My Old Man is about to start is annual six days of work marathon. I would say the overtime is nice, but I would rather have him home than the extra $150 per week (or so) after taxes. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a nice chunk of change for a few months during the year, but it’s a huge workload increase for both of us to keep the house running. For his last week of limited freedom, we decided to do a big grocery shopping trip to stock up on just about everything. Luckily for me, there were some also some great things on sale. We don’t have a whole lot of food or hygiene storage space in our house, so I’m always getting creative with how much of what I can actually purchase, Thanks to my purchases this week, I won’t need to buy the following for six months to a year:
- Laundry Detergent (I had 15-20 loads left but I was able to get a 38 load bottle of the stuff that doesn’t make me rash out for $4)
- Fabric Softener (I had a lot more than 15-20 loads but it was a pretty good price and now I don’t have to worry about laundry for probably a year)
- Summer meats (for us this is all beef hot dogs, Italian sausages, and those little cocktail wieners we enjoy for pigs in a blanket)
- Pasta sauce
- Taco sauce
- Cappuccino mix
- Vegetable oil
- Breakfast gravy
That will be nice for my grocery spending a little later in the year. Additionally this year, thanks to some good deals, coupons, and some ridiculously good receipt print out luck at Kmart, I’ve already stocked up on:
- Ground beef (not a common meat at home so probably have six month supply)
- Toilet paper (have about six month supply)
- Paper towel (eight month supply)
- Dove body soap (one year supply so that now I can only buy it on sale rather than when needed)
- Sensodyne toothpaste (six month supply)
- Deodorant (one year supply)
- Mouth wash (six month supply
- Chicken gravy (one year supply)
- Cream of _____ soups (one year supply)
- Macaroni and cheese (one+ year supply)
- Pasta (two year supply)
- Spices and seasonings (two year supply)
- Peanut butter (six month supply)
- Vinegar (one year supply)
- Swiffer wet cloths (one year supply)
- Barbecue sauce (one year supply)
When I look at all of these things that I won’t need to buy for an extended period of time, it’s sort of strange. This means I have all of the freedom to wait until I can get the lowest prices for these items and then stock up again. And I am by no means a couponer or super savvy shopper. If I can manage to stock up on things at a good price, you probably can too. Of course I spent $155 on one grocery trip and that really hampers my budget for the rest of the month, but for the rest of the month I should just need to purchase our lunch items (fresh fruit, bread, lunch meat and cheese) fresh vegetables for dinner as deals pop up, and milk. I should easily be around $20 a week with all of that and with three more shopping trips planned, I should still come in under budget.
I also want to note that my grocery “budget” (Reminder that I use the term budget, but I really don’t budget. I just look at things and determine if they are worth purchasing at whatever price they are and find that I come in under my expected historical spending level pretty often lately.) includes disposables and personal care items. If it’s bought at a grocery store, it’s probably in my grocery budget (yep, my cat food and litter are included too!)
The reason I make this post is because so many people I know go out to eat because they say groceries are too expensive. It can be, I won’t tell you otherwise, but if you shop the deals and meal plan around what you already have and what’s on sale, it isn’t too bad. And if you break things down into cost per serving you will see that it can be downright cheap!
For example, after we went shopping, my Old Man and I made Italian sausages with carmelized onion and sauted broccoli. The Italian sausages were bought at $4 for 5, the onion was probably around $1 whenever I purchased it and I used…maybe 1/16 of it, and the broccoli was $1 but we used half. So if I add up the costs for the two sausages, onion, broccoli, and throw in a little bit for butter, the total comes to $2.51 for a meal for two people (and I said the butter I used was worth 25 cents and I know I didn’t use that much butter). It was a delicious meal that filled us up and was cheap! Later I will probably make a stir fry with one sausage sliced up and pasta, carrots, onions, and broccoli which should come in around $2.21 for a meal for two people. Restaurant pricing could never touch that. The other night we even splurged on a steak that cost $5.69 (for about a pound of meat) and we seasoned it with some old spices someone gave use, marinated overnight with barbecue sauce, and had mashed potatoes with. Total estimated cost? $6.50 for a steak and potato dinner for two.
Realizing how deliciously we can eat will certainly slash our restaurant spending (when it’s just us) and maybe we’ll even get our regular date night couple to come over for dinner to save us all some money. After all, all four of us are saving up for weddings this year.