Thursday, March 12, 2009

SAVE ME! ...from myself...

I have never been frugal. Target (before it was cool) was never my thing. I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing Old Navy (before it was cool), or shopping for shoes at Payless (before it was cool). I like quality and I thought you had to buy brand name to get that quality. I grew up down a dirt road in a house my parents spent a life time saving for and now are paying off. Money was an object, the heft of which wasn't really conveyed to me. Until later...

My parents worked hard to save money everywhere else, except for groceries. No lists were made, lots of produce was wasted, weird additive-ridden kid meals were eaten. My dad liked quality food; lots of veggies fish and meat. It was not uncommon to spend $200 per week on groceries. He never brought home doughnuts, but we did try foods from around the world (his favorite was to bring home "different" produce) along with brand name drinks, cookies, chips, junk...

When college came around, I was stuck paying for food with whatever money was left-over after bills. Once, right when I met John, I went to the store with $12 and a -$43.27 in my bank account (I saved the receipt because I hated that feeling of being in debt). It was the first time I actually paid attention.

Fast forward to 2009. I still hate coupons and bargain hunting but I can finally admit why. I don't know where to start. We move, have busy kids, I buy organic, you can't eat healthy on a budget, etc. Excuses, excuses. Thanks to the lovely Christine I found Cheap Healthy Good and a light switch was flipped on. If my food bills have been close to $200 (we just moved so there's an excuse!) for the last three weeks, what's it going to be like when my boys are teenagers? Good Lord!

My Mission: To see how low I can go. It's going to take a lot of planning but thanks to Southern Savers and a slew of other websites, the wheels are a churnin' and I'm ready to save some cash (so I can buy out Anthropologie...whole different post, I guess).

My Plan: To make my meal plans around what's on sale (no, I don't even do that!) without compromising my families desire to eat lots of organic items. We adhere to the organic meats, milk, and "dirty dozen" idea. The rest of our groceries will be conventionally grown. I'm going to post links and my meal plans. Later, I'll start posting costs, etc. Instead of just being for two adults, it will be servings for 4 with kids in mind.

I'm off to work on my excel sheets and lists before John gets back to work!



Nellie that sounds smart.
You know you will find that looking for the best bargain is much more satisfying than paying full price.

Christine said...

Hey lady! Yay for meal plans!! :) Are you still using Relish? I have to check out what is up this week... also,you guys have cable, right? Try Robin Miller's Quick Fix Meals on Food Nework. An example, plus there are shopping lists.

The idea is to use the same ingredients "morphed" into other meals later in the week. She has a couple of cookbooks too, they are great!

Miss you lady!! Hope everything is well. xoxo

Nellie said...

thanks guys! we'll see how this goes. i do use robin miller, just had never "morphed" my meals. i always do a meal plan, but i was never really trying to see what i could do with groceries!
i stopped using relish after just a few times. i couldn't keep up. we try to eat more fish and veg dishes...i might have to ask you to use some of the relish recipes!