Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Kicked That Grocery Stores Butt!

Let me start with, I hate buying groceries for one! I miss having my roomies to cook with. But growing and moving happens. So, now I am forced to make trips to the grocery store alone.

When I first moved away to college my grocery bill was outrageous!! I would spend about $65 a week on groceries. Multiply that by four and that's about $260 a month and that is ridiculous! I was feeding one person, not a family of four.

The crazy thing is, these groceries were not getting eaten. Most of them went bad because I wouldn't use them. I wouldn't use them because I would be too lazy to cook or I would go out to eat with the girls. I also didn't buy in portions that could be eaten before they expired.

So, this went on for almost two years I'd say. Two years of throwing money away on food that didn't get eaten. Food that starving children in less fortunate countries deserved, I most definitely did not deserve it. I was so unappreciative. I know you are thinking, OMGoodness! It's just food! People do it all the time. Which is true. We abuse our ability to go out and buy food at anytime and we abuse the fact that it's unlimited for us.

I'm not sure when things changed exactly but somewhere in my mid-sophomore year my roommate and I decided to team up on dinner. I think it started off with us consolidating our grocery lists so that we would cook together and not have so much uneaten food.

That worked well. But by my junior year, she and I had become pros at this grocery buying business. We could walk into HEB get our groceries for the week, this included: breakfast for the both of us for 6 days, lunch for both of us for 6 days, and dinner for two for 6 days. (Sunday's were our go out to eat after church day, it was our freebie.) Our grocery bill per week? $30! Not a piece, together! I know, I know.. how?

Well, first off junk food is out. It's overpriced and terrible for you.

Secondly, we PLANNED our meals a week in advance! This is so crucial. It keeps you from not knowing what you are going to be eating and it cuts out on last minute take out. There is no excuse for you to eat out during the week when you have a meal planned at home. Some of you are thinking that this is ridiculous. "How am I going to plan my meals for a week?" That's what we thought, but get yourself a few good cookbooks and you'll be just fine. The key to a good cookbook? One that has recipes with minimal ingredients, if not, you end up buying way to much stuff that won't get used.

Which brings me to my next point. You must choose recipes where the ingredients overlap. This will save you the most money! Choose things that each item can be used more than once because you always have something left over and instead of it going to waste, use it.

Always have a list made! Never walk into a grocery store without a list in hand. That is just asking for it. Because when I don't have a list I find that everything in every aisle pops out at me and says, "Buy me!" and of course I do. I have nothing holding me back from not.

Check your cabinets before you leave the house. I normally find half the stuff I need for my meals and I can mark it off my list. I don't know how many times I used to come home with ANOTHER can of green beans or ANOTHER box of spaghetti.

I'm sure some of you are thinking, man this is a lame post. She needs to spice it up a little. ;) Well, let me tell you something, the next time you go to buy groceries take a few of these tactics along with you. You will leave that grocery store with a smile on your face and extra money in your pocket and then... you will love me for sharing the wealth.

Todays grocery store bill? $20.61. Six breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Believe me it can be done and that money can go toward something a little more imporant than food.

Give it a try, let me know how it goes! I love converting people to thrift junkies like I am!

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