My husband was talking to his friend, and this friend told him that he and his wife were actively trying to save money on food. They decided that for the month of September they would only eat out on Friday and Saturday nights, and eat in and cook the rest of the week. Just by doing this they saved $500! How wonderful is that? He also told my husband that they only spent $250 for the month on groceries…This baffled me. How did they get away with spending so little on groceries? I normally cook at least 4 days a week and still spend a lot more on groceries. So my husband and I decided to take action. For the month of October I am actively going to try to plan my meals for the week ahead of time, and shop accordingly…then, at the end of the month we’ll see how well I do!

My husband is the brains behind our finances, so I asked him to go back to our September bank statements and find out how much we spent on groceries in the month of September (I want to do my best to include only food items, and not things like cleaners and such). I find that cooking for 2 is very difficult. Especially when it comes to saving money on groceries because alot of the things I buy tend to go bad before I get a chance to use it. For example I will open a jar of sauce to make pasta, but I don’t need the whole jar. I put the rest in the fridge but by the time I want to use it again it goes bad. So here’s my new plan…make my meal plans to incorporate similar ingredients that I bought for the week!

MEAL PLAN: Week of October 5th

Monday: My Mother In law is coming over to eat so the meal is more elaborate than usual

  • Pasta with Meat Sauce
  • Baby Spinach salad with apples and onions
  • Garlic Bread
  • Apple Crisp Pie ( I made this Sunday)

Tuesday: Meat Sauce Leftovers

Wednesday: Beef Tacos

Thursday: Beef Taco Leftovers

Grocery List:

  • Italian Bread from Bakery
  • Weight Watchers Multi Grain Bread
  • Coffee Creamer
  • 12 pk Diet Pepsi
  • Ground Coffee
  • Soft Taco Dinner Kit
  • 3 Gallons of Water (for water dispenser)
  • 2 Boxes of Ziti pasta
  • 1 Jar Natural Peanut Butter
  • 12 pack of Seltzer
  • 2 packages of ground beef (about 1.2 lbs each)
  • Guacamole packets (come in individual 100 calorie packs so I can freeze the rest)
  • 4 Apples
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • Cascade dishwasher packs
  • 1 bag of baby spinach
  • I used 3 of my own grocery bags ($.15 cents back! woo hoo!)

Total Cost: $55.08

I am nowhere close to a master grocery shopper. You could say I pretty much suck at it. I actually dislike grocery shopping immensely, and I hate the crowds that hit the stores in my area…but it has to be done. I do not go from store to store following sales, and I actually refuse to go to some of the cheaper stores in the area due to the crowds. But I am hoping that this small change will make a big difference in our household budget. Hey I’m making an effort right?

So each week I will write about my weekly meal plan, and do my best to stick with it. Here’s to active menu planning and being a smarter shopper!