Frugal Friday

by Katie on August 8, 2008

I am starting a “Frugal Friday” series this week. This series will discuss what we have done recently to save money and how we have managed to trim back our budget. This week’s edition is all about grocery shopping.

Back in May, we had a set budget of $125 per week for our family’s groceries. Invariably, however, we would come up to the check-out counter (usually without any coupons) and pray that the bill would be manageable. More often than not, it would reach $150 or higher. Our grocery bill was steadily climbing to $600 a month! And to top it off, we would shop on Friday, and by Wednesday, we were searching the fridge and pantry for food as the shelves were almost bare.

My husband and I knew that we had to make a change in order to keep our budget manageable. I started buying the Sunday paper and clipping a few coupons. I also began surfing the internet, looking for coupons to print off. As the weeks passed, I began to see the grocery bill creep down a bit, and I felt encouraged by my efforts.

Around this time, I was looking through money saving blogs, and stumbled upon the concept of stockpiling. I had never heard of this line of thinking before. The basic idea of stockpiling is such that grocery stores price their items in a cycle, and during certain weeks of this 10-12 week cycle, these items hit a rock bottom price. It is at these times, when a wise consumer should take their coupons and purchase a multiple number of these items. This will ensure that the customer has enough of this item until it hits rock bottom once again. By utilizing this method, shoppers should never have to pay full price for the great majority of products.

So, armed with my coupons and my new plan to stockpile, I approached June with a whole new attitude. I decided to keep my grocery budget at $600 for the month in order to jump start my stockpiling efforts. By the end of June, not only had I stayed within that budget, but had managed to create quite a store of extra items including chicken legs, pasta, and boxed noodles. I felt that I was on the right track.

The following month, my husband and I decided to cut the grocery budget back to $500 a month. I felt a little concern that I might not be able to cut back so much and still be able to provide adequately for my family’s needs. I prayed over this decision, and asked God’s guidance in my efforts. I slowly began grocery shopping each week, stockpiling on the items that were at their lowest prices, and clipping every coupon that I thought might be useful. As the end of July rolled around, I realized that my efforts had been more than fruitful. I had not gone over my $500 budget which was a HUGE accomplishment in and of itself. However, I had also stocked up on so many pantry, frozen, and personal care items, that I was scrambling to find extra storage space in my house! I felt so truly grateful for God’s provision and His answer to my prayer.

It is now August. We have cut our grocery bill for this month down to $360! Almost half of what it had been three months ago! It is week one, and we are right on track. With only $90, we have purchased more groceries than we used to for $150 a week. We hope to trim our grocery budget back even more in the upcoming months, until we reach a level that is manageable for us. It’s been an eye-opening journey so far!

What have you done recently? Share with us the money saving ideas your family has used, and what has or has not worked for you.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

thediaperdiaries August 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm

I have done this too. Actually almost exactly with the same numbers and everything!! Weird. I use The Grocery Game as well as several money saving website and have been amazed!!


Anonymous August 11, 2008 at 3:24 am

I use the Grocery Game also, but am finding lately, that the lists are not as helpful as many of the blogs. Your blog for Meijer is very helpful and I appreciate it very much. We also have been praying heavily over our finances and trying to pay off a small amount of debt. In 7 weeks we now have a large stockpile of food, bath, and cleaning products. We budget $80 a week for a family of 4. We started with this much and have been able to continue with it. We are hoping it will decrease as our stockpile increases. I am amazed at how much things are changing for us. Thanks so much for the great tips and lists!


Crystal May 7, 2009 at 12:03 am

Katie, there is also another method that I use to provide food storage for our family of 6…I buy some foods in bulk. Now, I know it seems a lot to do, but it pays off dearly. I shop at various places, but my favorite three are for bulk spices, teas, blends, dehydrated veggies, etc…and also, which has tons of awesome things, and a couple weeks ago, I placed my big yearly order (tax refund money well-spent!) and had over 150 lbs of food sent to me for the princely sumfor shipping of $5 via UPS. I also like for some items and for others…we have saved a TON of money this way. I still buy pantry items at the grocery store and walmart, but have found that bulk purchases really pay off! And no hassle–they ship free or almost free! Crystal in Sharonville, OH.


Tracy March 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Just found your web site love the meals and recipes.
When we both worked and our family younger in age our food bill was 800 dollars a month.We had major issues with saving money for ourselves and buying items, we used plastic too much.We needed to changed our habits.I stopped working and we have sinced
cut our food bill to about 130 each week and reduced our debt and
did away with our second car. I shop at aldis and other stores that offer good sales. I cooked from stratch and we eat very healthy . My family
brings lunch to work and buys lunch but it included in our monthly bughet. I only use cash for our purchases ,and if it a large ticket item we would use our debit card . I received clothes from old relatives ,I buy 2nd hand items
from thrift stores or on sale . and buy items when needed .
Most of my family wears uniform so that saves on my clothing cost.


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