Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Note to Self: It is cheaper to shop alone!
Last week, I thoroughly cleaned out our fridge in anticipation of a 'big' grocery shopping trip. I had a pretty long list of staples and other things that we needed, but I hadn't been out to shop for a good long while. I never made it! Sick kids and an under the weather Mama, you know! Good thing that sick children don't eat much! Now that they are on the mend - they are hungry! Yeah! I love a child with a healthy appetite!
Tonight, after AWANA and Bible Study, I slipped out to the grocery store - without children. I think I've mentioned before that I don't multi-task well. Grocery shopping with my children is a case in point. I constantly forget items on my list and don't have the mental acuity to hunt for my coupons and organize my thoughts when I am distracted by the happy chatter and non-stop questions of my children. I just proved it again tonight.
My original bill came out to roughly $325. I handed my Kroger Plus card to the cashier and that brought it down to $275 because I was really watching those specials you know! I handed her my coupons and voila! my bill came to just over $200 - that works, don't you think? My point is, that I only ever do this well at saving when I can really concentrate on what I'm doing. So, from now on, I'm going to try to shop alone! Just think of all the delightful fabrics I could buy with all of my savings! I may not be bringing home the bacon, but I sure want to learn to stretch that bacon a bit further!
I used to do the Grocery Game, and I would really recommend it, and will probably re-subscribe at some point. I let it lapse when I really wasn't feeling well last summer and not getting out to shop on a regular schedule. They do all the work of co-ordinating specials with coupons for you and the savings are really wonderful - however, it doesn't work if you don't buy pre-packaged, frozen, and prepared foods or a lot of 'regular' brand cleaners, candy and air fresheners. Which we usually don't!
We shop the 'outer rim' of the grocery store most of the time - fresh fruits and veggies, dairy products, fresh fish, meats and eggs. We swoop into the baking isle, the cleaner isle for Mrs. Meyer's great products, and the frozen isle for frozen %100 fruit juices and occasionally ice cream! We buy a few canned goods too, but not many. So, it was a bit frustrating to me to look over Terri's list every week and realize how much we could be saving if we lived on those kinds of foods - it's never a comfort to know that eating home cooked and healthy generally costs more than the alternative - and seeing it each week in print was a bit more than I could take! Why don't they give coupons for apples and broccoli???? For a while I was using Terri's list to buy the really cheap ( almost free) convenience foods and donating them to the food bank, but after a while, I just didn't have the energy for that. So, I've been trying to really do the co-ordination myself, and tonight it worked out nicely - yeah! If I weren't so tired, I'd do a happy dance!
Note to Self: Shop alone Mama! It works!