Gretchen’s $54 Grocery Shopping and Weekly Menu Plan

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Homeland

4 cans Libby’s Green Beans – $0.59 each, used $1/4 coupon from the 11/16 RedPlum insert (doubled) – $0.09 each after coupon

1 Cucumber – $0.69

4 cans Hormel Chicken Breast – $1.49, used $1/2 printable and coupon from the 1/4 SmartSource insert (doubled)  – $0.49 each after coupons

1 Jolly Time Popcorn – $1.50, used $1/1 printable (doubled) – Free plus overage after coupon

2 cans Planters Peanuts – $1.69 each, used $1/2 printable (doubled) – $0.69 each after coupon

1 pkg Charmin Toilet Paper – $3.99, used $0.55/1 printable (doubled) – $2.89 after coupon

Total with tax ($1) after coupons and sales: $7.78

DSC_0024Walmart

1 box Totino’s Frozen Pizzas (4 ct) – $4

1.26 lbs Roma Tomatoes @ $1.28/lb – $1.61

1 pint Blueberries – $1.99 (Priced matched to Aldi)

3 Avocados – $0.29 each (Priced matched to Aldi)

4 lb bag Navel Oranges – $1.68 (Priced matched to Aldi)

Total with tax ($0.77): $10.92

DSC_0027Dillons

1 gallon Dillons Milk – $2.79 (Received $0.25 back from Ibotta)

1 pkg Sara Lee Bagels – $2.50

2 pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese – Marked down to $1 each, used 2 $0.50/1 printable – $0.50 each after coupons

1 pkg Nature’s Harvest Bread – $2, used $0.50/1 printable – $1.50 after coupon (Received $0.25 back from Ibotta)

1 Kroger Sour Cream – Marked down to $0.50

2 Dillons Hamburger Buns – Marked down to $0.49 each, used $0.40/2 mailer coupon – $0.29 each after coupon (I will freeze these.)

1 dozen Dillons Eggs – $1.69

1 Romaine Lettuce – $0.99

1 pkg Jolly Ranchers – Marked down to $0.49 (These are rewards for my Awana girls.) :)

2 pkg Kroger Cheese – $1.99 each

1 quart Kroger Half and Half – $1.99

2.01 lbs Gala Apples @ $0.99/lb – $1.99

1 pkg Kroger Tortillas – $1.79

2 Nature Valley Granola Bars – Marked down to $1.39 each, used $0.50/2 coupon from the 1/4 SmartSource insert – $1.14 each after coupon (Received $0.50 back from SavingStar.com)

1 Power Bar – $1, used Free e-coupon (no longer available) – Free after e-coupon

1 Farmland Bacon – $3.99, used $0.75/1 coupon from the 12/7 SmartSource insert – $3.24 after coupon

1 Kroger Cottage Cheese – $1.50

1 Kroger Frozen Orange Juice – $1.59

1 pkg Organic Baby Carrots – $1.50

10 Yoplait Greek Yogurt – Marked down to $0.49 each, used 2 $1/5 coupon from the 1/4 SmartSource insert – $0.29 each after coupon (Received $1 back from SavingStar.com)

Total with tax ($2.70) after coupons, rebates and sales: $36

Total for all grocery items: $54.70

Menu Plan for This Week

Breakfasts

Cereal, Toast & Juice x 2, Bagels, Scrambled Eggs

Lunches

Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches, Tossed Salad, Veggies/Fruit/Cheese/Crackers, Veggie Soup, Leftovers

Dinners

Baked Creamy Cheesy Chicken Flautas, Steamed Broccoli

Spaghetti, Toasted Bagels, Steamed Carrots, Green Beans

Venison Meatloaf, 30 Minute Rolls, Tossed Salad

Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon, Hashbrowns, Fruit

Steak (from my parents), Rice, Steamed Veggies

Venison Burgers (I made these last week and we LOVED them!), Homemade French Fries, Grapefruit/Oranges

Chicken and Noodles, Cinnamon Apples

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20 Ways to Raise a Baby on a Budget

Young pregnant woman sitting on sofa and holding blue baby shoes in room

Guest post by Sarah of Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style

When most parents find out they are expecting, they are so excited; but after that, comes the panic.

You wonder how you will be able to afford a baby, with all that he or she needs, and not go bankrupt doing so. The good news is that you can rest easy.

As a now-single SAHM, it’s important for me to raise my kids on a budget. Thankfully, there are many ways to achieve this. Here are 20 ideas:

20 Ways to Raise a Baby on a Budget

1. Breastfeed if you can. Formula is extremely expensive, and while there are programs out there to help you pay for it and coupons galore, breastfeeding is the cheapest option for most people.

2. Borrow a breast-pump. If you choose to breast feed, the pump can often cost more than you can afford. Look for programs in your area that allow you to borrow them.

3. Make your own wipes. Baby wipes can add up and making your own just takes a few minutes.

4. Use cloth diapers. The initial investment may seem steep, but the savings will add up very quickly. {For some creative ways to save money on cloth diapers, check out this post on How to Cloth Diaper for Practically Free.}

5. Make your own baby food. It’s better for baby, anyway, and it’s so simple.

6. Trade babysitting time. Instead of pay for a sitter, trade babysitting time with other parents.

7. Buy used clothing. Babies grow so fast in the first year or two that it makes more sense to do so. Also, skip shoes. They don’t need them until they walk, anyway!

8. Keep baby in a bassinet with you the first few months. This will give you time to save for setting up a nursery!

9. Create your nursery with a budget in mind. Don’t spend too much on building your own nursery. You can find many things gently used in this area as well.

10. Ask for freebies. Companies love to give new parents freebies. Just do a quick hunt online and don’t forget to also ask your child’s pediatrician for some, too.

11. Buy items that convert. There are many things (from beds to car seats) that convert as the child grows. They may seem costly at first, but they save you money down the road when it comes time to replace things.

12. Use coupons. Diapers, formula, wipes, and even baby furniture can be bought with coupons, Just sign up on the manufacturer’s websites and they will usually flood you with them.

13. Keep your baby’s products simple. Babies have sensitive skin, it’s true. However, you don’t need to spend all your money on special baby products when you can use simple, natural things like coconut oil, Aloe Vera, unscented lotions, and so on.

14. Have a friend be your photographer. Many new parents spend so much money on baby pictures and newborn photos. You can take some lovely ones right at home with just a little practice and some good lighting. If you do go pro, sign up for newsletters to places like Sears and JcPenney’s as they have a lot of promotions that cost as little as $10 in and out the door.

15. Make your own baby-wearing wrap. This can often be done even if you don’t know how to sew. Baby wraps can by costly, but making your own doesn’t have to be.

16. Change your mind. The culture we have here is very consumer driven. One of the biggest targets is new moms and dads. Be aware of this and you may find that you spend less.

17. If you need new, shop at discount stores. Places like Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx, or Tuesday Morning offer an entire section that is devoted to department store baby products. These items are 20-60% off the prices at other stores.

18. Skip bibs. Instead buy shirts that are too big for your child. They can be washed easier and they grow into them for messy toddler play later.

19. Borrow things you don’t need for long. If the item is something you only need for a couple of months, such as a baby bath, neck rest for the car seat or Moses basket, see if you know anyone you can borrow it from.

20. Get creative. Sometimes, we can avoid buying something if we get creative. Just think of things you have around the house and see if they will double for what you need them for. {Note from Crystal: Here is my list of the only 6 things I think you truly need for your baby.}

Raising a baby does not have to put you into dire straits. With a little creative thinking, you can save a lot of money!

What ideas would you add to this list? Do you agree with everything on this list?

Sarah is a stay-at-home mom of two wonderful children with a mission to prove that you don’t have to have a lot of money to live a quality life. Sarah loves encouraging others through her blog: Saving Money Never Goes Out of Style.

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