On May 2nd, Walmart sent to me to my local store with a challenge. How many groceries could I get for my family of four with $100?
Before I get to the big reveal, let me tell you that “frugal” has been an f-word we’ve been using around here for awhile now. With a recent kitchen renovation, a new roof due, a sick dog and a car on the fritz, penny pinching has become my latest obsession. I have regularly used Walmart to stretch my dollar but I have to admit that after last week’s challenge, I’ll be using them a little bit more now.
Shop the flyers. I have a list of items that I am getting low on and know that I need to start looking for it on sale in our weekly flyers. I also use the flyers to find items to stock up on (see below). Plus Walmart price matches.
Plan your menu weekly. Let the sale items in your flyers be your guide. Not only does planning your menus save you money but it relieves stress as well. No more rushing home and wondering what to have and then going out for dinner and blowing your budget completely. The thing about planning a menu is that you also must stick to your menu. Skipping a day often leads to food being wasted, which leads to your wallet crying out in pain. True story.
Avoid processed foods. Skip the pre-packaged items as much as possible and buy only when it is truly a convenience for you. Try to find recipes that you can make and freeze yourself like these Bean Burritos.
Bring a list. Stick to the list. Divide it according to sections in the store so you don’t have to double back. Dairy, meats, canned, fresh, deli, breads, etc.
Don’t shop hungry. You’ve heard this before I’m sure, but it is so true. Just like we tend to overeat when we let ourselves get too hungry, we also tend to overshop when hungry and usually stop following our carefully constructed list.
Go meatless. There is a movement to eat meatless every Monday, this is largely related to your health and the planet’s. However, go meatless two days a week and your wallet will smile.
Stock up on sale items. Things I stock up on include: butter, bacon, meat, sandwich bread, and cheese. If chicken breasts are on sale I usually buy enough for a meal that week and two for the freezer. Don’t overdo it or you’ll end up wasting more than you use.
Buy frozen fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid of the frozen food aisle when it pertains to fruits and vegetables. There is evidence to suggest that frozen can be better for you because the flash freezing holds in more nutrients than those shipped fresh.
Use your calculator. Honestly, I can’t add in my head to save my life so bring a calculator to find the best deal possible for you. While picking up Granny Smith apples at $1.47/lb I noticed that the 3lb bag was $3.97. A quick calculation told me I was saving 44 cents. May not seem like a lot, but pennies saved here and there add up.
Stick to your budget. I was pretty sure I had come in under my $100 limit but I didn’t want to go over so I kept items that I would consider treats until the very end, like hot dogs and Fruitopia. Had I gone over those would have stayed at the store.
So how much did I get for $100 at Walmart? All of this!
Here’s my itemized bill and check out some of these deals! $5 for a pound of ground turkey, 67 cents for three bulbs of garlic, $9 for five boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Walmart has inspired me to add a little more frugal in to my life. Maybe all those pennies saved will get me a day at the spa? 🙂