Friday, April 12, 2013

Learning to grocery shop once a month...

Please take note that my title has the word "learning" in it.  March was my first attempt at monthly shopping.  I did pretty well but I still over purchased.  One of the things I learned is that we only drink a gallon of milk a week.  We are still drinking last months milk.  Good thing it has been frozen. 

I really need to think about lunch for the girls.  They take their lunch to school every day and by the end of the month we were trying to come up with anything that would be easy to eat and pack.  They only get a few minutes for lunch so the food has to be easy to shovel in.  Isn't that sad?  We quickly ran out of apples and fruit.  Fresh fruit, especially apples, is a big lunch staple in our house.  As a result, I have given myself "permission" to shop for produce twice a month.  To be honest, I did have to sneak to the store and buy some lettuce.  Gene was sorely missing his salads.

My budget goal for April was $300.  I failed on that one.  I didn't take the time to plan well and left the few coupons I had at home.  It's been a crazy month and it hasn't even been two weeks yet. ha ha I also did a little retail therapy and bought things I didn't really need or were more expensive than was needed.  Note to self:  STICK TO THE LIST!  I did stick to my original $400 budget which is quite an accomplishment since I forgot when I was planning the shopping list that we needed pet food and all our bathroom paper products.  TMI?

As far as the pre-made homemade mixes... the oatmeal and pancake mix was a huge success.  The containers are completely empty.  The dry cream-of soup mix will be reluctently used.  It tastes odd, not terrible, but just off a bit.  I will probably try it again but add different spices.

I have started following The Krazy Coupon Lady on Facebook.  They post every great sale and coupon available.  Some days I get a little bugged by all the posts but I know that when we move and live in a metropolitan area that it will be more helpful.  I also got the Ibotta app on my iPhone.  Sadly, it doesn't work with the commissary but in a few months I'll have a Target available and will use it then.  Take a look at their Facebook page or blog.  It has a bazillion money saving tips for popular stores.

My goal next month is to get as close to $300 as I can.  I'm going to have to be more organized and clip some coupons but I think I can do it.  Wish me luck.