Friday, September 14, 2012

This Is Me, At The Grocery

We have a big grocery bill.

I'm sure you could've guessed that. I have been getting frustrated lately because it seems like I go to the store, drop a bundle of money, and then am trying to figure out what to make for dinner 3 days later.

Sometime a while back I stopped making a grocery list. You can't believe it, right?? So I buy a lot of groceries, but then need to go back later to pick up additional things for our dinners because I didn't plan them ahead of time.

I know, it's bad, I am ashamed.

But I have decided to get organized with the grocery shopping again. I have to. It's time to meal plan.

I would do the coupon thing, but honestly, I don't like it. And more than that, I don't get it. Not to mention I don't have the space to store 54 boxes of cereal or brownie mix at any given time. I also am pretty picky about what goes into the kids, and besides things like soap and toothpaste, I really don't find many coupons for food that I'd buy anyway.

Although, when a friend calls and says, "Print these two coupons off and go to Kroger and you'll get cases of juice boxes for 23 cents!", I'll do it. Basically it appears that I need an assistant to find the deals, plan them out, and then send me on my way. But I feel like hiring a coupon assistant defeats the purpose of the couponing in the first place.

Sometimes the frugal bug will bite me and I get all pumped up and start cutting coupons and searching websites, but that flame burns out quickly.

(I really do admire those of you out there who do the coupon thing successfully, for real.)

Seeing those people sweat it out at the register on Extreme Couponing stresses me out. The cutting and the binders and the lingo and the thought of trying to get 87 sticks of deodorant into my bathroom cabinet makes me feel a tad crazy inside. I already have enough stress in my life, people.


I'm going to meal plan. That way I'll have a list and am taking an oath to stick to it in an attempt to shave some dollar bills off the ol' grocery budget and to stop buying things we don't really need. My goal is to make a lot of crockpot meals because our nights are so busy, and do a lot of veggies and fruits as sides because, well, I eat a lot of them.

And what better time to fire up my crockpot as much as possible than Fall?? I love a warm & healthy meal for my family at the end of a long Fall day. As a side note, are you all loving the cool air and the pumpkin scents as much as me??

This week I'm making this Chicken Chili, Vegetable soup, and some others. I love that I can make double batches of chili or soup in the crockpot and then freeze them :). So here I go, I'm going to meal plan and save some time and money at the same time...hopefully.

Maybe I could post my weekly recipes here for accountability :)??

I'm off to chase down the kiddos. Hope you are having a great Friday!


Marisa said...

Meal planning has made dinner time sooo less stressful. I list 5-6 meals I'd like to make for the week and then each day pick what I'm going to make. That way if a day gets unexpectedly crazy I can make one of the easier meals.
I used to cut coupons a lot more. Now I use mostly detergent, TP, paper towel, feminine products, diaper, toothpaste, etc. coupons,...i guess those would be considered personal care. It helps some and it's not overwhelming.

The Beaver Bunch said...

I'm about to change your life.

You ready for this?


You have one near you (

YES, I have to go to Aldi and then go to Kmart or the local chain grocer. (I REFUSE to shop at Walmart any more than absolutely necessary).

BUT, Aldi saves us so much money. Their produce only lasts about a week typically (which is the downfall) but milk, eggs, bread, cheese - all the stuff we burn through - CEREAL - is way inexpensive.

Try it. Trust me. Take your own bags and a quarter for your grocery cart (you'll get your quarter back). But you have to try it for a few trips to really get the hang of it. I HATED it the first few times I went. Now? I'm in love.

victoria said...

I second the idea of Aldi!! I use them exclusively for staples...flour, sugar, milk, eggs butter and much of the time for hamburger as well. Milk alone saves us b/n $.75 to 1.50 per gallon! I don't buy there "cheerios" b/c it has much more sodium in it them the name brand.

I take my own bags to all grocery stores anyway, not to save the world but a) to have fewer trips in from the car and b) to avoid thousands of plastic bags to remember to take back to recycle.....I want to try the melting of bags together to made reusable bags that I found on Pinterest....I can dream.

But yes, ALdi, and meal planning and list making is the only way I do it too...I dream of being someone who coupons well, its just not in my world right now.

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Alright, ladies, I'll give Aldi a try :).

Thoughts for the day said...

Have no idea what that is, but the other day for instance, I defrosted a pound and a half hamburger, made taco's one night, chili the next night and spaghetti the following with that one pound and a half. Now I realize it is only two of us but you can use the same concept with a bigger crowd.
Think similar meals and use menu items that are similar, example beef stir fry, one night, beef stew the other. Same large pack of beef, just used differently.
hope it helps.

Clever Blonde -Donna G said...

Oh I wish, wish and keep wishing for an Aldi store. Our closest is 1000kms away. I shop there when on holidays, our daughters live nearby. My menu plan has left home due to feelings of rejection. I never felt like cooking or eating what the menu plan wanted us to have. I did love it once and I know I will feel that way again. Have fun.

Jen K said...

I'd LOVE it if you'd post your meal ideas :) Also, someone told me this week that Trader Joe's is owned by Aldi, and that they carry a lot of the same products. I have not been there to verify this though!

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

I've heard that too! I'll have to do some investigating :).

Debbi said...

My husband made up a meal plan pneumonic for us which I laughed at initially (and now use weekly). It seemed repetitive at first but then I realized it gave me a framework so I wasn't overwhelmed by the blank slate. And I don't have to make lists now since I stick with familiar recipes. Here's our general week:
Messy Noodle Monday (ie pasta night)
Taco Tuesday (or any form of Mexican food)
Wacky Wed (anything goes)
Ethnic Thursdays
Fancy Fridays (eat out or get take out)
Sandwich Saturdays (burgers,etc)
Seafood Sundays

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Oh my word, Debbi, I love it! Seriously, that is brilliant :).

Sarah said...

Hi Kate! I have to recommend you make this slow cooker dish soon! I made it yesterday and have to say it was a huge hit!! It is a beef and broccoli dish at
Looks like she has a bunch of good crock pot ideas!!
Good luck!!

Rae Ann said...


I love-love-love your new blog name!

Also, fill us in on great recipes, just cause!

(I also love Dabbi's "idea" above!)



ACampofSorts said...

Have you tried They do all of the work for you and choose foods that are in season. We've been using them for a few months and saved over $100 a month on our bill compared to past bills. I do make some changes to their menu before I shop (like drop the chips as a side and switch to frozen veggies), but it is still much easier than trying to keep up with it like before. They have a lunch menu too.

ACampofSorts said...
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