Monday, November 2, 2009

Supplementing the $40 Grocery Budget

Due to changes in employment and income, we are on a pretty tight grocery budget. I try very hard to keep our total groceries (including household and personal items) under $40 a week. I've recently found myself struggling to predict how much of some staple items we will use every week.

Used to be that one loaf of bread and a gallon of milk a week was plenty for my family. But now, with hubs being home-based for his job, me being a full-time stay at home mom for a while, and kids at home all the time, I have found that our consumption of some items have increased. My husband eats cereal multiple times a day. And no matter how many boxes I buy when they are a good deal at the grocery, I can't seem to keep up with his consumption. I've thought about hiding them and rationing him to one box a week but, I don't think this would go over very well.

This week, by Monday, I realized that we were already two thirds the way through our last loaf of bread and hubs had gone through all the cereal. Our juice stockpile was running very low too (although I do have an emergency frozen juice concentrate tucked away in the freezer). I really did not want to blow my budget and buy more supplies. Enter CVS with Extra Care Bucks (ECBs)! Over the weekend I had earned 10 ECBs for doing a survey for CVS (go here to learn how to sign up to be a CVS advisor and earn ECBs), and I had earned $1.50 in ECBs based on accumulated shopping I had done in the summer. A total of $11.50 in FREE ECB's for me to spend on whatever.

Normally, I would recommend rolling those ECBs (meaning: buy items that will produce more ECBs for you to spend on a future purchase), but sometimes they're needed for other things. There really wasn't anything at CVS this week producing ECBs that I wanted or needed. And I wanted to bridge the gap between weekly shopping trips and not blow our budget

I still tried to be smart with my ECBs. Here's what I got:

2 Honey Bunches of Oats $4.79 BOGOF
2 Apple Juices 2 for $4 Sale
1 Sara Lee Whole Wheat $1.99
1 Dawn Dishwashing Det. .97 Sale
Total OOP: .89

So, I was able to save the grocery budget this week. But, I'm still thinking about that rationing of cereal. Seriously, how much cereal does one man need? :)

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Blogger Nashville Cheapster said...

A little last posting, but wanted to let you know your post me laugh. We have food here that almost instantaneously disappears. Usually it is chips and ice cream. I have been know on occasion to have a special place I keep those. Not that I'm hiding them or anything.

November 10, 2009 at 12:37 PM  

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