Saturday, October 25, 2008

$25 Is Getting Tough

The past few shopping trips I've made are showing me that $25 a week for groceries is getting hard to do. Especially since I'm trying to come in UNDER $25 so that I can put extra money into "the meat fund" for when I have to restock on meat supply.

I'm not sure if why it's getting harder and harder. If you remember back when I started this challenge, I was easily spending less than even $20 a week. Now it seems like it's all I can do to keep it from going OVER $25.

I'm wondering if one of these isn't the culprit:
~ My supply of things from my pre-$25/week days of buying bulk and stocking up are starting to run out, so I'm having to re-stock on some things.
~ I'm getting lazy in my menu planning and using what I have on hand.

My guess is that it is a combination of both. I'm probably not being as careful in going over what I have on hand and finding recipes to fit, and simply not making recipes that I don't have the ingredients for. At the same time, if I can menu plan and shop carefully enough, I should be able to restock 1 or 2 things at a time as needed and not blow the budget. At least that's the perfect picture in my mind. I guess it all boils down to the fact that I need to "play the cards" more carefully. What are some things that you do??


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

One of the things I do is figure out what I have on hand, then browse through cookbooks or recipe magazines to find recipes that fit that main ingredient and that I have the rest of the ingredients for. I do that especially if I am tired of the "same ol', same ol'", but still have the same stuff in the freezer. It really helps. That's where my Teriyaki T-loin recipe came from, a browsing session.

Rachel said... [Reply to comment]

I substitute things or leave out ingredients that I don't have, but only if I don't think it will compromise the taste. I also am like Sally and will try to find recipes that take what I have here. I recently made a jello with cranberries and apples because I have them. I used raspberry jello in place of cranberry and used grape juice instead of apple juice. I really liked it, but Ted did not care for it as it was tart and he is not into tart food.

Judi Bowman said... [Reply to comment]

I agree with the other ladies here and your comments. To give your savings a boost you may want to put in a little effort to take note of sales cycles. You can read up about it on the net but, this really helps me to know when to stock up on the items I know that I will use and hopefully make it to the next cycle to stock up again.
Also I read that you're using internet coupons, but I will submit to you that it is a worthy investment to purchase a Sunday paper just for the coupons--of course this is more likely for the premade stuff so I don't know if that will work for you or not. There are forums out their for couponing (there is so much out there to learn) and coupon databases (so you can query to find a coupon for the items on your list).
Hope that helps. I enjoy reading your posts when I get a chance it encourages me to do more cooking instead of just popping the top.