Guest post by Whitney Proctor
Our house is busy. We’ve got a 7 month old baby. That’s busy. He bounces, he rolls, he tries to crawl, he unfolds all the laundry I just folded and plays “peek-a-boo” with it. I don’t have time to create a coupon binder and spend hours at the grocery store making sure that everything has a coupon before it ever hits my cart. I’ve practiced frugality since I was a bouncing little baby myself and these are the BIG tips I’ve found super helpful!
1. Call your local grocer and find out what day of the week they mark their meat down. Dillons (in Wichita) at Central and Maize and the Walmart Marketplace across the street both mark down their meats on Friday morning to make way for new produce over the weekend (when most poeple do their quick “oh no I’ve got to have it RIGHT now and I will pay whatever they make me pay” shopping). I went to Walmart Marketplace a couple weeks ago on a Friday morning and got over $400 worth of meat for $75: 6lbs of flank steak for $2.50, 10lbs of 93/7 lean beef for $3.50, 10 lbs of pork chops for $4.75, and so on. About 70 lbs of meat for $75. Sweet deal!
2. I always buy my produce at Aldi’s first (they also price match any competitor’s ad). So i bought all my fruit, veggies, lettuce, pasta, eggs, milk, cheese, bread and hummus at Aldi’s first. That week Dillon’s had peaches cheaper than Aldi’s – so they matched Dillon’s price. In total, I got about 45 lbs of veggies and fruit for $20.
3. Plan your meals ahead of time! This trip put about 30 meals in the freezer for our family of three. I made a list of 6 different meals I wanted to have ready to go (enchiladas, taco meat, meatballs, stir fry veggies, Asian chicken and honey-bourbon pork chops). I went and bought all the ingredients, pre-cooked all the beef on Friday and broke it into bags for the two of us plus a little extra for leftovers for the next day. I cut up the raw chicken and put the seasonings and marinade on it and stuck in the gallon size freezer bags and let it marinate while it’s freezing. Pop it out the morning I want to cook it and voila! I also pre cut all my veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, squash, onions, broccoli, sugar snap peas, green beans, hot peppers) and make different combinations to use for different dinners (like Asian stir fry, pot roast, vegetable side dishes).
That’s about it. Nothing too fancy. I always use coupons for my hygiene products, diapers, toiletries and cleaning supplies and buy them at Walgreens. Last week I used a couple coupons at Walgreens and got $15 worth of make up for $3 and used the Register Rewards from the shampoo/conditioner to pay for it – so I basically got it for free.
It took me about an hour and a half Friday morning (with the baby!) to go to Aldi’s, Walmart & Walgreens.
Hope that helps! Good luck saving money!
Whitney Proctor is a frugal mommy, wife, photographer and interior designer who lives in Wichita. You can find her at www.lifewiththeproctors.wordpress.com