some of these have been particularly good, esp. when coupled with a coupon.