My husband has officially started a new diet - or "lifestyle change." He needs a LOT of protein, veggies, and legumes. He is eating nothing white, dairy, or fruit. Needless to say, this has put an interesting spin on my $55/week grocery budget. It's just not realistic right now. As a supportive spouse who truly wants the best for my mate, I need to respect his diet choices and provide him with what he needs to feel healthy and energized.
These changes in my budget, meal plans, and shopping can leave an organized gal like me reeling! So, here are a few of the ways that I have maintained some control over our money and my time.
1. I have been shopping the sales. Ex: This week Kroger had chicken breast for $1.88 and pollock fish 10/$10. I stocked up on this inexpensive protein.
2. I have been buying vegetables by the case at Aldi's. Specifically: black beans, refried beans, mexican corn, and carrots. I just can't find anything cheaper anywhere else at this point.
3. I ordered coupons from a clipping service for products that I know he will eat: tuna, turkey sausage, protein bars, etc. I spent $5 (to get free shipping) and ordered over 70 specific coupons that I know we can use.
4. I have been taking advantage of Giant Eagle's fuel perks program. I figure if the grocery budget is going up, I am going to try to save where I can - on gas!
5. I also have been buying a lot of household staples at Walgreens and CVS. Normally I only bought health and beauty at these stores. This week at Wags, I got 4 boxes of Cream of Wheat (for the kids) for FREE after coupons. No tax even. I also used RR's (from the health and beauty specials) to lower my cost of toilet paper. I am getting what I want (health and beauty) and what I need (food and tp). Its a win - win if you ask me.
Hope these ideas help you if you are discouraged or trying to eat healthier on a budget. Remember that couponing is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Every dollar that you save, helps achieve your goals: paying down debt, saving for a big purchase, or planning a vacation. You don't need to compete with anyone. This is your wallet, your time, your family. Don't sweat the small stuff!
Have a blessed week.