November 25, 2009

Grocery Challenge

I have spent extra money stockpiling big grocery deals during November.  I had been stockpiling prior to November but I was able to do this and spend approximately $75 to $80 per week.  During November I found myself in the midst of some really great deals so I increased my budget and spent around $115 per week.  I thought about the challenge that I needed to give to myself and I have decided that I will budget $20 to $25 a week for groceries until January 1st.  I know I can go longer (probably to the end of January or into February) but I am comfortable with this time frame and can extend the goal later.  In looking at the pictures I have posted it is evident that I can go a lot longer and truthfully I need to use up some of the meat that is in the freezer.

So far this week I have spent $12.71.  I think that I will only need to buy some milk before next week and that is all. Any money not used this week I will stash in my money jar and if it remains unused I will put it into savings at the end of the challenge.

Now comes the fun part.  On Saturday I will spend some time and actually make up menus for the following week.  I haven't been doing this as I have been deciding the night before what we would have to eat the next day and take meat out of the freezer and such.  I'm actually looking forward to doing this as I know this will help to extend the food that I have in the freezer and pantry.

I am posting pictures of my basement pantry and my freezer (I really need to organize this a little better).  We live in a very old house so I have stored many of my pantry items in rubbermaid bins.  I found the heavy duty plastic shelving at Wal-mart for $14.00 and would buy 1 set of shelves everytime my husband got paid.  I always take a permanent marker and mark the expiration date on any item that goes into my pantry.  I do this when I am unloading groceries and it does not take much time at all.  I am almost out of laundry soap but I have purchased several bars of Fels Naptha that were on sale during the summer as I plan to make my own laundry soap. 

In looking at these pictures remember that I started stockpiling in March and have been using the items and adding to them as time goes on.  So here are the pics. 

Note the old computer table with folding chair.  I plan to sit there and make up my menus so I can take stock of what I have. 

This is how I store my flour and sugar. 

I have 5 bins of cereal.

I remember this sale - 99 cents for a 42 oz. container of oats.

I must have close to 30 - 1 lb. bags of pasta.

The freezer picture doesn't do justice.  I have almost 45 lbs. of ground beef along with a turkey, beef roasts, pork roasts, a ham and a lot of chicken. 

I took a lot of kidding from my family when they saw my t.p. supply.  T.P. hasn't been on sale since September so I am glad I stocked up when I did.  These are 12 double roll packages of name brand t.p. that I paid between $4.00 and $4.50 for each package.

Well - that is it.  A long post, with a lot of pictures.  I am posting this to show that I have made a major change in my life this year in the way I purchase groceries for my family.  It has taken planning and I have had to come up with a strategy.  I will never, never go back to the way I used to shop. 

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