Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doing What I Can

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.


  1. I can definitely relate to you guys on this one. Since April 2010, I have completely changed the way I eat and the way I approach eating. It's definitely not easy and it's going to be a little more expensive upfront, but it's definitely worth it. The good news is that with better portion control, you can have more leftovers. I know it was nothing for me to sit down and have 2 burgers at a meal along with whatever else we were having. Instead of having that, I'll now have 1 chicken breast instead and have a second helping of veggies or fruit instead. I definitely still love to eat, but I try to make smarter choices and it seems to work for me. Don't make it a "diet", make it a new way of life. It's all about having a balance and not getting discouraged when you have a day or two where you don't eat so well. I know I'm rambling, but I just wanted to share with you that I know exactly where you're at on this, from a weight loss side that Mark is going for and as a grocery side that you are in charge of. I do all the shopping for our family and it lets me choose what to buy and I've learned how to be a smart shopper.

    My best advice for weight loss and lifestyle change:

    1) eat something good for breakfast. My daily meal is a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter and a lowfat/fat free yogurt.

    2) drink lots of water. not only is it good for you, but it will help keep the cravings in check, since you'll feel full.

    3) keep small, healthy snacks around. My personal favorite is unsalted dry roasted almonds (3.79 for a big bag at Aldi)

    4) pack a lunch. it's easy to grab fast food, but it's terrible for you and it's expensive. I eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with mustard most days and have carrots and a banana to go with it.

    5) don't give up!

    I guess a lot of this was directed towards the weight loss rather than the coupon saving, but I really felt compelled to share what's worked for me. I have a lot of respect and admiration for you and Mark and I really hope you can find a happy medium that works for you as far as a budget and a balanced diet goes :) If you need a good price on lunch meat and cheese, head to the Manna Market if you haven't been there. As far as I can tell, they have the best prices in town.

    Have a great week!

    Kenny Chaney

  2. Kenny -

    LOVE the Manna Market! We've been going thru a lot of egg beaters with black beans and salsa for breakfast. Its been fun this week watching the kids learn that they like edemame(sp) and fish :) We will keep on keeping on. We have needed this!

    Thanks for the support!