Savings, Recovering and Dinners

Last year around this time, I started tallying my grocery bills and trying to be aware of the budget.  Then, it tapered off and I realized that lately I have been making way too many little trips and spending too much money. Hence the spreadsheet is back out, as well as dinner planning, making a big list, coupon cutting and making one big trip per week.  Last week I did very well with dinners and using what we had in the house.

To recap:
Monday was Goat Cheese & Zucchini Frittata
Tuesday was Apricot Chicken
Wednesday was grilled veggies and tofu
Thursday was pepper and eggs atop Naan bread (I think Nick and I had a Dr Praegers and veggies)
Friday night was Kashi pizza 

It was a good week of dinners and last night I went grocery shopping just with Kara (took 1/2 the time, I swear) and did well with my coupons (searching online via google).   What money saving tips do you have for saving money at the grocery store? I feel that since the organic items are so costly and rarely on sale, it is hard to stay under $400 in a month. We'll see where we end up this month.  How much do you spend on groceries in a month? Maybe I can make a conscious effort to continue being on top of this! I hope so. It's funny that it was a year ago right at the same time that I got into this.  Also check out The Savvy Budget Mama blog on budgetting.

The last 3 days I have slept about 9 hours at night and napped for 1-2 hours a day. I'm hoping that this is going to help me recover from whatever my body is fighting. I will tell you that I am totally frustrated and can't stand having to take a nap and having to skip workouts. After spending the day with a toddler and baby, I have ZERO patience without a workout on the day.  Gosh I hope this passes!  I got out for a mid morning run with a swimming friend this morning who is fast! We ran 10 miles at 8:35 pace. By the end I wanted to die, but wow it felt great to be breathing the fresh air and moving my legs.

A hello from Kara and my old carebear (watching Nick)

and Nick jumping in his crib with one of the Thomas engines.
Do you know which Thomas engine it is ?  : )


  1. I don't think I want to know what I spend in my "little trips" to Trader Joes...

  2. i need to get back on the budget and coupon train. i got so overwhelmed with it all, it was soooo time consuming i just gave up. i probably saved $100/month doing it, but it took so much time! is that the "rosie" train?

  3. When we moved here the groceries were way more expensive and I freaked! I have been cutting coupons and planning meals around what is on sale. Another good website is Money Saving Mom. Coupons.com also have good coupons too but you are right...the organic stuff is tough. Money Saving Mom has weekly organic deals.

  4. I recently came across "Coupon Divas". You can sign up for free emails that send you links to printable coupons. She also does the research on what items are on sale that also have a corresponding coupon. It's great! It's coupondivas.com and so far it's helped a lot - I got a couple items last week that were buy on get one free, plus a $1 off coupon. HOpe this helps!
    Great job with the 10 miles!

  5. I just saw a show about supermarkets and they said the average family spends $100/wk on groceries so I would say you are doing well, especially since you feed your family such healthy food.

    I love that CareBear; Elena would go nuts if she saw it.

  6. I love the pictures!!

    I follow a couple of sites that are excellent about posting deals on organic and natural products. I keep up with them on Facebook since their RSS feed is on there. It really saves you time and money because you aren't spending time seeing what kind of new coupons are out and what's on sale, etc.



  7. Great 10 miler! Sounds like the rest did you good.

    You can usually get coupons for organic/natural items by going directly to the manufacturer's website. Mambosprouts.com is another good site I didn't see listed above.

    I also found a hidden treasure in the organic/health foods section of a nearby grocery store. They mark all the persishable items down 50% 3-5 days before the sell by date, and by 90% on the sell by date. For example, I got 6 bags of Horizon organic shredded cheddar for $.68 each today. I stocked up since you can freeze it. I know you don't have Kroger up north, but my mom sometimes gets deals like in the organic/natural section of Shop Rite.

    I did a blog post about this a few months ago with some other tips too. It should be pretty easy to cut down your bill with strategic shopping, especially since you like to cook.

  8. I have a hard time sticking to a budget as well. What gets me is I tend to eat a lot of produce and that doesn't last very long, so I have to make a lot of trips to the store. B/c I make frequent trips, I'll think of "something" else that I need to pick up while I'm there, and I tend to spend more than I should!

  9. i was really tracking our groceries then I sort of decided not to obsess about it only becaues we don't eat out, so if I want to spend a little more on organics, whole foods things etc then I'm ok with it. that being said, I still clip coupons and look for sales!

  10. Look at your kiddos! they are getting so big!!!

  11. We average about 150-250 every two weeks... so anyway from 300-500 a month. It is really hard for us to budget because we are limited to the commissary on post here in Korea, so we can't exactly bargain hunt. But I think we do pretty well.
    It always goes much better when I have a well-planned list. It's our "let's just go and grab the things we see that we want/need" trips that end up costing way more than they should.

  12. I totally need to get a grip of my budgeting too. Like others - fresh fruit and veg trips end up being fruit, veg and oh i'll just get some bread, eggs, cheese, milk...... while I'm here! Having to buy blooming formula does the same thing (another reason I wish we'd managed!). When I'm being diligent about batch cooking and once a week shopping it makes such a difference.
    Good job on the resting. I'm not good at it either, but sometimes it just has to be done so that you're not in the same situation in a week's time! Believe me I KNOW how you feel about the workout missing!!!!!!

    Good luck budgeting.

  13. $400/month?! Seriously impressive, especially considering the yummy healthy goodness you're feeding Nick & Kara. I'll have to watch what you're doing more closely - excellent example.

  14. That's an awesome 10 miler, congrats on a great run =)

  15. wow, an old school care bear! haven't seen one of those in ages.

  16. It's not Percy!!!! :)

    Does he have the Fat Controller? :) Or Gordon?? :)

    My budget swings week to week, depending on what I need, though I definitely have a set menu for the week when I head to the shop. Yesterday I forgot my list, but somehow managed to remember 95% of it! Things like chicken are usually only bought on special (except the occasional BBQ'd chicken from WF). One thing my mum told me when I complained once about how much $$$ I was spending, was that if you're spending it on good nourishing food and not junk, then it's not a waste. Obviously it's great to save money, but when you feed yourself and your family properly, then it makes for better health!! :)