Ok, so I promised in a post yesterday that I would give the details of our glorious grocery shop the other day! I hope I don't bore you, but oh well if I do!
Our family does the bulk of our grocery shopping at Aldi. (If you have no idea what Aldi is, click here) I am not huge on coupon-ing, although I do it for special purchase items like dairy-free ice cream and milk. (I'm planning to write a post on my take on coupons soon)! If you read my menu planning post you know that I compiled a list of everything that I would need for 2 weeks or menus. Let me just say that I only plan my dinners. I typically have sandwiches for lunch with some type of fruit, chips, or a cookie. So lunches are only semi-planned, but dinners are planned in much more detail.
So I took my list and looked at the Aldi website to see some prices (especially on the bigger ticket items like meat). They don't have everything priced on there, but they have some things which kind of helped me get an idea of what I was going to spend. I then loaded up my planner (with the menu plan), grocery list, pen, and calculator. Let me just say now that this is the first time I have ever shopped like this, and it was a blast--really it was! I took Mike with me, which was so much easier! If you have someone who can help you grocery shop, I recommend taking them! He just pushed the cart and took care of Eliyah, but it was a HUGE help!! (Thanks, Babe!)
We have a budget for groceries for the month, a very small budget I might add. We usually don't do very well at sticking to it, but I was determined this time! I could spend roughly half the budget this shopping trip because I will do another one in the middle of the month. EVERY item that went into the cart got punched into the calculator, and I kept a running total of everything. One item in particular wasn't on my list and wasn't really a necessity, so I put it in the cart, typed the price into the calculator, and wrote the price on my list. If that item put us too far over, I would simply take out and remove the price from the total.
We got our cart full, with more than what we expected to buy! I couldn't help it though! They had a huge sale on bread and fruit! I got 2 loaves of wheat bread (which weren't on the list) for $0.50 each! They had bananas for $.022/lb, blueberries for $0.99, and cantaloupe for $0.69!
Our total was $1 over half of the monthly budget, but that is ok! Next shop I will just spend $1 less than half the budget to make up for that!
I was really excited about how it went! I definitely think taking the calculator along really helped me keep on track and keep from buying too many un-needed items! It really was an invigorating experience and I believe keeping keeping track of the amount I was spending helped me to keep it simple--and that's the goal!