Frugal Friday is something new I thought I’d try. May not be every Friday, but since I tend to get a lot of questions, at least in real life, about how we manage to feed, clothe, and house a family our size, it might be worth sharing some of what I’ve learned over the years.
If you follow me on Twitter, @2TheImp I mentioned that we finished our monthly grocery shopping on Tuesday. Yes, we do our major grocery shopping once a month. Here, in Canada, we don’t have the coupon situation that seems to happen in the States. No papers with coupons once or twice a week, double days, etc. Where we are, we do get 10% Tuesdays. One chain gives 15%. It’s the first Tuesday of every month, but this month, Canada day hit on the first Tues, so it happened this week instead.
By meal planning, using that week’s flyer, we managed to save over $150. We have our meat, diapers, and non perishables covered for the month, as long as we stick to our meal plan. A special promotion running right now has savings on gas, based on your grocery receipt. Highest amount available is $0.20 a litre. We split our groceries into two carts, so we could maximize our gas savings. Since the truck was down to its last few drops, we filled up, and saved $16. Honestly, it’s not the most we’ve saved on groceries, but it’s not a bad bit of work either.
One thing I find that also helps is comparing flyers, and comparing prices. I use a spread sheet to compare what’s on sale. I also keep an eye out in the actual stores. For example, I discovered that the brand of peanut butter we like is, at regular price, cheaper at one store than it is on sale at another. Normal price is about $3 more, and sale price is still $1 more. So, now I know that unless the grocery store has it for under $8 (we buy the massive jar), it’s not worth buying anywhere else.
One great buy this week was seedless watermelon. Store has changed from a weight price, to an item price, and had them on for buy one get one free. We bought four. My family can decimate a watermelon in a day or two. Terror Toddler and Cubby loooooove watermelon. What we did, though, was cut up two of them into chunks, spread them out on cookie sheets, and popped them in the freezer. Once they were frozen, transferred them into freezer bags.
Makes for awesome, stick-less popsicles. I don’t know about any other families, but buying popsicle molds here is a waste of money. The kids lose the sticks, constantly. Plus Cubby’s not quite got the hang of them. Giving him chunks of frozen watermelon not only saves having to worry about him poking himself in the eye with the stick, or gagging himself with it, but is also fantastic for teething.
He seems to like it.
Speaking of Budget Bytes, head back here tomorrow! I have an interview with Beth, the creator of Budget Bytes!
Don’t forget to enter the Plan To Eat give away!