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Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Food Revolution

When we made the decision to ask for the job at Millington, we knew that we would take a huge paycut. I would be quitting my part time position with the church. We wouldn't get nearly as much back in a housing allowance since we wouldn't own a home here. Lots of little things added up to alot less money. Little decisions are made. We gave up cable. We didn't need cable anyway. We have a weird phone that doesn't cost money. I insist on keeping my iphone and other stuff. We're still okay.

Clearly, it seems I've been overspending on our food budget. It wouldn't be a big deal but overspending on any part of the budget + loss of income + paying for an adoption = bad news for my savings. This morning I went to one of my least favorite super stores to buy groceries. As the bill totaled out once again to just under $200 I cringed. The only thing I got that wasn't groceries was 2 baskets for $4 each for the big girls' closet. (We're having storage/containment/we have too much crap issues.)

There are things that are adding up to our high bills. The girls watched Food Revolution. They will not take buy school lunches anymore. I am thinking that the lunch they pack might cost twice as much. As of today, they are back to taking water instead of a sugary drink. I generally pack a sandwich prepackaged Sunchips (I know I'm lazy) a piece of fruit and some yogurt. I tried non disposable containers for a bit but Hanan couldn't get the idea of nondisposable. We're back to baggies. Bria and I eat at home almost every day. We occasional Friday outing gives us an opportunity to eat out. I thought not having LIFE group would drop our costs considerably. This past month we have 3 different sets of visitors. We eat at home on Wednesday nights now too and we used to get a free meal at church. So it's all sort of evening out I guess.

So that long drawn out story just to ask... how do you save money? I hit the commissary but it's really small here and I'm usually forced to stop at a grocery on my way home for the things they didn't have. Most of the coupons I find are for over priced over processed junk food that we are trying not to eat.

I'll take whatever advice I can get.


Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Ack, the groceries are a hard one to skimp on, aren't they? I do have to say that I think packing a lunch is more inexpensive than a school lunch. For the amount of food I see most of the students eat, they are paying for more than they are bothering to eat.
I am TERRIBLE at saving money on groceries. I am not sure of what help I will be! I know that ace over at www.ifyouthinkroundisfunny.com does a great job of getting deals each week, you might want to see how she does it!

The Driskells said...

Sorry about the budget cuts! That's NO fun! When we were in Abilene, living on my teacher salary, we had to be tight with our groceries too. I found as many meals as I could that I could make with potatoes, pasta, rice, and whole chickens (they are cheaper than chicken breasts). While I don't like cooking with just starches, I would try to include them when I could to help cut costs. And although I LOVE fresh veggies, we found that frozen veggies were cheaper and we would use those as much as we could. Another strange suggestion would be to buy whole milk and then water it down some. Basically I had to cook more simple meals. If a recipe called for a strange, expensive item, we didn't make it. Don't know if that helps any, but I'd be happy to pass on some of our recipes that we used more often in Abilene. Just email me! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I don’t know how close you live to Wal-Mart but their price match grantee applies to groceries as well. If you get the sales circulars from the competing grocery stores in the mailbox like we do, you can take those in and compare and Wal-Mart will match the prices as long as it’s the same product. I know that I go through the sales flyers with a fine tooth comb and compare prices, circle it, and take it with me when I shop. For example (jarred) spaghetti sauce that normally cost $1.70 + in the sales flyer they had advertised two for $3. Another time it was an economy size of paper towels that were normally $9, sales flyer had them for $6 and I had a dollar off coupon, which they let me use.(name brand products) It’s time consuming but so worth it. There are also online coupon sites that you can Google that offer great savings. Hope that helps…

heidi said...

Groceries suck. I work SPECIFICALLY for our grocery budget, I swear. We budget 300 per pay period - so $600 per month for the 6 of us plus all the extra kids we have on a daily basis. It gets tight. Throwing away leftovers is not an option. They get eaten. I make a lot of meals with Rice and we don't eat a lot of high cuts of meat. I buy the frozen chicken breasts in a bag and use those throughout the menu. CHeck out your local grocery stores and find out what day they put out their "discounted" meat. I have a weird quirk that won't let me eat things past the "best buy" date but with meat, you can freeze it and it's fine. I menu plan for two weeks at a time and I hit 3 stores. 2 of the grocery chains, with coupons and sales, and then probably the same supercenter you despise because I've yet to find cheaper prices on canned goods and household items. I print out coupons from coupons.com, redplum,com and uh..shoot. dunno. check out http://www.shesaved.com/. I avoid costco like the plague, unless absolutely necessary. My kids take school lunch all but ONE DAY per week. I let them pick the thing they hate the most and I fix cold lunch on that day for them. We don't eat out. I've tried to stop buying prepackaged snacks - like granola bars, fruit snacks, etc but sometimes it's just not worth the time and effort, yk? I need a little give here. I buy generic when I can (though some things are not worth the generic price savings).

No idea other than that. I'm still trying to shave some of it, because if I'm being honest, we spend about another $100-200 in store runs during the month.

Good luck!

Together We Save said...

Stop by my blog... I post several money saving tips a day!

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