Welcome to Just Add Lauren
If you are new around these parts, you may want to subscribe so that you won't miss anything! We have new posts added almost every day, so you never want to miss out on the new information and links available. You can Subscribe to Just add Lauren by email (once you click on the link, there is a little blue envelope that offers email delivery) or Follow in Google reader!
Please also remember to take our reader survey while you are here! I want to hear your comments and suggestions!
So today was grocery shopping day in my life! I love grocery shopping day, if you can't tell. I think its because a) I just love to eat, b) I love to cook and c) I love to challenge myself to stay within my budget and save money while buying healthy things. I think I did pretty well today, for the most part. As you can see, I am just as guilty as the next person of buying some convenience items (I'm lookin' at you, smart ones frozen dinners!) I figure that it is still far better than eating fast food, and I got some coupons while I was at the store that are for Kashi organic frozen dinners, but they were sold out, so I'm going to try those next time.
I know the picture leaves a little to be desired. This was my first try at taking pictures of my loot, so I didn't really know how to organize. Plus it takes me so long in the grocery store, that I was in a hurry to get everything put away because my ice cream was melting. If you can't tell, it was all spread out on the floor, and I just broke it up into two pictures to make it a little bit clearer. So, I only bought one tower of Stoneyfield Farms Yogurt, and one thing of apples, etc, they just overlap in the picture a little bit. You can click on the picture to enlarge them if you'd like.
Some of my favorite purchases were...
Pork Shoulder to make BBQ - $2.96
Frozen Kashi Organic Mediterranean Pizza - $2.99
- $1 off any Kashi Frozen Pizza (x3)
- Free Commissary Bag with purchase of two Kashi items
Total $1.99 each x 3 = $5.97 for three (about the same prize as ONE Digiorno pizza!) + 1 free reusable bag ($0.79 value)
Organic Valley Eggs dozen- $3.89 -
Organic Valley Eggs 1/2 dozen - $2.29
- $2 off any two Organic Valley Coupons
Total $2.79 per dozen eggs or $4.18 for 1 1/2 dozen
Cascadian Farms Organic Blueberries (8oz) - $1.99 x 3
- $1 off any Cascadian Farms product
- $1 off any two Cascadian Farms Products
Total $3.98 for 3 or about $1.32 each
Stoneyfield Farm Organic Yogurt - $0.79 x 4
- $1.00 off 4 Stoneyfield Farm
Total $2.16 for 4 or $0.54 each
Men's Pert Plus Shampoo + Conditioner - $2.44 x 2
- $1.50 off Men's Pert Plus
- $2 off any Pert Plus
Total $1.38 for two or $0.69 each
Suave Shampoo - $0.79
- $0.50 off any Suave Shampoo
Oral-B Toothbrush - $2.17
- $2.00 off any Oral-B toothbrush
Head and Shoulders Shampoo - $4.51 x 2
- Buy one get one free coupon
Total $4.51 for two or $2.25 each
Before my coupons, I spent $194.33. After coupons, I spent $150.78, a savings of $43.55 or 23%!
To many hardcore couponers out there, 23% wouldn't be all that exciting. However, built into that amount is all my organic produce and dairy. You also have to take into consideration that I am shopping at the Commissary, where the savings is around 30%, so I figure that with the 30% savings and my additional savings of 23%, I am really saving more like 54% on my overall grocery bill. I am also defying all hardcore savers convention by going to the grocery store and buying things I need. If you really play the grocery game (and I've already explained why I don't), then you would go to the grocery store and stock up on things when they are on sale, and then supplement them with things like fresh produce in the middle. Like I said in my "Why I Quit the Grocery Game Post," I find that the things that you are really able to stock up on are things that we don't eat as often, so I've found that what works for me (and just me personally) is to shop for what I need when I need it, and be done. I'm pretty happy about my 23% savings though! And that doesn't include anything I bought that was on sale, so it may have been a little bit more. Unfortunately the Commissary only prints on the receipt the percentage savings from coupons, so I don't ever really know the exact amount of my savings. I am more than willing to spend a little more in order to eat fresh, organic produce and homemade meals instead of buying lots of processed foods.
This grocery shopping trip (according to my planning) should last us until around the 18th of May. I am trying this month to map out two weeks of meals at a time for the shopping, but I also wanted to avoid going shopping on payday, so I extended it a little past the 15th. I will post my menu for the month if anyone is interested, as I already have everything planned.
My goal for the month is to spend $300 total, so I still have $149.22 left for next time. I still need to pick up a pack of chicken, some tortillas, and some asparagus for this trip, so it will end up being a little bit less. I may up the budget a bit, but I am definitely trying to cut down on our previous $400 per month budget.
I would love to know if you've scored any deals lately, or if you have any comments about mine! You can link up if you have your own blog and want to share your finds, or leave a message in the comments part and I will be sure to check it out! I'd love to hear about any finds that you have -- they don't have to be organic or anything, I just like to personally share my organic finds!