Thankfully I'm only responsible for feeding myself, but it definitely requires a few tips and tricks!
- I consider what I have in my cabinets/fridge/freezer and use sale items to compliment them for meals. This allows me to spend half my budget on meals for the current week and still have money to stock up on sale items that will help in future weeks.
- Yup, you'll see I focus on sales. Each Sunday I look at the ads of 3 local grocery stores. I base my shopping list and meal plans around the sales and then use the any remaining budget to buy staples or specific ingredients a meal might need.
- I threw brand loyalty out the window. It's not always easy since I do prefer some brands over others, but when there's a coupon or sale involved, I go for the price. I almost always get the cheapest item available, with some discretion on quality.
- Make sure you prepare meals you really like because leftovers will become your best friend. I get 2-6 meals out of each thing I make.
So what do I buy? Here's a recap of week 1:
- Loaf of bread
- 1/2 lb of ham from the deli (on sale)
- Head of lettuce
- Taco seasoning
- Taco shells
- Peanut butter
- Old fashioned oats
- 1 individual plain Greek yogurt (I use it as sour cream)
- 4-pack strawberry Greek yogurt
- 2 pasta sides
- 4 apples
I'm almost positive the only way to make $35/week work is when you use some of the budget to buy items that roll over. Then you always have mix & match options or can plan ahead for meals you may not always be able to afford on a weekly basis.
Now, I absolutely know that reading someone else's grocery list is mundane and maybe even weird. These posts are really meant for the budget diva's or wanna-be's out there that want to shrink down their spending. So if cheap groceries aren't your thing - skip these weekly posts. I don't mind!
When I started realizing this budget actually works for me, it was after making my list for week 2. Sorry for lack of pics and details in this inaugural post - I swear it's going to get a little more interesting in this series!