I have a certain amount of money allotted to our grocery budget every week, probably much like the rest of you do. I do shop at Aldi, which nets me some significant savings, buying what I can't get there at Kroger. I usually spend about $120 a week, and that includes food, toiletries, cleaning supplies and pet food.
Also like a lot of you, I've noticed lately that my $120 isn't going nearly as far as it used to even counting back to last summer. Prices have risen a LOT, and the things that have become more expensive are, as always, meat, milk and fresh fruits and veggies. Sometimes when I swipe my debit card at the cashier's stand, I wonder if it will suddenly shout "OUCH! YOU ARE KILLING ME! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"
I am not a coupon clipper - sorting through all those messy little papers while a line forms behind me at the check-out is just not my thing. I buy name-brand NOTHING. I am constantly getting sidetracked by BOGO offers (Buy One, Get One Free), although I work very hard to stick to the list.
And I do use a list faithfully, planning out our meals for the week and the ingredients needed, plus planning what we'll want for breakfast and lunch. Since the bulk of my shopping comes from a discount grocery, I'm not sure where else I can save, or even if I want to: we've had to make a good many sacrifices in the past few years due to recession woes and our food is something that I'm just unwilling to compromise on.
Feeding a family is one of those things that's hard beyond the shopping, preparing and the serving. The paying is a real pain.
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