Who Doesn’t Love Grocery Shopping?!

I never knew food was so expensive until I became the SAHM who takes care of all groceries. (I also never knew packing lunches was the most miserable “mom” task ever).

We have a family of 5. I shop only at  big name stores (Publix and Kroger) and we have a $500/month grocery budget. If we break that down, that is $100/person…it seems like a lot of money but to some it will seem impossible. However,  I stay at or under my given budget most of the time. Have there been months where I have spent $800 on food? Absolutely. But there has also been months where we’re barely touching $350. But trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.

The question is how?

  • Planning-both trips and meals

I typically spend Sunday’s planning my meals for the week (Yes, I grocery shop every week). While I’m planning my meals, I also write my grocery list. Going to the store without a list is asking for trouble. You’ll most likely wind up in the candy aisle trying to decide which chocolate wrapper will be quieter when you’re trying to sneak it from your children. But no really, a list is necessary. I don’t make a fancy list with aisle numbers on where everything is but I do try to keep it organized and grouped together by food group. Also, there is an amazing app Grocery IQ that allows you to input your grocery list either via typing, barcode scanning, or voice. The app also lets you put in the quantity you need, and the aisle category it in is. It also keeps a history of past items so if you’re like me and buy most of the same stuff every month, it saves you a little bit of time. Best perk of them all, it’s free!

Now back to the meal planning, I only plan dinners. Breakfasts are usually cereal or something quick and easy for the kids before school. Lunches are typical as well so it’s easy. A typical week in our house goes something along the lines of cook, cook, leftovers, cook, out to eat, cook, cook. I also plan quick, easy (healthy) meals that I know my kids will eat. Meatloaf, homemade pizza, tacos, quiche, spaghetti, chicken fajitas, sausage and rice, and chicken fried rice are just some of our daily meals.

  • Skip the prepackaged items

Just because it’s prepackaged doesn’t mean it’s the best way to go. Companies typically hike up their prices (and preservatives) for prepackaged food because it’s convenient. People pay for convenience. When you break it down, you can roughly get more than twice as much product for generally the same price and it’s typically healthier.

For example, you can buy a box of (4) Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches for $5.44  -or- you can buy (12) English muffins for $2.28, (12) eggs for $1.98, and (12) sausage patties for $3.96. So for $8.92, you can get 12 sandwiches (that freeze and defrost perfectly)

  • Stock up on non-perishables

Especially when they’re on sale! I have enough cans of green beans in my house to survive the end of the world…twice. Seriously, there is a lot. If something is on sale, and it won’t go bad, save yourself some money (and time) and buy it. I recently just purchased 5 containers of juice as they were on sale from $3.98 to $2.00. So not only did I save myself almost $10, I saved time on shopping trips because I have juice for at least 4 weeks. Most items that you keep in your pantry, won’t go bad for quite sometime as long as they’re closed and sealed properly.

  • Buy in Bulk when practical

We have a Sams Club Membership and it’s fantastic. I typically buy bulk items there. It is definitely worth the money we spend on the membership and keep an eye out because sometimes they do free memberships or passes.

Buying in bulk is initially more expensive. Calculating it out however is more cost effective and beneficial. We typically buy non-perishables or foods we go through quickly from Sams. Buying in bulk again helps save time and money.

Believe it or not, it is cheaper to buy (1) 3lb container or peanut butter than it would be to buy the equivalent in single jars.

  • Coupons

I was the crazy coupon lady for a little while. I was getting shampoo and conditioner for $.33, toilet paper for $.10 and free toothpaste. It was fantastic! I then realized that companies rarely put out coupons for everyday food items. They’re typically for paper goods. Sure, you can find some ones for food and absolutely use the ones you find. Because essentially, cents leads to dollars.

Saving $.35 on cottage cheese two times per month is a yearly savings of $8.40…that’s almost enough to make homemade breakfast sandwiches!

I know grocery shopping isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but it’s a necessity. With a few tips and tricks you can make it almost, almost pain free.

-Kirstyn

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The Stigmas of SAHMs: Finances

We all know the look. The look we get when we tell acquaintances, friends, even family members, that we’re choosing to become a stay at home mom. It’s a mix of confusion, surprise, pity, jealousy and “judgyness”. This segment is about overcoming the stigmas of being at SAHM. Whether placed on us by loved ones, SOs, friends, strangers, MSM, or even ourselves, stigmas are the mantras we tell ourselves over and over that slowly break us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. We can overcome these debilitating scripts. We can become the all-star parents we saw ourselves being from the minute that pink line smiled back at us.

Let’s do this together. Let’s learn everything we can and become fulfilled as women and mothers in this role we were created to thrive in.


 

“We can’t do this financially”

That very well may be a fact. Some of us simply cannot live without the income of the mother. Whether you are a SP and must be the sole provider, or you and your SO are in a place where there is no possible way to make it work, its ok. WOH presents you with different challenges than a SAHM but you dear, are superwoman. You got this. But this segment is for the women that come to the (scary) decision to leave work and take on childcare FT.

I don’t care if you’re Bill Gate’s wife, leaving you job and losing that income no matter what your financial situation, is freaking terrifying. So let’s fix it. Let’s relieve the anxiety and talk about some simple, practical options that may sound intimidating at first but will ease the shock of financial loss and help the transition into FT booger covered zombie a little less intimidating.

  1. Grocery Budget

My DH and I sat down and said “this is what we’ve got.” That number, every pay period is what I have to purchase groceries, baby supplies, gifts, clothes, household imageneeds…pretty much everything besides gas, bills and major purchases. That’s it. Trust me, if I told you, the number would make you fall out of your chair and say “Ramen is disgusting, I can’t do this.” Trust me, you can. And you don’t have to eat Ramen (hey, throw some chicken in it, a couple veggies, Ramen can work!!). But to start, sit down with you’re SO and come up with a number. Freak out for a second, then take a breath and let’s move on.

  1. Couponing

For the love of all that is Holy, do not watch Extreme Couponing and think you need to imageput on an addition to hold all your toothpaste. Just, no. But what you need to do is start small and get the Sunday paper. The Sunday paper will cost you about $2, sometimes as low as $.75 if you preorder and have it delivered. It will provide you with dozens of coupons every week that will cut your grocery bill significantly. Cut, organize a little, and then make a list.

  1. Make a List

I told you. Make a list. You don’t need binders and file folders of coupons to save money (yes I have a binder, yes I love it, no you can’t touch it). Start simple. Make a list of things you need for the week and then start looking. Look through your Sunday paper coupons and start to match up coupons with what you need. Then if you’re feeling bold, check out coupons.com. It’s not scary. Look for what you need ONLY. Don’t get wild and burn through your printer ink. After that, hit up google. I needed rice. I googled “Uncle Ben’s.” I found a coupon. Not rocket science. Just simple computer skills. Go to the store now.

  1. After the store, Grab your Tablet

After you read this, read my review on grocery reward apps. They’re free. Then, look up what you bought, take a pic of your receipt, get cash. Boom. Easy.

  1. Online Shopping = Ebates & Retail Me Not

Ebates is fool proof. Any time you shop online, find the site you’re going to on Ebates first. You’re making the purchase already, why not get 6% cash back?? Then, when you get those orthopedic pacifiers your mom is convinced will prevent braces, check out Retail Me Not for a promo code. Boom. Now you’ve gotten 6% cash back from Ebates and saved 15% off your total and got free shipping because you found a code on Retail Me Not. Online shopping nirvana.

Start here. These are the things you can do from home, don’t take hours and hours of your precious sleep time and WILL save you money. Lots actually if you start to really get into it. We can talk about meal planning, getting your cable bill down (or getting rid of cable altogether) later. Let’s start at the beginner level and wow your SO with how much you saved on groceries this week with a little extra planning and little time on the tablet. You got this.

-Chelsea

For more on our series of Sahm Stigmas, check out:

SAHM Stigmas: Careers

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/18/the-stigmas-of-sahms-careers/

SAHM Stigmas: A Day of Nothing

https://burritobuzz.com/2015/09/21/the-stigmas-of-sahm-a-day-of-nothing/