Thursday, December 20, 2012

2 impulse shoppers + grocery store = success?!

December 20, 2012

Today started with a declaration: Anyone who packs their lunch can put a big treat in it! Both kids jumped on that band wagon. My son packed some of the leftover teriyaki pork tenderloin and fruit salad along with his santa shaped marshmellow from my parents. My daughter packed a sandwich using up more of the lunch meat and finished the fruit salad along with a couple treats from trick or treating.

After watching our daughter's school play, we came back home to eat lunch before we went grocery shopping. Wow, a day off together and we were already out and about, and we STILL came home for lunch. We are really getting into this challenge! I had leftover pasta/zucchini/yellow squash and my hubby had (of course) leftover tacos.

Now for grocery shopping. My pre-challenge weekly average at the commissary is $175. Today I spent $15.63 on toiletries and cleaners. I spent $108.49 on food however that is including $16.16 for our Christmas ham. I spent $10.53 on gossip magazines. I tried to only get 2 instead of 4 of them but I couldn't help myself today. Ha. Ok, on to the impulse items. I was in the cookie aisle and saw they had a new package of ritz crackers covered in chocolate fudge. Ohhhhhhh. That made me remember a cookie that my brother in law made. I think it was ritz crackers, filled with peanut butter, then dipped in chocolate. I decided to buy a pack of ritz and some melting chocolate to make my own versus buying them already dipped. We spent about $1.50 more to buy all the ingredients however it will give us extra ritz to have with my other impulse item. I saw summer sausage and thought that sounded good. I already have a block of colby jack cheese at home. So my impulses were $5.62; not bad at all considering my hubby and I shopped together. After adding in the surcharge and taking out my coupons, I spent $138.66 out of pocket today. I saved $36.34 today.

Our pre-challenge weekly average spent at restaurants was $80. This week we spent $36.78. I saved $43.22. Our kids packed sandwiches one day and then a sandwich and leftovers another day. At $2 a lunch, that saved $8. Yay kiddos! This brings our total for the week to saving $87.56 and our grand total of saving $1,112.35 in 64 days!! I'm very happy with how well we have done so far. Especially considering that we also have had a big Thanksgiving meal, Christmas baking, and shopped for our Christmas meal.

My tip for shopping is do not be brand loyal. I thought that I was already doing a good job of it. I had switched from Lysol to store brand for wipes for in the kitchen along with other items. However, during this challenge I also switched dryer sheets, dishwashing detergent, and vegetable oil. I never noticed a difference in quality. When you shop, look at the shelves. Look high and low where they keep the cheaper items. Today I was looking at feta cheese and was complaining that it was over $3 for the container. My hubby looked over to the side and found a different brand for $1.88. I never would have noticed it simply because I had always bought that certain container of feta. Not because I was brand loyal but simply because I knew what the container looked like and would grab it anytime I needed feta. Thanks hubs! Oh yeah, and as we were walking to the checkout, I asked him "do we have everything? It seems like we don't have enough snacks and stuff." His reply, "well, we will just have to get creative with what we have." I think I may have stared at him for a minute with my mouth open. This challenge is getting easier as the weeks go on.

My hubby made homemade clam chowder for dinner. He used potatoes, bacon, onion, clams, heavy cream, water, salt, pepper, thyme from my garden, bay leaf, and garlic. He topped it off with parsley. We decided to surprise the kids with a fun side for tonight. We bought a giant candy cane shaped bread. You should have heard the oooooh's and aaaaaaah's when we cut into it. The inside was "like a rainbow" (according to my son).

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