Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thrifty Mama

My bloggy friend Christy, aka "Mommy Brain," has been discussing the effects of rising gas prices on family finances. She was inspired by Jennie @ Far Beyond Pearls, who is an army wife and mother of seven who makes it work on a budget. I have been very inspired myself by the growing discussion of ideas. With that in mind, I thought I'd share my Monday, monthly shopping for my family.

My whole plan of action is about seeking out the very best deal I can get on the staples we use day to day in our home. I shop at Aldi, Dollar General, Super K-mart (who is currently slashing prices and doing a lot of two for ones to compete with our new Super Wal-mart,) Sam's club, and Giant Eagle (like Kroger up here)-for diapers and things I can't get any where else. Giant Eagle also "fuel perks" depending how much you spend a month. I currently have 20 cents off each gallon of gas so far for the month. I make my list and do it all in one day. Although they're all within close proximity of each other.

First, I went to Dollar General, and bought....

Nickles Stone Ground Bread- $1.65
Cheese-its (White Cheddar)- $2.25
2 Martha White Blueberry Muffin Mixes- $1.00 each
2 cans of Pringles potato chips- $1.00 each
3 boxes of Clover Valley cereal bars- $1.15 each
4 cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies- $1.00 each
Stainless steel scrubies- $1.25
A pack of 12 boxes of matches- $1.00
A pack of 3 Scotch Brite Scouring pads- $2.25
A pack of 6 "kitchen "wash cloths"- $1.50
For a total of ...........................................$22.74

Then I went to Aldi and bought....

A 2 lb. package of 80% Lean Ground beef- $4.20
A 3 lb. bag of Boneless Chicken breast (8 in the pack)- $5.99
A bag of Mama Cozzi's Meatballs- $1.99
A pack of hotdogs- $.65
4 cans of tuna in water- $.57 each
2 packs of sliced deli cheese- $2.09 each
2 taco mixes- $.33 each
A bag of frozen corn- $.85
A can of sliced carrots- $.45
1 large yellow onion- $.49
A package of celery-$1.49
2 yellow and 1 red pepper- $.59 each
Bananas- $.83
A bag of apples- $2.49
Red Grapes- $2.79
Strawberries- $1.79
A gallon of whole milk- $2.89
A large 32oz. container of plain yogurt- $1.59
2 packs of Moo Tubes- $1.99 each
2 packs of cookie dough (Snicker doodle and White Choc.Macadamia)- $1.89 each
1 package of pepperoni slices- $1.99
2 boxes of whole wheat pasta- $.99 each
1 jar of Mama Cozzi's traditional spaghetti sauce- $.99
1 bag of Kettle style chips- $1.99
8 cans of OJ- $1.19 each
Kleenex- $.95
For a total of...............................................$60.25

Next, I stopped by Sam's Club for...

Northern bathroom tissue- $16.88
2 boxes of Baby wipes- $12.34 each
1 large All Clear detergent- $12.87
1 case of diet Pepsi (hubby's fav.)-$8.87
1 box of Idahoan instant potatoes- $4.88
1 large jar of salsa- $6.78
2 Family dinners (stuffed chicken w/noodles and cream sauce)-$14.52 each
For a total of................................................$108.17

And last but not least, I went to Giant Eagle for...

18 large eggs- $2.36
10 GE yogurts for- $5.00
GE deli ham- $3.99 (my lovies won't eat the kind from Aldi, even though it cost less. They also like Wal-Mart's deli meat, but sometimes it's higher priced.)
1 box of Lipton chicken soup mix-$1.39
Knorr veggie dip mix- $1.69
1 box of chicken broth- $1.89
2 boxes of GE Farafalle pasta- $1.09
2 boxes of grape tomatoes- $2.99 each (the ones at Aldi were too ripe this week.)
green onions- $.99
fresh Basil- $2.49
fresh Sage- $2.49
fresh Dill- $2.49
1 large tub of Kraft Real Mao- $4.45
1 can of bread sticks- $2.25
1 caramel chocolate coffee creamer- $1.89
1 half gallon of skim milk- $2.39
2 boxes of Pampers- $19.99
Zebra cakes (Trey's all time favorite and treat for the big boy potty.)-$1.59
For a total of........................................$87.72

So, let's see that is a grand total of $278.88
Aside from bread, eggs and milk and maybe Pampers that should last us for a month. My goal is to see if I can get that down to $200.00 next month. I'm also going to do a second post on other ways we cut corners- (kids' clothing, entertainment, etc.) But, more than anything, I'd love to hear your ideas. How do you stay a frugal, thrifty mama? ~Until next time...Be Blessed!


Denise said...

Very smart shopping sweetie.

luvmy4sons said...

You go girl. Grocery shopping and keeping the bill low for food is one hard chore. I am afraid that no matter what I would do...$200 or even $278 a month would never work for 4 teenage boys in family of 6! LOL! I try to keep mine to 400-500 a month! Yep! I use Aldi too and Wal-Mart. Hugs to you. I love hearing ideas on how to cut back!

Anonymous said...

good job, tiff! i can't wait to hear what people say. i need to save money since i seem to be so good at LOSING IT!!!!

remember the $100 bill???

Penless Thoughts said...

So glad you posted this, Tiffany. I'm glad that many of us are working to be more frugal and helping each other do so with our tips. I would feel honored if you linked my frugal post :o) I am an Aldi devotee!!!! Just wish they'd build a store closer to me, but am grateful for the one I can go to. Their prices are consistently lower than other stores.

freetofly said...

Wow, we need an Aldi! You all are shaming me with your grocery totals. I can shop cheaper, but, then my family rebels - and I am forced back to the store to get the things they want! I only have my husband and my son. BUT, we have lots of teenage company - for instance last night 4 teenage boys spent the night. 3 are still here as I type. And to make myself feel better about the higher grocery total, I have decided it is the cost of ministry! :)

This is great and inspiring post. It is like getting on the scale to weigh, you know? You went to a lot of work. Thanks, Tiff!

Christy said...

I really wish I had an Aldi!!

You know, we have a Dollar General here and I never, ever shop there. I am going to check the prices!!

laytonfamily said...

saw you posted on crazycarellis - I stopped renting movies and pick up something from the library - FREE! I buy groceries at Publix on Tuesdays because a lot is 2 for 1. And dry goods I get at Walmart - always cheaper!

CrazyCarellis said...

Thanks so much for coming by my blog and saying HI!

Excellent work on keeping the food budget so low! I'm working on tightening the food purse strings as well. I can't wait to hear if you can get the cost down to $200.

Tommy, Suzanne, and Mary Peyton said...

hey, tiffany!

i have started using coupons (i use the grocery game). there are other websites that i use regularly for when to use the coupons and what to do with them (so that i don't miss good deals, etc!).

e-mail me ( and i'll send you the links to all of the websites that i look at.

oh - and for example, this past week, here's how i did:
~kroger: spent $28 saved $48 and got $3.50 for my next purchase
~walgreens: spent $24 saved $44 and got $7 coupon back for my next purchase!
~cvs: spent $17 saved $40 and got $6 in extra care bucks to go toward my next purchase!
~rie aid: spent $9 saved $10
~wal-mart: spent $19 saved $21

Kimberly said...

You go, you thrifty girl, you! I try to use coupons, but I am so bad to get to my car and realize I didn't use them! Sad, I know. :)

Thanks so much for your sweet comment during the difficult week with losing my grandmother. You are a sweet encourager. Thank you!

Hope you are enjoying your summer...especially with all of the money you are saving!


Pearl said...

Hi Tiffany... Well now, I am certainly impressed! You sure did alot of hard work with your planning, shopping, photo taking and posting... whewww! You should be terribly proud of your wonderful work...

I have not been grocery shopping in about 6 months. My dear Husband does it all, God bless his heart. I know this might sound crazy to you and some of the other ladies, but I miss going to the grocery store. My health no longer allows me to do it. So, I do admire all of the efforts you are putting forth to benefit your family!

You asked for suggestions in this post and I have one that I would like to offer. This is something that I did ages ago when my sons were young like your children! Instead of purchasing basil and other fresh herbs... grow your own! I purchased clay pots and ceramic planters at a thrift shop and yard sales and then had an afternoon "Art Session" with the boys... they got to paint and decorate the pots and planters! The next day we went shopping for a bag of potting soil and seeds for assorted herbs. Then a trip to the Library (FREE) to check out books on growing herbs. After reading and learning came the day for planting... then caring for the plants, daily, and soon reaping the results of our time shared together! It was a fun time, the boys learned some things, and we did it together! It gave them such a great feeling of being productive in a positive way, and they felt good and proud that they were contributing to the family. Of course, I used prayer and the Bible with them each step of the way... so it was a win-win deal all the way around! God bless...

~gentle hug~