I am going to try and get my monthly grocery spending down to $200 a month from about $370 a month. This is for a state that does not double coupons and for a family who tries their hardest to not eat too many processed foods. We try to eat fresh foods and not a lot of boxed, canned or frozen foods. We also have a very teeny tiny kitchen and a teeny tiny fridge which means very limited space. Same goes for cabinets and counter space. I also do not shop at Aldis since it is not close to me. I also do not shop for the majority of my groceries at Walmart (not too close) so price matching (also do not receive an Aldi ad) is more than likely out of the question. I prefer to do 90% of my grocery shopping at Publix (loads of stores close to me and on my way home) I also feel that their items are fresh and the stores are clean and no long lines.
Items we eat a lot of are as follows:
Morningstar Farms products - (I am presently stocked up) but they don't have a lot of coupons out generally and I try to avoid printing coupons because of the cost of ink and paper - we sometimes eat these every single day
Kraft or Publix cheese slices (yes, I know processed) - coupons and sales so won't be a problem
Kid's yogurt - either Yoplait Dora/Cars ones or Dannon Danosaurs ones - coupons and sales generally. In son's lunch everyday.
Yogurt for me preferably some Greek kind - expensive even with coupons
Fresh fruit and veggies (bananas, premade fruit salad, premade salads, grapes, Crunch Pak apple slices, strawberries, Eat Smart veggies, baby carrots etc. - no coupons generally and expensive (sometimes not just depends) We do get Wic so there is a $6 Wic check towards fruits and veggies to help with the cost.
Gerber Graduates tv dinners things (in case I forget or am too tired to pack a lunch) I never find coupons for these and they cost $2 and up unless they are on sale. 2x a week
Milk - Wic
Cereal - Wic (truthfully, we don't really eat cereal much so I generally donate it- I lived off of cereal when I was pregnant so now hate it and find it too sugary to constantly give to my son)
Juice - Wic, but I buy more since with Wic it is a limited type and we like others that you cannot buy with Wic. Also I buy my son juice boxes for school everyday. Less cleanup for me - which is worth the money in my book - tiny kitchen means very tiny sink.
Bakery items - I would rather buy Publix bakery items on occasion then buy any type of boxed cookie or cake mix. Tastes much better and better ingredients.
Tofurkey and Lightlife deli slices and pepperoni. These are yummy and a must since we do not eat meat.
Frozen pizza - this is one of the really processed foods we eat and can not live without. I tried to make semi homemade pizza yesterday with Publix pizza dough and it turned out horrid. Again extremely small kitchen and very small oven which my new pizza pan did not fit in. :( - Only like certain types - Tombstone, Publix spinach and feta, Hannaford Pesto. Hard to take advantage of bogo sales because of lack of freezer space - hard to fit 2 pizzas in it with other items. At least 1x a week.
Mac and Cheese - Stouffers, crazy processed but this is the best and this helps me get my son to eat his veggies. This is a 1 or 3 times a month food. Makes me fat but oh so yummy!
Various shredded cheeses - sales and coupons.
Pillsbury various rolls - again processed but they make good breakfast sandwiches (morningstar sausage patties and a slice of cheese -yum!) also occasionally the pizza dough to make roni rolls with the fake peperoni or spinach rolls and of course the occasional cinnamon rolls.
Philly cream cheese - occasionally Lenders bagels - occasionally
Tea - Tazo expensive but the best Ginger Green tea out there.
Bread - Wic but I also buy Pepridge Farms Pumpernickel
Publix Veggie sub - once or twice a month (my splurge)
Peanut butter - Wic
Jelly - Polanders All Fruit maybe 2x a year?
Sabro Hummus - my son loves it! Healthy yay!!
Applesauce cups - sugarfree kind - cups only less clean up for me these get sent to school in his lunch every day - school reuses the cups for crafts
Canned veggies - as needed
Mayo - 2x a year?
Butter - 1 to 2x a year? We don't use much.
Oil - 1 to 2x a year?
Ketchup/mustard - 1 to 2x a year?
Pickles - 1 to 3x a year
Olives - 3 to 5x a year
Eggs - Wic
Coffee drink mixes - as needed but maybe once every other month?
Pasta sauce - as needed - not into pasta so much any more
Pasta - again not big on pasta anymore
Rice - as needed - not big on rice but my son likes it
Raisins - 1x a month?
Milk boxes - occasionally
Crackers - as needed - occasionally/rarely
Cottage Cheese - either large container or small individual cups for son's lunch
Various Canned beans - Wic
Mexican Meal Kits(Ortega, Taco Bell) - I buy when they are bogo.
Gallons of water- at least 3 gallons a week 35cents each from machine - tap tastes nasty and smells - might get a Brita filter or pitcher but not sure I will like the taste. I pretty much only drink water. Old house (built in 1900) so it has old pipes with loads of crud in them.
I know there are other items but cannot think of anything right now. Sure I am missing something important.
So I am looking at $50 a week for groceries and my son's daily lunches.
His lunches consist of the following items each day:
sandwich, leftover pizza or Gerber tv dinner
occasional milk box
occasional crackers or cookie
carrots or apple slices occasionally
If only I had a larger kitchen since in the long run it would save me money. Would not have to buy so much premade/prepackages items. But tiny sink and no cabinet space. Grrr...