Friday, June 20, 2014

Our Newest Addition

We recently brought home a yellow lab named Finley. He turns four this year and is a really nice dog. Tillie can pull on his tail and he will not react. He's gentle with the kids, obeys commands, and has transitioned almost seamlessly into our family. The chickens are the only ones that aren't too thrilled with another dog. They pay no attention to our other lab, Bridget, but when Finley goes running outside they squawk like they are under attack. In true lab form, he only pays attention to the chickens when they have kitchen scraps.


I've been keeping track of what I'm spending on produce and I'm averaging about $40 per week. I shop every two weeks so I spent $80.31 today on produce. I bought:

 3 pineapples
2 pints of blueberries
3 honeydew melons
1 cantaloupe
2 bunches of bananas
2 pints of mushrooms
10 # of carrots
1 mango
5 pears
9.49 # of cherries
12 # of  apples
6.97 # of grapes

We have lettuce and chard growing in the garden that will provide more vegetables.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to Shop for Groceries and Save Money

Grocery shopping on a budget for a family of six can be challenging. I shop every other week and try to stay out of the grocery store between trips. Before I go to the store, here's what I do:

1. Take inventory. Am I out of oil? Do I have enough spices for another two weeks? What staples am I missing?

2. Check the ads. New ads come out every Wednesday. I look through the ads for Aldi, Fareway, and a new, local grocery store that just opened.  I do all of my shopping at Fareway and they will price match everything as long as I have the ad or can pull it up on my ipod (or smart phone, but I don't have one of those). I look for things that are super cheap. I've been shopping for awhile so I know that if cheese is 2 for $3 that I need to buy a lot of it this trip. If apples are $0.69/lb, I will buy more apples than other fruits. I only ever buy fruits and veggies that are on sale and I always buy fresh and not canned.

3. Go through my recipe box. I look for recipes that will use ingredients I already have in my pantry and ingredients that I saw in the grocery ads. I make a big list of dinner meals for two weeks and add any needed ingredients to my grocery list.

There is a program called Bountiful Baskets.  I think Bountiful Baskets is a great idea and want to jump on the bandwagon, but I don't think it's cost effective for a big family. I buy a lot of produce.

Here's an example of my latest grocery trip:

3 pineapples
4 cantaloupes
20 lbs of apples
8 quarts of strawberries
5 pints of blueberries
3 heads of broccoli
a 4 pack of peppers
15 lbs of potatoes
3 stalks of celery
a bunch of bananas

I spent $74.66 and am happy with what I paid. I price matched the blueberries and strawberries and the apples were $0.99/lb. Fareway had already marked down a couple of other things that I can't remember to match either Hy Vee or Dahl's ads.

When I got home from getting groceries, I got out my list of meals and my calender and planned out breakfast, dinner, snacks, and daily food tasks for the next two weeks. I have found that I save a lot of money and don't waste food when I plan out detailed menus.