Friday, August 3, 2012

Whoa, sticker shock today and what can I do about it.

So went for my monthly grocery trip today.  It is definitely and adventure to shop once a month, but once done I am done for a month.  No putting groceries away every week or two weeks. I knew going in how much prices would be for Sams thanks to their website, but wasn't prepared for the price hikes in everything else.  I allow myself $400 a month for groceries.  I know a lot of people that would tell me that is what they spend each month as well, but mine not only includes toiletries and pet items(i.e dog food, cat food, kitty litter), but I also try to always add to my pantry for emergencies.  Items I did not need this go around but bought to add to my pantry are: sugar, flour, cocoa, oil, butter, lentils, dry milk, popcorn, tortilla chips, boxed mac and cheese, raisins, canned fruit, oatmeal, and all natural peanut butter.  I will do this as long as I am able to do so.  The vast majority of these items I am buying before a price increase.  Namely the corn products.  I get a better price on these things when I shop like this and have them to fall back on if inflation kills us(just a waiting game til it happens I assure you).  Even with trying to shop for items at a good price, some things had spiked already.  I almost needed CPR when I saw the price of eggs.  YIKES!  Last month I  paid about .84 dz for eggs.  This time at Aldi no less I was to pay $1.69.  Double!  I can't stick to a budget of $400 and stock up with prices like that.  Dried beans had gone up as well.  So how can I combat prices like these.  Well first off I didn't buy eggs.  I still have some and so will watch for them to go on sale (hopefully).  Until then I will use substitutes in baking, and our breakfast will more than likely be things like muffins, oatmeal, etc..  I have "egg substitute for baking.  It is a powder made of potato starch that I use sometimes in baking.  You can get it in the whole foods section of your grocery store.  It is simply called "egg re-placer". It is around $6 or $7 depending.   If you can't buy that you can simply use soy flour.  I Tbs of soy flour and 1 TBS of water.  Other things I am trying include: cut out all store bought snack items such as potatoes chips, cookies, crackers, etc.  You would be amazed at the amount of money chips etc can add to a grocery bill.  Cookies, and crackers will be made at home by me.  I bought French fries at Sams to bake in the oven instead of chips. I am also making my own yogurt and am attempting to make things like yogurt cheese with it. I will also use my yogurt as a substitute for sour cream in recipes.  Meat will be cut back and will become more of an accessory instead of a focal point in our meals.  Each purchase today was thought about.  Nothing was tossed willy nilly in the cart.  I couldn't afford that.  I still have money left over from today to keep us in fresh produce.  This is where gardening comes in handy because I really only had to get fresh fruits and celery.  I know there will come a time when in order to keep up with my pantry I will need to reconfigure my budget, but for now I am holding on.
***TIP OF THE DAY!!!!*** I have omitted cooking sprays in my quest to cut our food dollars.  In order to grease my pans the old fashioned way, I needed paper towels.  Dreadful things those.  I hate to use them.  Seems like such a waste.  I was just about ready to throw a roll of paper towels in the buggie when I saw paper napkins.  Same number of sheets, but $1.00 less than the cheapest paper towel.  Yay!

So off I go to finish up before Dh gets home.

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