Earlier today, when I introduced our Crash Cash Diet Challenge, I mentioned that one of the reasons we were starting it on a Friday was because the new sales start at my local grocery store on Fridays.
Since I haven’t started working yet, I decided to do our grocery shopping for the week and test out our new Cash Diet. I was afraid of how little $60 would buy us – would it be enough for the entire week? I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s a very rare occasion that our grocery bill for just the two of us is less than $100 on any given week. It’s also a rare occasion that food doesn’t go to waste because we haven’t been able to cook or eat it before it goes bad. Awful, I know.
So in an attempt to “right-size” our grocery shopping (that’s corporate lingo for mass layoffs, isn’t it?) I redid my menu planner that I started last week so that the week now starts on Fridays.
Steps to right-sizing your grocery shopping:
- Check out the flyers for your local grocery stores and see what’s on sale.
- Fill in a tentative menu for the week so you can estimate how much you’ll need to buy for each item.
- If you get to the grocery store and find a crucial ingredient for one of your planned meals isn’t on sale, replace it with a more budget-friendly option. I had wanted to make beef enoki rolls this week since the enoki mushrooms were on sale, but the sliced beef was not, and at $8.99/lb, I had to give it up for the Australian barramundi fish, which was on sale for $2.99 for a package of two large fillets.
Under my menu, I have each of the four food groups and the Canada’s Food Guide’s suggested number of servings for each day of the week. Although it’s not updated in the picture (I was in the midst of menu planning), I check off every time I have a serving of something so I can keep track of what I’m consuming to ensure a healthy and balanced diet. Doing this made me realize how little fruits and vegetables we were eating, but how much meat we were consuming. It was definitely way more than 2 servings per day, which was part of what was driving our grocery bills up!
After making my grocery list, I set out with my $60 for groceries and $40 for household items in hand.
I am super glad to report that doing so made me extremely conscious of what I was buying! I put back a few unnecessary items and ended up spending $40.10 in groceries, and $24.40 in household items (toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) at Shoppers Drug Mart. (I’m still choosing Shoppers Drug Mart even though I’m not using my Visa because the locations are more convenient, I still like collecting Optimum points, and when the items are on sale, they’re cheaper than Walmart anyway.)
I also had a few coins in my wallet that I thought it was most fair to add to the household budget, so now we’ve got a balance of $20 for groceries and $20.55 for household purchases! We should have enough food to last us the entire week (and then some, I think) and I had purchased the items from Shoppers to stock up because they were on sale.
On an unrelated note, I wanted to mention that for the first time, since I was thinking about making toilet paper last as long as I could, I realized that not all toilet paper is made the same. “Okay“, you might be thinking, “obviously they’re not all the same!” But if you’re like me and have never bothered reading all the packaging on toilet paper, you’ve probably never noticed that even if two packages both have 24 rolls (or its equivalent), one may contain 176 sheets per roll while the other one contains 253! You learn something new every day…
When I got home, I went through all of the cash back apps I have on my iPad. If you have any others that you’re using, please share in the comments below!
- Checkout 51
- Snap (by Groupon)
I discovered I could save 25c on Zweet because I had purchased bananas, which was pretty sweet (or zweet, lol!) When I had first discovered these apps, I would check the offers before heading out for groceries, but that would just end up in me purchasing things I didn’t really need, so for now, I’ll just check to see if there are any rebates for things I’ve already purchased.
So overall, I’d call Day 1 of our Crash Cash Diet an absolute success! I’m looking forward to seeing how well my menu planning determined how much to buy and tweaking it for next week.