Grocery Shopping on a Budget

I spent my Saturday night couponing, grocery sale stalking, and list making and I’m okay with that.  I had an awesome Friday night dancing with some friends and an adventurous Saturday morning at the Farmers’ Market all of which came after a week of being sick with allergies/bronchitis.  Needless to say, after a week of laying in bed the excitement of Friday and Saturday morning left me a little drained Saturday afternoon (I laid down to close my eyes for 30 minutes and woke up 2 hours later… and I’m not a napper!).  So spending Saturday night doing mundane house things was just a-okay in my book.

I shared before my tight budget and how I keep track of my spending (it’s going great, btw!).  My grocery budget is no exception.  It is tiiiiight.  I allow myself about $150/month which isn’t a lot when you buy mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, tofu, and natural products.  So I try to be really diligent in clipping coupons and checking the grocery sales to make my dollar go further.

So let’s talk about this.  I’m curious, how many of you coupon and sale stalk?  About every week I rid my coupon envelope of expired ones,
clip that week’s coupons, and check the circulars for the sale items.  I then make a list of what’s on sale with the sale price next to it and if I have a coupon on top of it (the highlight of my week!).  After doing that I go back through my coupons for items that aren’t on sale, but I still need and write the item and coupon down.  And finally I finish the list by writing all the other things I need that aren’t on sale or have a coupon but I need. 
I try to only buy items that are on sale or have a coupon but the world of veggie eating doesn’t really allow for that.  If you’ve ever paid attention to coupons and sales you’ll notice it is mostly snack, soda, and cereal items that I try not to buy.  So imagine my excitement when I noticed that Kashi cereal, Nutella, canned tomatoes, Swanson broth, and tissues (I’ve been using a lot lately) are on sale at Giant!  And that I had a coupon on top of the sale for the broth and tissues.
Allow me to explain my excitement over the tomatoes and broth.  I base my grocery shopping off of three things
1. Necessity items that I need
2. Sale/coupon items that are a good deal
3. My weekly menu
On the menu this week is a veggie soup from the Flat Belly Diet that I looooove (I make it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and tofu instead of chicken).  The recipe calls for a bunch of veggies that I picked up at the Farmers’ Market and a few other things including (obviously) broth and canned stewed tomatoes.  The fact that my intended meal and the sales matched up is beautiful in my eyes.  My soup is my big meal for the week.  I always pick one big meal that will last me for more than one night and will most likely be my more expensive item.  Other menu items for the week include foods I already have so my grocery shopping is pretty low this week.
Another exciting find for me was a sale on TGIFridays one person frozen meals because I have two coupons for them!  I’m not a huge fan of prepared frozen meals but they are always nice to have on hand so if they are on sale I grab a few.  The TGIFriday meals are on sale for $1.99 and I have two $1 off coupons.  Score!!
It’s always great when a pantry item is on sale too.  This week, Giant brand evaporated milk is on sale for 5 for $4.  I like to have this on hand for baking.  It’s also good for pancakes, French toast, and quiches (something my mama taught me).
I have a coupon for Sargento shredded cheese so I’ll pick up some bags of that.  I like to have shredded cheese on hand for nachos and pasta meals and Sargento coupons are pretty rare.
My last exciting Giant find was $1.99 Turkey Hill ice cream.  I’ve been craving ice cream, but I never buy it and I especially don’t buy it if it’s not on sale.  Turkey Hill is my favorite brand and it’s normally around $5 so $1.99 is AMAZING!  I think I’ll get some cookies and cream!!
After Giant I might head over to Wegmans for their .99 frozen vegetable sale.  I always have multiple bags of frozen veggies on hand and I’ve been on the hunt for edamame.  For some reason I can NEVER find it at Giant so I’m hoping Wegmans will have some!!

Do you coupon?  Any coupon or meal planning tips?  Do you have a grocery budget you stick to?

One response to “Grocery Shopping on a Budget

  1. so i never coupon-ed a day in my life. to be quite honest, i think that coupon-ing gets you to buy a whole bunch of crap that you don’t actually need — have you seen that show “Extreme Coupon-ing”? my rule of food shopping is threefold: shop the perimeter of the store (that’s where all the “real” and healthy food is), buy what you like, only buy enough food for a week. 🙂

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