Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Monday

Here is this week's menu:

Monday-Crockpot chicken stroganoff with salad
Tuesday-Weight Watchers sausage and pepper pasta pot
Wednesday-Turkey burgers with broccoli and fat free chips
Thursday-Dinner out-in laws in town
Friday-Weight Watchers spaghetti with asparagus, salad
Saturday-Salsa Verde sour cream enchiladas (indulgence night!) with chips and salsa-the recipe is from Chloe's blog-if you want it, look around on there. :D
Sunday-Burgers and oven fries

OK, I am having major issues with my weekly grocery spending. Let me lay this out and get some advice from you all.

-I always shop at Walmart for groceries-Publix is too expensive for buying 7 nights worth of meals, plus lunch, breakfast, and replenishing needed items. This weekend I had to buy formula for Emma's caretaker, so I spent an extra 21$. I spent 140$ on groceries! That is insane to me!!! I used to spend maybe 100$ for all of this. And I don't buy diapers or wipes there! Ever since Emma, my bill has gone up by about 40$ a week and I don't buy formula and baby food every week. What is going on? Have groceries gone up that much?

Also, I know so many people RAVE about coupon shopping, but I have two issues with that.

Number 1: I don't have time to look through all that crap and clip/print coupons. Srsly. I did a lot of printing coupons and searching for them while pregnant and got lots of good deals. But it takes dedication and TIME that I don't have right now.

Number 2: You have to buy the things on sale and they are mostly not healthy. I spend about 40-50$ on produce, 20$ on fresh meat. Maybe I should start buying more frozen meat and veggies??? I love reading Leslie's blog about her shopping trips, but I get nauseous when I see her total for a crapload of groceries is like 25$ a week! That is crazy insane! Leslie, want to move in with Noah and Hardy and do this for me??? :D

I am making a lot of healthy, Weight Watchers meals. I cannot go buy 12 rolls of crescent rolls, 4 blocks of cream cheese, and 14 packs of cheddar cheese. Now I will buy 12 boxes of pasta or other things that I can make healthy. I am just at such a loss! We only have one kid and she isn't even eating our food yet!

I take my lunch everyday, I make my breakfast everyday, and I take about 3 snacks per day. But it's not prepackaged, more expensive stuff.

Example of a Day
Breakfast-yogurt or toast with coffee
Snack-mini bag of 100 cal popcorn (get coupons for 1$ off 2.29 at WW)
Lunch-WW Smart Ones-I buy the cheaper ones for 1.80-2.00, apple or other piece of fruit, sugar free jello pudding
Snack-cheese stick, bell peppers
Dinner-whatever I've made that night, you can see examples above.

I quit making "gourmet" multi ingredient meals because I don't have time to cook anymore unless hubby is home to watch baby, so it's all relatively simple and quick meals.

I just do not think I should be spending close to 600$ a month on friggin groceries for our family. We also go to the wholesale club for diapers, wipes, dogfood, cokes, bottled water, and paper goods. That's another 150 a month (estimated).

Please leave me some tips, advice, or empathetic comments letting me know I'm not alone! :D

I am going to be eating chicken breasts, rice, and frozen broccoli for the next 3 weeks............blech. Gag me.


  1. Two tips that have really helped me is buying canned veggies and frozen veggies. The only stuff I buy fresh anymore is carrots, salad, apples and if veggies go on sale. I try to only buy meat if it is less than $1.99/lb. and I choose only veggies that go on sale. For my boyfriend and I, we have been able to keep our grocery bill under $75 a week. But it takes a lot of time spent of searching for the deals in the weekly adds. Good Luck!

  2. I agree - groceries are so expensive. I love to cook and bake, so even though it's just the two of us, I spend a lot on groceries. It makes me crazy when I start adding things up, so I try not to do that. Fresh produce is expensive and you can't stock up when it's on sale, so I don't think there's much you can do there. I like the suggestion above to buy some veggies frozen. I try to buy meat in bulk when it's on sale and then freeze it for later. But it doesn't significantly cut the bill - just helps a bit.

    Coupon clipping seems to work if you're flexible about what you eat (and I'm not) and if you're willing to spend a lot of time (and I'm not). I guess it's just not for everyone...

    Sorry I'm not any help, but I do share your frustration.

  3. You are not alone. I spend way more than I estimate on groceries, but I buy good healthy stuff, and I make my meals, and the hubs (when he's here) and food is just expensive. I have NO time for any coupons, and I do the best to shop sales, but fresh, good food is pricey, and I can never get around that it seems.

    Over-spending grocery shoppers of the world unite!

  4. I don't know, girlfriend. I clip coupons, but I'm not a total avid coupon clipper! I probably save 30 dollars a week from couponing and buying my grocery store deals.

    Last weekend I had a 213 dollar bill, but I got it for 189. I spend about 150-200 a week for the two of us. I spend about 60 in produce, easily, 20-30 in frozen, 20-30 in dairy, 20 in meat and the rest on stuff from the middle aisles of the grocery store.

    I try to buy things on sale, if I use it and it's on sale, I"ll buy more. I buy things that are the cheapest price per ounce (generally a case of store brand versus brand name), and I try not to buy any convenience food (But I buy Perdue Perfect POrtion Chicken breasts because I like the convenience of knowing what 4oz of meat is).

    It sounds like you're doing all the same things I do, but the price sucks.

  5. I am SO GLAD someone posted on this and SO happy to read all these comments. I am with you! Completely! I don't want 20 hamburger helper meals and four blocks of cream cheese. I avidly clip coupons. I shop at Walmart b/c we don't have Publix and I got tired of fighting with Winn Dixie over coupons on BOGOs...we spend $200 per week...yep, $800 per month. That is my CVS, Walmart, & Sams budget. It covers all food, toiletries, and diapers. But, I buy all our toiletries at CVS and coupon like crazy. I never actually pay for toothpaste and all our other toiletries, makeup, etc. I spend very little on (thanks to sales, coupons, and extra care bucks). I was blown away this week at how fast it all added up. Prices have definitely gone up. Our menu is very similar to yours. I spend a lot on produce...I have started buying some frozen...if you get any great ideas, please share. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one struggling in this department.

  6. Here is a site that a friend of mind just shared. I haven't had much time to play around to figure it out, but she said they saved 60 dollars at Publix on their last weekly buy. It also has CVS and many other coupon/sale buys. Maybe this will help?

  7. sorry.

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  9. hate coupons cause it is never for things I buy/need and it is a huge time sink. My only suggestion is to definitely get rid of the bottled water, get yourself a Brita pitcher and a nice stainless steel travel bottle like from Bottled water is about 1000% more expensive and harmful contaminants leach from those plastics into your water which you just don't need. Also, there are no federal regulations on the purification and maximum contaminant levels in bottled water, it is horrible on the environment to spend all the money on fuel to ship and it is probably equal or not as good as your normal tap water. Not to mention the waste of money and resources. I could just go on and on... Sorry, I know I sound like a hippy, but that is the reality of the whole tap vs. bottle water debate.

  10. Our grocery bills easily run $100+ a week but that's with making full blown meals every night of the week plus breakfasts and lunches. Also, we eat a lot of fresh produce, fish and chicken and I never buy anything frozen or canned. For produce, the best ways we get deals are buying straight from the produce docks (where the grocery stores buy their stock from). An entire case of lettuce that comes with generally about 20 heads of lettuce costs anywhere from $8-$14 (at it's most expensive). Now, we would never use 20 heads of lettuce before they go bad, but lettuce around here on sale is $1.99 a pound, often times more though. You easily pay $2-$3 a head. We eat a lot of salads and usually use 6-7 heads a week. 7 heads times $3 is $21 bucks for a weeks worth of lettuce. Much cheaper to just buy the case. We've taken that a step further and now split it with another family to save more money but even if half of it were going bad, it would still be a savings. I used lettuce as an example but other really great things that I love to buy in bulk are potatoes, onions, oranges, apples and other produce items that have a good shelf life. Storing them in a cool garage definitely increases the shelf life though it is a bit tougher in the summer. For the remaining produce that we use smaller amounts of, I look for local produce stands and also check out trader joes. Trader joes can be expensive for some things but you can find good deals! Bananas for instance are like $.19 a piece versus paying by the pound. This is quite a good deal (even beats sams club/costco/BJs). Also check out local farmers markets in the summer. We buy yogurt in bulk 1-2 times a month when the grocery stores run specials that are a minimum of buy one get one free, sometimes we can find it for buy one get two free. Chicken I always buy fresh, so I stock our freezer when it goes on sale for $1.99 or less. Seafood we either get on sale (stock up and freeze) or occasionally we'll hit up the seafood market (again where all the grocery stores buy their stock from) and will buy a case to split with friends. We've done this with salmon, swordfish, tuna steaks and shrimp and it's been amazing quality each time. For items like flour, pasta, eggs, etc... I watch for sales at walmart and local grocery stores, I also occasionally buy from bulk from mail order companies like frankferd farms and on a rare occasion when we've completely whiped out our groceries, I've go along with a friend to a local commissary while they were doing their shopping and gotten a bunch of stuff with them (this ones a bit more of a pain but I've done it after moves or vacations that require completely cleaning out the pantry/fridge/freezer).

    *phew* ok, that was kind of a lot. I'm sure there is more, I just can't think of it right now. I'm not a big coupon person at all. Rarely is it for the kind of stuff that I use. Let me know if you have any questions!

  11. oh, another huge savings-in all things bread related (english muffins, doughnuts, rolls) find a bread outlet. We don't have one too close but we go up once a month or every other and buy all our bread for about 50 cents a loaf...

  12. Girl we spend a lot at the grocery store too. However...when we were not watching what we ate I spent a lot less. It's much more expensive to buy the fresh vegetable and meats so that's probably your biggest difference there. Groceries are expensive in general and it's definitely going up still. :( But at least your menu looks delicious!!! XOXO


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