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Hi! I'm Lacey!

I am a full-time working mom from North Alabama. I love my family, my friends, and my God!

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Reducing the Grocery Bill

A few friends and I have been discussing our grocery bills lately so I thought I would share this post - mainly for my $800 a month friends ;)
When Jarrod and I first got married, I seemed to consistently spend $180-250 every time I went to the grocery store.  Looking back on that now, I am like WHAT!?!?! How in the world, could two people spend so much on groceries?  First of all, I wasn't planning well.  I wasn't planning my meals weekly and getting sucked into buying things I didn't really need just because they were on sale.  I was also buying a ton of processed snacks and sodas.  Those things really add up fast! 
Fast forward five years, I now spend about $400-450 a month on my groceries for my family of four.  I have really had to work to get that number down but I think I have finally figured it out!
First and foremost -- I make a plan! Every week, I plan my meals for the week on a calendar and try to plan from what I already have at home.  I usually cook 4-5 nights and we usually eat out 1-2 times a week.  The other meals are all leftovers or things such as sandwiches or salads.  I don't really fix anything fancy and very rarely do we have more than one side dish or dessert and we pretty much cut out all sodas - huge money saver! 
And... I shop at different stores for different things!  My main stores are:
Costco - I usually go once a month and I mainly buy just my meats, frozen fruits and veggies, rice, waters, and pizzas from there.  They have the BEST pizza in the whole world!  I love their meats because they are all already individually prepared to freeze so all I have to do it tear off a portion for the day to thaw when needed.  I also usually buy my paper towels and toilet paper from here but I only have to do that about every other month.
Target - I buy my diapers here.  After almost 5 years of buying diapers, I have to say that I found the Up&Up brand to be the best "off brand" diaper.  They are great quality and at least $10 cheaper than a box of the same of Pampers or Huggies even with a coupon! Target is a super dangerous one because of that super power it has over you when you enter the store and you all of sudden purchase one of everything.  However, with my Target red card, I can buy online with free shipping plus I save 5%.  I have to account for a couple of days for the shipping but that's pretty easy to do! 
Aldi - I have gotten to where I buy almost all of my other groceries at Aldi.  My grandmother has got to be one of the most frugal people I know and she introduced me to Aldi.  The only con is that we don't have one in my hometown but rumor has it that one is coming soon!  They don't really carry a ton of name brands but I have never really been loyal to any specific brand so Aldi really works for me.  They also have a huge selection of organic products as well! 
It takes a little more thought than just making a run to Walmart whenever I need something but I promise it has saved me tons of money!  I also really just try to go only once a week.  If we run out, we just eat something else until we go to the grocery again.  Little trips to the store to pick up an item or two always seem to turn into a $50 buggy full so I try to stay away from that as much as possible!

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