Monday, October 01, 2007

The How Low Can You Go Challenge!

This is my last week of posting on this challenge. I plan on keeping up with this in hopes that I can continue to find ways to lower my bill. Some things, I think were a success and some bombed. Here are some things I've discovered...

1. Watching the sales and using coupons works in some cases. I found CVS to be a blessing and will continue to get things from there each week. I was able to save on cold medicines, toiletries, and some grocery items by watching the sales, using ECB's and also keeping an eye out for things on clearance.

2. Going to more than one grocery store costs me money. I definitely spent more, the more stores I went to. From now on, I'll stick to one store a week although I will still try to make it to Food Lion for their meat sales every so often.

3. I really can spend less. I was under the impression that I was doing the best that I could by making a list and sticking to it. I've now found that by checking the sales, using generics when possible, and coupons when not that I can save us a lot more. I need to be a careful shopper.

4. Making from scratch saves money! I don't buy much from boxes and mixes but there were a few items that I still used that were costing me money. I've purged them from my pantry and am making them from scratch. They taste better, and cost less. Some things on that list are; tortillas, french fries, and mac and cheese. I'm still working on making enough bread each week for my family, the supplies cost about the same as bakery bread, so I usually expend my energy making the extra things like rolls, biscuits, muffins, bread sticks and such. That saves us by not buying them premade but I'd like to have all our bread homemade. It's hard without the right mixer, I use my hands right now and it's not that cheap buying the flour in 5lb bags. I may look into buying this in bulk although I'm always afraid of bugs here in the south.LOL And I'll enlist the troops for more mixing help. I'm just not willing to buy a new mixer when hands can do just as well.

So now on to my last grocery week....

I was rushed today and needed to drop three of the kids off at Grandma G's house before shopping and I forgot my list!!!! How in the world could this happen?! Well, since I had poured over that list so many times yesterday and today, I was able to remember everything but one item. I also didn't buy extra things either. I was pretty happy. Sophia, Allison, and I were able to get the shopping done and we ended up spending $210. Not too bad.

For the month I averaged $173.95 a week on groceries! Considering the month before when I averaged $275 a week, I've done well. That's a savings of $101.05 for this month. Almost enough to pay for Sophia's medicines.LOL

As I said, I'm going to keep this up. It's been great to see how I can save us money and I really think it's worth it.




dorothy said...


It sounds like you've done really well and it was worth the exercise for all that you learned or relearned.

How about 'Don't go shopping just after drinking strong coffee'? I learned that I would buy trolley loads of 'really good bargains' when I was jittery with coffee-excitement and then unpack my groceries in dismay by the time the coffee high had dies down. {vbg}

Cynthia said...

Good job, Lisa! That's a HUGE savings!

Lisa in Jax said...

Good advice Dorothy. I can see now the havoc it would wreak in our budget.LOL

I have learned a lot. Mostly that it's hard work saving money! I'm going to stick with it though. I can't believe I shaved a $100 off our month's groceries. Now I wonder if I can bring that total down even more this month.LOL

Thanks Cynthia! I'm trying and like I said, it's hard work but it was so nice to see that even though I don't work outside the home, I was able to bring in some money just by working a little harder here at home.

De'Etta said...

Am I reading right that you saved $100 PER WEEK off your groceries - so $400 in the month?

Any way you read it - you've done well. Good job.

I also found that shopping "the ads" - going into lots of stores cost me money.....and that scratch was cheaper for our family.

Jodi said...

Great job!

We started buying more boxed and packaged stuff this year, I guess just because the first part of the year was so difficult with trevor and then this part of the year hectic with co-op. I'm happy to say the novelty has worn off and the things my kids begged for no longer hold their appeal. Back to making more from scratch here too since we are getting in a better routine and I have more time.

Anyway you've done a really good job getting that grocery bill down!

Kristine said...

That is excellent that you were able to really impact your bill by that much! This has been an interesting series of posts, Lisa, I've enjoyed reading them.