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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thrifty Thursday


Feeding my family of five on $100.00 a month.

Although to some it may sound insane, it can be done. Trust me, when that is all you have, you learn to make it work. I think this is more like a skill that you develop over time and out of necessity. There have been times when $25.00 had to do it for the week, and like some others I thought it simply could not be done. Now it is not so much a necessity, but I like saving all I can, and if we can eat well off of $100 a month, why up the budget.
The most expensive thing seems to be meat. Being the frugal shopper that I am, I only buy meat when it is on sale. Around here the grocery stores have cycles, for instance about once a month my local grocery store will have chicken on sale for $0.79 a pound for whole fryers. You better believe when they put the sign up I am there filling up my cart. Then another store will have ground beef on sale for $0.99 a pound, and I stock up on that as well. It just makes me sick to know that I could have purchased it at $0.99 and didn't, and then have to pay $3.69 a pound full price. I try to buy enough to last until the next sale. When the chicken is on sale, the average chicken will be around $2.50, so if I have $10.00 I can buy 4 chickens.
I am a monthly shopper as opposed to a weekly shopper. I make one huge trip to Aldi to buy all of the staples for the month. On an average trip to Aldi, this is what I buy:
2 boxes of tea @ $1.49 each
8 cans of corn @ $0.39 each
8 cans of green beans @ $0.39 each
2 cans of carrots @ $0.45 each
2 bags of rice @ $1.39 each
7 loaves of bread @ $0.75 each
2 packs of cookies @ $0.89 each
1 bag of flour @ $1.65
4 ground turkey @ $0.99 each
1 bag of chicken nuggets @ $3.99 each
1 butter spread @ $0.99 each

Total so far is $30.52

depending on what we are out of I will add things like canned spaghetti (for lunches), brown sugar, ketchup, or mustard.

I usually buy noodles at Walmart or the Dollar General because I can get them cheaper using coupons. Even without coupons, my Dollar General has noodles for $0.85 a box. That is the cheapest that I have been able to find them anywhere. We do not go through a lot of eggs or milk, but I find that convenience stores have a better price on the milk.

I buy large cans of Tomato Sauce from Walmart because they are cheaper there. I use this to make my own spaghetti sauce for the noodles.

I shop every other week at the farmers market for my fresh produce. I usually spend $5 to $10 dollars when I go.

It may not look like much, but you would be surprised how creative you can be. For example if all you have is a tube of frozen turkey, some rice, and a can of cream of mushroom soup. Brown your meat and cook your rice. When they are done, add them together, dump the can of cream of mushroom on the top and a can of water. Stir it up and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. There you have it, a meal for five people that cost about $1.65. Oh, and macaroni and cheese. You can do so much with that little box, it would blow your mind.

A common misconception is that you have to eat meat with every meal. Not at my house, we make spaghetti without the meat and love it. You can do chili without meat, try adding in some carrots instead. Have a breakfast dinner one night. Do pancakes, eggs, and toast. You can get creative with the pancakes too, add chocolate chips or blueberries.

I don't want to bore anyone, and I know this has been a long post, so I will stop here for today. We will pick up this topic next Thrifty Thursday.

If you have any questions or any tips to add please leave a comment. I am always learning new things from my wonderful readers.

4 comments:

Lapa37 said...

Do you use a lot of coupons? I tried to do the whole coupon thing but they never seemed to have the stuff we use.I to shop at walmart it is the best place to save money. We have super walmarts here and I usually spend about $100.00 and have about 3o bags of food.When I empty the bags on to my island (it is a large one) you can't see the top it is just covered.

Brandy said...

I do use coupons, but only on items that we would normally buy. If it is a brand that we do not normally use, but there is a coupon and using the coupon makes it cheaper than the generic brand I will do that too.

Laura said...

I'm happy to see your post about Aldi, complete with prices, too! I discovered that there's an Aldi about an hour away from me and I'm considering going there once a month to see if I can reduce the grocery bill that way without spending the time trying to make the couponing work. What do you think the best values at Aldi are? How does it compare overall to Superwalmart?

Brandy said...

Hi Laura,
I find that Aldi has great values on everything. The rice, flour, brown sugar, cake mix, brownie mix, frozen turkey, fresh produce, and Milk are all really cheap at Aldi. I find it to be much cheaper than Super Walmart. There are a couple of things that seem to be cheaper at Walmart, like regular sugar, so I try to wait and pick it up at Walmart. Overall, I know that our monthly trip to Aldi saves us tons of money. We have to drive about 45 minutes, but it really is worth it. Another thing about Aldi is that they have a double your money guarantee. If you are not satisfied with their product, you get double your money back. I think that says a lot for what type of store they are, and the quality of the food that they carry. Let me know if I can help with any other questions.