One question asked at my coupon class – what would your monthly budget be like if you couldn’t double coupons?
I said: The same. $100/month for food and personal care items.
A biggie with a lot of people is to meal plan, which I already do – and I cleverly work around the meat deals with the help of my trusty chest freezer.
Here is how I would do it-
1) Cut down on meat.
I have said before that my husband is the original “meat and potatoes” guy. If he could eat a steak with mashed potatoes and gravy every night for dinner – he would die happy.
Just one thing – it’s not good for you! (according to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American Cancer Association…)
Even though I shoot for $1.99 a pound or less on meat, it could really be stretched! Just because a recipe says one pound of ground beef — doesn’t mean you have to USE one whole pound! You can add filler like rice or beans to that burrito mix, more veggies to the lasagna, etc. The same goes for shredded chicken!
I also try to put at least one meatless meal a weak in on the Monday Meal Plan – it could be spaghetti, pancakes, Soup and grilled cheese, you get the idea.
2) Shop at Aldi’s more.
My husband refers to it as “All die”…instead of Aldi’s, and calls it “food stamps R us” until I pointed out that it was a German Company and had the same parent company as the very trendy Trader Joe’s in Madison.
They usually have produce that is well below my target price of $1 a pound and have GREAT prices on baking items! Hands down, right now they have the best price of butter – but I am still holding out for a $2/pound sale somewhere…
They do have a lot of brands that you might not recognize, but that can be a good thing! I LOVE their Beaumont French Vanilla Cappuccino and now have my in laws hooked on it (I better pick one up for their holiday gift basket…)
3. Smack my husband…
Each time he asks for an item like Oreos, Spaghetti Os, etc. Those are the “junk food” that you see on my grocery lists now and I tolerate it as I get them for pennies with the double coupons. I would be baking a little more that I do now, but am perfectly capable of adding a lot of home made treats to the “lunch box stash”.
Between cherry picking the sales specials, watching the meat and produce prices, and maximizing the Walgreen’s Register Reward Program – I totally see it still a feasible goal to stay in my $100 a month budget…
I don’t know about you – but I plan to milk the double coupon days as long as they will let us!
Happy shopping and saving!