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LOVE!

LOVE!
The Parental Units

Alexis

Alexis
She is a shining star, a leader.

Trenton

Trenton
My one and only boy-child.

Jessa

Jessa
She is ALWAYS Batman.

Corina

Corina
The sourpuss, a/k/a lemon cat

Thursday, May 23, 2013

shopping for six

People often inquire about grocery shopping and the cost of food at the Macready-Walton household, today I'm going to break it down for you. There are six of us and the most expensive one is probably Corina, formula is expensive! Thank you Sam's Club and manufacturer coupons.

I hit up Safeway twice a month, I love Safeway's Just 4 U plan. You register your Safeway card online and every time you use your card it remembers what you buy... after a few trips and buying your regular items you start getting deep discounts. Seriously, they even price compare your typical items with Wal-Mart on their site and they're cheaper. In addition they offer online coupons that you click and 'add' to your card. No more clipping coups! Well, not as many. Another perk? Gas rewards. Yup. Your points add up, ¢10 off per point. I think spending $100 gets you one point. Typically, I get ¢30 off a gallon twice a month.

Now, if I only bought necessities my food bill would be much lower but my parents never bought me the fun stuff at the grocery store so I always splurge a bit. Yes, I know Pop tarts are a terrible breakfast and that Lunchables are overpriced but I buy them anyway. They're special treats for Saturdays, the kids know that and Saturdays are probably their favorite food day at our house. Plus, we have an 'adult' shelf packed with forbidden foods that we snack on while the kids are asleep. You know, complex carbs full of fat and sugar. Pretty much delicious treats like Oreos, Cheetos, and random liquor and mixers for cocktails. I would probably save $150 a month if I quit doing Saturdays for the kids and quit buying junk for the 'adult' shelf. We do a lot of entertaining/social gatherings so having those things are important...to some degree.

You know what else costs a lot? Buying good nutritious food. That sucks. Otwalla and Cliff bars, real fruit roll ups... not that sugar packed crap with 2% fruit juice, hummus, pistachios/cashews/almonds, fresh fruit, Special K protein shakes, and things of that nature.

We don't eat a lot of meat in our house, but we eat a ton of salad. Our proteins mostly come from beans, my gosh, our kids love black beans! I usually buy meats that are on sale and incorporate it into our menu.

We have two refrigerators, one is our day to day things and the other is a surplus  of milk, beer, frozen foods/meats, and water. Since the kids are out of school we have been powering through a gallon of milk in 3 days, I currently have 6 gallons of milk in the house and I'm hoping that I will not have to visit the grocery store for two weeks.

I make a meal menu once a month; simple, not mega detailed. For example Monday might say 'steak' and Tuesday might say 'taco salad.' It doesn't say which vegetable or starch will be included because I never know what's in the fridge/pantry/freezer and I let the kids choose the sides.

Its those pesky "I need sour cream" trips that get me. I go in for one item and come out with $50 worth of crap.

Household items? Wal-Mart, hands down. I watch ads all week before hitting up Wal-Mart, they price match. Sometimes diapers are cheaper at Walgreens and laundry soap cheaper at K-mart, so I make my list as and when I check out I tell the cashier 'these are $4.99 at CVS.' And the cashier adjusts the price for me. I've not be often been asked for proof and of the price of things but I have a smart phone so I can quickly show the cashier if needed be. Remember, they price match everything, even food. So if you're a trouper and want to save a ton of money you can shop at Wal-Mart but be prepared to have a grumpy cashier as he/she will gave to price correct everything in your cart, haha! In addition; Wal-Mart price matches AND accepts coupons. That is epic.

The Sunday paper is my friend for manufacturer coupons. The app Out of Milk is my lifesaver, especially for Wal-Mart trips. It shows all ads locally in the app, making price matching easy.

We go through a lot of toilet paper, shampoo, and laundry soap in our house.  I buy in bulk when it is on sale. Target had a sale on Garnier shampoos and conditioners for $1 a bottle, I bought 10. Safeway had a sale on toilet paper, ¢50 for 4 rolls, I bought $10 worth. And Wal-Mart had a sale on Arm and Hammer detergent for $3.99 (60 loads) and I had 4 manufacturer coupons for $1.50 off so I grabbed 4 bottles.

My, personal, problem is: I hoard. I'm afraid of running out of certain items so I buy them every time I go to the store. Diapers, hand soaps and body soaps, laundry soap, baby formula and baby food, and recently toothpaste and even toilet paper.  I'd probably save a fortune if I stopped stocking up on this stuff. I think my mentality behind this is; if I am ever hard up for money at least I'll be clean and can wipe my butt that month!

With coupons, price comparison, and only two trips to the store a month I typically spend $500 including both food and household items. I bet I could work with $300 a month and still come out pretty damn good but I like a few luxuries like fancy face wash and moisturizer, good make up, and great razors. Plus, my toilet paper isn't the same as the kids toilet paper. Ha! Seriously, I could save more but I just haven't started yet. Maybe next month.

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