Wichita Coupon Mom

My New Personal Challenge

Posted on: May 29, 2009

www.wichitacouponmom.com

I have a confession to make.  I have been telling myself since I began couponing, that it was to save money, but I have found myself spending money I didn’t really need to, because I had a coupon.  I do believe in stocking up on items I would normally buy, when they are on sale.  But what I was doing went beyond that. 

So I have decided to put myself on a very strict budget.  I am determined to limit myself to $200 per month on groceries,  and an additional $100 for household, and personal items.  To do this, I will have to keep an inventory of everything I have, so as not to purchase items when they are not on sale.  I will also have to be very diligent about making a menu each week and only making additional purchases to complete those meals, making sure to utilize items I have on hand in the “stock room”. 

To be fair, I have to add that I have a Cargill Meat connection and buy most of my meats from them, by the case.  I get boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chubs of hamburger meat, pork tenderloins and bacon on a regular basis.  I also buy pork spareribs, spiral hams, and other bulk items when they are available.  But, I’m including the purchases of these meats in my monthly budget.  I fill in with other meat items that are on sale or that I have a coupon for (or both) to add variety.  For example, I bought 2 roasts at Dillons yesterday, because they were BOGO.  A few days before that I bought 2 packages of cubed steak that were in the Managers Special case.  They had been marked down.  They still had a couple of days before the use by date, so I didn’t have to worry.  The key for me is going to be to stay ahead of the game, by having things onhand for two weeks or more, worth of meals and filling in with fresh produce. 

How am I going to accomplish this?  By keeping a close eye on what’s on sale and matching coupons whenever they are available.  Yesterday I made trips to Dillons, White’s Foodliner and Walmart.   At Walmart I spent $14.78 before tax on grocery items with coupons and price matching.  I priced matched egss for $.59 doz, bananas for $.18#, Peter Pan peanut butter for $1.59 (also had $1 q) and Ronzoni Pasta for $.99 (had $1/2 q).  So the price above is after coupons.  I also purchased toilet paper and Mr. Clean erasers.  I buy White Cloud 4 pk double rolls.  They are $2 each and I bought 80 coupons on ebay for $5 for $1 off ea. (they’re good til 8/10)  So I spent $5 on tp and on the Mr. Cleans I had a $.75 coupon and a BOGO so I got two packages for  $1.21.  (my total bill before coupons was 34.20 and after coupons was 20.99+tax)

I went to Whites Foodliner to buy some produce they had on sale.  Pears, zucchini, jalapeno peppers, coleslaw mix all for $1 per lb or package.  10# bag of potatoes for $1.98 (nice OreIda spuds) and while I was there discoverd they had their store brand of cheese for $1 so I got 3 of them.  Total bill $11.64+tax.

My biggest expense was at Dillons.  I bought strawberries, blue berries, orange juice, bread, choc. milk, 2 roasts, pringles, doritos, green giant veggies and a whole ham that I had cut for ham steaks and sandwiches.  Total bill $40.04+tax.  But some of the items I put in the “store room” for a later date.  Total for this period is $66.46.  I have $133.54 to finish out June.

I’ll continue to post my purchases here, so you can see how I’m doing.  In my household I feed 6 people.  4 adults and two children, and I provide staples for another adult child when they need them.  So, if I can pull this off, then almost anyone else can.  Let’s just see how I do!

And if you’re curious, here is the menu for this week.

Monday-smoked chicken, green beans. (we smoke two whole chickens)

Tues-BBQ pork tenderloin-pasta salad-peas (I used one out of a package of 2)

Wed-Smoked chick and spinach salad (other half of Monday’s chick)

Thur-Cornbread/taco cassarole-Salad

Fri-Chicken Fried Steaks-mashed pot w/gravy-green beans (the cubed steaks I got on “clearance”)

Sat-Smoked tilipia-rice pilaf-salad (I bought a 10# box of tilipia from Cargill just before Lent, still have some in the freezer)

Breakfast can be cereal, pancakes or yogurt and fruit salads.

I pack a lunch for my husband most days, and the boys and I eat sandwiches, or leftovers.

So, wish me luck, and stay tuned!

Happy Savings!

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