Monday, February 11, 2008

Grocery "Plan"

So my cousin Liz has inspired me. She has been posting on her blog about her amazing savings at the grocery store. I must admit, I was impressed. She does her shopping on a weekly basis, where as I do mine every two weeks. This does mean that I then end up going back on the off weeks and pick up a few things like milk and bread. I spend A LOT of money at the grocery. Usually around $200-$250 on the big trip, then several small trips of $20-$50 over the two week period. You can see how I was completely mesmerized with the fact that Liz went shopping, bought food for her family of three for an entire week, and spent $50! Now, she did not have to buy lots of those big things like washing detergent, cat food, paper towels...this was just a food trip. Still. STILL.

So, I was inspired. I am not a food planner. I go to the grocery and just throw any old thing into my cart. I am embarrassed to tell you, I don't even look at the price of stuff. To me it is always more like, "a girls gotta eat"! Well, Liz's first piece of advice was to make a list. Fine. I can do that. I made a list of tons of delicious sounding dinners. I did also take her advice on looking to see what I already had, which was helpful. I have a tendency to have, like 4 boxes of croutons in the, it was nice to know that I did not need those. I even made notes on my little list of the things that I already own. So cleaver. So organized!

Now, I did not look at sales. I am just not good with that. I have tried to clip coupons in the past and I either let them expire, or get the wrong food and then get up to check out and think "DAMN...can I even use ANY or these??" Then I save about forty three cents, decide coupons are stupid and give up. Anyway, that was not part of this new plan. I was just going to use my well thought out dinner plan and work with what I had. It was bound to save me a ton!

I get to the grocery. I have to say the list was helpful. I knew exactly what I needed! The thing was...apparently I needed a lot. Like, A LOT! So much, in fact, that I had a very hard time keeping it all in my cart. I must admit that at the end, I had to push the cart to the register with one hand, while the other was draped over the top of the cart in order to hold all the food in. I will tell you that I DID NOT need laundry detergent or pet supplies. This was all food, except for the shampoo and paper towels. I have to admit, even with the full cart, I was hopeful. I made a list!!! I got all my things off my list!!! I MUST have saved some money! There was no way the check out lady was going to ask me how many people were in my family (at least now I could say three!!). Which has only happened once anyway, but I was sure it was going to be clear that this was just a well organized and inexpensive meal plan!

Total: $225. WTF.

I discussed this total with my family and friends at my aunts WONDERFUL cookie exchange. We came to the conclusion that, at the very least, I would not have to make all the small trips during the two weeks. Sounded good. Last night while making (a delicious) dinner, I realized I needed more butter. Humph. I had bought some, but it was not enough. I also needed some sugar...and some plain potato chips to go along with the dip my aunt sent home with me. Just need to run up to the store...

Total: $28

This morning I realized we are already a little low on milk...might have something to do with all the cookies...looks like I need to stop at the store today or tomorrow and pick up a gallon...this isn't going well at all. Damn.


  1. I can TOTALLY relate. I do make a list but it's not really extensive and then I forget stuff and have to go back and what a pain!! I always have a hugely full cart and still have to go back for stuff.

  2. I really make a thorough list before I go. I make a list of meals, then I go through and list each department.

    I know it sounds long and time consuming, but seriously, it takes me about 15 minutes tops.

    And think of all the extra trips I save, because I have EVERYTHING written down.

  3.'s how dorkie I am...I have a "staples" list typed and saved on my computer so then I can just take off the things I don't need this trip. Saves time and I don't forget the annoying little things as often. Now do I save money...NO! I spend a TON every trip BUT I have a well organized list and that makes me happy!

  4. Ha! That is funny! I have a generic list of things we buy most every week saved on my computer too! We try to stick to the list and not buy extras!