Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NWOT: First Trip to the Grocery Store

Yesterday was my first official shopping trip for this month and my new plan of making sure we stay within our budget.  I decided to just buy items for a two week time span.  That way, I would not spend all our budgeted money at the beginning of the month, and it allows me to change my mind about some of our meals for the second half of the month if needed.  In the past, I would often shop for items that we were out of at the house.  It would not matter if we really needed that item or not; I wanted to make sure we had certain ingredients on hand for whatever I might feel like cooking.  Now, my shopping list consists of items that we do not have and that we need.  That is where planning our meals has made a huge difference. 

I feel I did well sticking to just buying the items on my list.  We are very fortunate that we live close to a number of different stores.  My trip started at the Rainbo bread store since they have the best prices on bread and buns and then to Braum's which still has the best price on milk.  Dillons had some items on sale, so I went there next and finished my shopping at Aldi's and Walmart.  I am impressed that Aldi's is beginning to get in more whole grain products, so I am sure that more and more of my shopping will take place there.
I am really getting into this new way of thinking.  I have begun a spreadsheet of prices for the various items that we use because I want to know who has the best prices, if it is worthwhile to buy a product at Dillon's since they double coupons, and if buying the items in bulk at Sam's really saves any money.  Yesterday I went ahead and bought some Pillsbury crescent rolls at Dillons because the price was the same with my coupon as the store brand at Wal-Mart. 

This new way of thinking will likely also result in a lose of weight since I now think about how much all the items cost which in turn has been motivating me to eat less and to focus on making sure I am just eating a serving instead of two or three servings. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Way of Thinking Part Two: The Pop Conspiracy

Near the end of last week, Matt and I had an interesting discussion about pop consumption.  Ironically, we had both been thinking about the number of cans of pop we drink each day and that reducing said number would be a good way to save money for other purchases. 

It is pretty amazing to think about how much money is wasted in drinking pop.  I usually try to stock up when Dillons has their 12-pack cans of pop on sale for $2.50.  If I were to drink two cans per day, that would be 1 pack every 6 days which would work out to be $10 per month (depending on the length of the month).  If we both were to drink two cans per day, then that is $20 per month (and that's only if I am able to buy pop at $2.50 per 12-pack).  Often, a 12-pack of pop costs $3 or $4, so you can see where this is going. 

After we realized how much we could potentially spend on pop in a given month, we have both decided to restrict ourselves to just one can per day.