Meanwhile…Melissa needs a Mentor

Happy 2009 my fellow blog sisters… I know this is probably an anticlimactic salutation since it is already January 7th and all of us are back in the hectic swing of life. I don’t know about you, but I love a new year and all of the hope that it represents. It’s sort of like a new binder or a new journal. I love blank pages. I even love the smell of blank pages. Well, on our drive from Houston to Atlanta I was full on in my dreamy state thinking of all the lofty things that I want to get right this year…like, I am going to pray WAY more often or I am going to call people rather than text them (already buried that one in the grave). And then it happened…GASP. Colin said to me, “Darling, we need to talk about the budget I have planned for us for 2009.” Budget? And then I opted for the semantic argument which I hoped would stop him dead in his tracks by saying, “What exactly do you mean by that word, budget? Can you exegete that for me?” He ignored my question entirely and later handed me twelve envelopes with labels for January- December 2009. Yep, folks, Mr. Fitzpatrick wants me to gather each of my receipts, no matter how mundane (like a pack of gum from the convenience store), and place them in the month-appropriate envelope. And he is going to review them. Can you imagine? I haven’t been this terrified since I took my SAT’s. Now, don’t get me wrong the two of us don’t spend heaps of money (we simply don’t have heaps of money) but Colin’s point is that we can do better. Apparently a new year is about living more skillfully, more wisely. And so, in light of me being the very submissive wife that I am, I have gotten my heart in gear and I am really trying to jump on my husband’s bandwagon. I even ran out of Nordstrom right after I met my friend for lunch at Nordstrom Café…I kid you not, I was like Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39. One more minute in Nordstrom and I would have been a very fashionable sheep fattened for the slaughter. Sigh. You really should have seen that jacket I passed up. It was oh so fine.

Okay so this is my specific question for you: How can I save money at the grocery store? Obviously I know how to avoid the Mall (though at times it appears to draw near to me) but I am downright lost as to how I can save serious bucks at the grocery store. What do YOU do to save money on groceries? How do you make your food last the longest? Do you have any tips or any secrets to offer me? If your resolution for 2009 was to mentor a fellow-sojourning woman this year, now is your chance. Mentor me. Please? I would have asked my Mom who is normally the ultimate mentor but as it is she avoids the grocery store at all costs.

Are we almost to 2010 yet? I’m exhausted.


201 Responses to “Meanwhile…Melissa needs a Mentor”

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  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    I’ve posted my tips earlier, but wanted to let ya’ll know about a blogsite I discovered awhile back:

    This woman is a Christian, and because of some difficult circumstances, she, her husband, and their kids left the “suburban” life and moved to a farm. They are learning to live extremely simple, and seem to be content, and enjoying love and peace in their home.

    This woman’s strength and determination are inspiring to me! If you have time to read any blogs, this is a good one!

    Just thought while we are on the topic of doing more with less, these folks are a great example.

    Denise, GA

  2. 2
    Things Above says:

    Ooooh, ooooh, oooooh…. I am a recovered food snob and cannot believe how much money I have been able to save on our grocery bill for my little family of four! Here is what I have found helpful: frozen veggies, frozen fruit except things like apples, bananas, and oranges. Also, a Food Saver is AWESOME! It keeps food so well and allows you to freeze things when you buy in bulk. I cook with a lot of beans so I try to buy the bagged dried beans instead of the canned (they have way less sodium, too). Also, and this is time-consuming and not exciting but the number one way I save money is by planning a menu for a week at a time. You save a lot of money by not eating out for the lack of preparing and you do not by superfluous groceries. God bless you for honoring your husband and our LORD by being striving to be responsible with your resources!

  3. 3
    Kay - Bluebird Sightings says:

    Melissa, I ditto most every comment I’ve seen on here. I do have one more that I don’t think I’ve seen: I take my list to the store with a pen in one hand. As I mark off items I’ve put in my buggy I also write down the price or what three of them are costing me or whatever. As I go through the store, I add up where I’m at so far so I can see how I’m doing. When I get everything on my list in the buggy, I add it all up one more time before heading to the check out. If I’ve gone over, I take something back – I’ve usually sneaked a few extra things in there and some of those have to go back! I’ve found that writing the prices down as I go keeps me more disciplined and I’m not surprised when I get to the register.
    Good luck!

  4. 4
    Nita Meadows says:

    I have had success with Print off her e-book. The system is easy to follow. You do not “clip” coupons. Her story is that she started it to fill a local food bank. She used the coupons she didn’t need to buy items for the food bank. It is not complicated and saves a ton of money.

  5. 5
    just1 says:

    Okay, here’s my two cents’ worth. First, look at the weekly ad for the store you will be shopping at. Shop the sales! Then make your menu, and simultaneously make your list. I buy store brands whenever I can (if they’re the cheapest–sometimes the sale items are, sometimes they aren’t). I also try to use coupons–if I am disciplined enough to take the time to clip them, sort them, and then look through them before a shopping trip. In addition, I try to think of all of the ways that I can use up things that I already have in my cupboard/freezer/frig. For example, if I have a package of frozen, ground turkey in the freezer, I will put a meal on the menu to use that ground turkey, whether it be for tacos, meatballs, or whatever. If meat if on sale for a GREAT price, I try to buy MORE than I normally would, because it can freeze! I also try to make at least one meatless meal a week. That saves money, too.
    If you have an ALDI, shop there for the basics! They are a discount grocery store that sells only their own brands (usually), for great prices. Be careful,though, they only take cash or debit cards–no credit cards or checks. Bring a quarter for the cart! (You get it back after you return the cart to its proper place.) And bring your own bags or boxes for your groceries. This keeps Aldi’s overhead costs down, therefore giving the customers better prices! Happy grocery shopping!

  6. 6
    tanee142 says:

    Always make a list and stick to it.

    Don’t buy convenience (ex. prewashed lettuce, veggies, etc)

    Buy store brand with almost everything.

    Pay for your groceries with cash (the real green stuff…not check or cc).

    Buy larger packages of meat and break it up for the two of you…repackage and freeze.

    Shop at Wal Mart…not the “cool” stores

    We do the envelope system and it works pretty well…but it seems like it would be a little overwhelming to keep EVERY single receipt. Maybe he would compromise. 🙂 Budgets work and are important…but always leave room for some FUN!

    Love you guys!

  7. 7
    Julie says:

    Hard question! We have a grocery store here locally which is a cost plus 10% store. I buy as much as possible there. I also try to buy in bulk at Costco or Sam’s once a month. I also use store brands where feasible. Never buy groceries when you are hungry. I also check the weekly ads at the 3 grocery stores which are in my area and I stock up when they run buy one get one free ads.

  8. 8
    jenmom says:

    Clip coupons!!!! Look for grocery stores that double them and don’t throw away those flyers that come in the mail from the stores. We have Publix here in Florida and many weeks they run two for one deals. I usually stock up on things I won’t have to buy many times until the next month.
    I learned when it was just my husband and I to fix meals that freeze well. It not only saves on time when life gets busy, but also stretches ingredients.

  9. 9
    Becky says:

    The key I have found is to combine sales at your store with coupons. That way you have double the savings. Stock up when you find such a situation.

    There are also lots of great money-saving idea blogs. For example, one called where they go through the various grocery stores and do the coupon matches for you. Makes it easier, and you don’t have to mess with cutting out all your coupons and trying to hunt them down when you need them.

  10. 10
    Paige says:

    I love that everyone is giving you great advice…I have taken some to heart. When my husband said to me that he needed all of my receipts for even the most mundane things, I filled those envelopes up with tons of one cent gum that I bought one piece at at time and after two months of 75 of those receipts, I did not have to save receipts anymore. Not very submissive, I know…but honest.


  11. 11
    Marilyn McDonald says:

    Here's some advice on the subject from a professional organizer who is also one of the moms in my MOPS group:

  12. 12
    mrs. owl says:

    I shop at Super WalMart for most stuff. I find their prices the most reasonable. I make a menu for the week and try not to deviate. This helps me not over purchase. I also work on the envelope system which works well. I am given a set amount of cash for my envelopes and when its gone…its gone. We have been married for 14 years and have not been as faithful with this system as we could. But I too am starting off a new year. Hope this helps.

  13. 13
    Groovewoman ♫ says:

    Well Melissa the tricks of the trade in grocery shopping that I have found to work over these last 10 years of marriage… is to buy generic or store brand whenever possible. The product is usually always the exact same as the name brand, but usually 20-50 cents cheaper. Those little extra cents add up at the register. Now there are certain things to buy name brand on and you’ll discover those as you go, but in most circumstances, store brand is usually the same if not better.

    There you go, that’s my tip. If it matters… I can get a WHOLE basket of groceries for under $100. My husband is AMAZED everytime how I do it!

    GOOD LUCK. Let me know if you would like more in detail tricks. You can email me or catch me on my blog.
    With love,

  14. 14
    Darlene says:

    We have always lived on a shoestring, both of us in ministry. . .I live off of COUPONS.
    Go to a grocery that “doubles”, plan your menu from the sale paper on Sunday’s paper. . .go to the
    closest farmer’s market for your
    fresh veggies and fruits. They last longer. It has kept my family
    fed and happy for 30 years.=)

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    My husband always asks me is this (fill in the blank) going to end up in a yard sale next summer 🙂

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Starting this new year out, I am trying to combine eating healthier and saving on expenses..One thing I discovered is the Cuisinart Smart a blender, but without the clean-up..pretty inexpensive way to make smoothies for a morning routine 7 days a week with various flavors of yogurt, skim milk, and fresh fruit.

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    Don't go to the grocery store hungry! You end up buying stuff you don't need (or a least I do)>

    Make a list before you go instead of just browsing the store.

    Save and use coupons of stuff you actually use. Don't use coupons just because you have them.

    Join the store rewards program if it has one (example Albertson's etc. had a preferred customer card that saves you money each week.

    Decatur, TX

  18. 18
    montanamovestotexas says:

    It all depends on how crazy you wanna get. . .
    1. Make a menu for the week (that way you avoid a last minute “out to eat”
    2. Make a groccery list as you are making your menu.
    3. ONLY buy the things on your list when at the store!!!!
    I do other things like make my own dough for homemade pizza, but like I said I don’t know how crazy you wanna get 🙂 You CAN do it though!

  19. 19
    Barefoot Mom says:


    I haven’t read all the post, but a bunch of them. A few things I didn’t see yet:

    1. Trader Joe’s – if you have one of those in Atlanta it’s worth the trip. Fabulous food and low, low prices. One example is bagged salad – about $3.79 in my regular grocery store, but only $1.99 there.

    2. A dinner prep place like My Girlfriend’s Kitchen or Super Suppers. Some of my friends argue that it is expensive, but I did all the math and for my family, it wasn’t. You can do half size orders which is 2- 3 servings. Helps with weeknight meals and kept me from overdoing the gourmet cooking.

    3. Don’t buy ANY health/beauty stuff or “paper products” at the grocery store. It’s worth a trip. Again, a lot of peope think Target is expensive, but I don’t find it to be on that stuff. I made a master list and buy all my trash bags, laundry detergent, paper towels, shampoo, vitamins, water, soap, toothpaste, etc. at Target once a month. They also have cheap prices on stuff like cereal and salad dressings,etc.

    You and I are similar in the cooking department. I love to try new recipes and cook some gourmet foods. I had to learn to limit these when we started using a budget, so what I do is collect new recipes I want to try in a folder and each month I only choose a few during one weekend to try and treat my family to – they look forward to it.

    I agree with many of the other siestas that a weekly meal plan, master list, and limited trips to the grocery store are a HUGE help. As well as buying generic when you can. I buy generic canned goods, but sometimes the frozen generic lacks quality.

    Good luck! I’m with ya’ girlfriend!

  20. 20
    Karen says:

    Just another money saver. Drink more water – less tea, pop, etc. It’s free and much better for you too!

    Take care,

  21. 21
    Anonymous says:

    My spouse wont agree, because he will run to the store for one exotic ingredient, but, I say keep things on hand like tomato sauce, cream of mushroom or chicken soup, tomatoes in a can, etc.
    Buy these when they are really cheap, dont run out of them. Make sure you can always make a crock pot meal, casserole or something yummy and not too complicated or expensive.
    Other than that, make a list and try to stick to it.
    If you have a week with a smaller list of needs, you can have a few fun things, things you might want to try but didnt buy on weeks when your list was ten feet long.
    That’s what I do, not what *he* does.
    (However, I do prefer taking him shopping with me so he can carry stuff, over not taking him and saving money.)

  22. 22
    ABL mom of 3 says:


    I am so sorry about the budget thing. Husbands can be such sticklers about money. lol. Gotta love the people who keep us(me) in line! What I do to save grocery money is not go. I make a 6 week menu, go to Sams to get the frozen or nonperishables, and stick to that menu. (I have made several of your recipes and your dad’s King Ranch Chicken, which have been fabulous!) I do have to go to the grocery for vegetables and milk, but try to do that only once a week. I have discovered that the more I go, the more I spend. We have 5 in our family, so my people seem to eat a lot, but this method has helped with budget, order, and eating well.

  23. 23
    jody says:

    Shop only the perameter of the store, avoid prepackaged, eat fresh and in season, it will look like more at first, but believe me it is worth it for pocket book and waist

  24. 24
    Leigh Ann says:

    Okay, I have just read about 200 post. (Not all of them.) So I may have missed it, but haven’t seen this web site yet.
    It has the best ideas (consistently) that I have read. They also have a cookbook – Dining On a Dime — that is excellent.

    Hope you enjoy!

  25. 25
    Kate says:

    Ramen…$1.39 and you have dinner for a week. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  26. 26
    Katie in ND says:

    We went through the same thing when we were just married. I started out buying groceries like my mom did… not sparing anything thing I wanted. Well, that caught up with us quickly. I learned to get by on cheap food for us and good food for company. It gets old sometimes having some of the same things again and again. But gotta do what you gotta do. Ie: eggs are super cheap, potatoes are cheap and can be made lots of ways, drink water, only buy breakfast cereal that is $2.00 a box or less (can find cheap at Target), a whole chicken is much cheaper than bags of chicken breasts. Bread is super cheap too. Pancakes/crepes are a cheap meal. If you feel really ambitious you can start hunting to save money. I actually shot my first 2 deer the last 2 years in a row to give us cheap meat… careful though or you’ll get sick of these foods. Also eat out less! Also, if you want to go to Dairy Queen or Starbucks… buy a gallon of ice cream instead… it’s costs the same or less, and goes a LOT further. Also make one large meal (a large pan of lasagna) and either eat leftovers for a few days or freeze half for later. We’ve been married 4.5 years now and these things have really made our grocery bill much smaller. Plan meals ahead too… if I were more organized I’m SURE this would help us out too! I probably still take too many trips to the grocery store.

  27. 27
    ACR says:

    Just have a sec and these have probably all been posted. I’m more like Beth and stay away as much as I can but I always have a list; start with the outside aisles (that’s where the most healthy foods tend to be); keep moving while loading cart (quickly is best); buy the largest size you can afford (cheaper per oz or serving). Love all of you!

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    oh, the shock of budget!! I know it well. I hate to grocery shop so I buy in bulk. When something is on sale, I stock up. About the time I run out, it is back on sale again. I have an older refrigerator in the garage, so I use that as well. I can actually go over a week without trips, and when I have to go…well, I ask my husband nicely!!
    If you do buy in bulk, you have to watch out as sometimes it is not a savings. You’ll catch on.
    Or, you could just eat less 😉

  29. 29
    johandav says:

    Plan your meals around what’s on sale that week. We have Aldi’s here in upstate NY, which helps me alot! Soups are wonderfully economical. Of course, you really enjoy gourmet cooking, and I’m more ordinary that way, so you should allow yourself maybe once a week to buy a bit more exotic foods. Just like with calories, you just have to budget them in by budgeting something out.

    With potato corn chowder on the pilgrim road,


  30. 30
    Anonymous says:

    I’ll list out for the sake of being brief:
    1. Make a menu along with your weekly plans. Let’s face it – on a crazy, busy day, if you’ve paid $5 for a fzn pizza you’ll go home and eat that. If you haven’t, you’ll pay $7 for a take out meal. Plan ahead, and buy ahead.
    2. If you shop at someplace like Whole Foods, take their “shopping here on a budget” store tour.
    3. At Whole Foods, buy things you use a lot (we do store brand yogurts) by the case and save 10%.
    4. I go in with cash and a list – that way I can’t overspend.
    5. Sometimes I stop and ask myself, if I didn’t buy this item with this money, what could God do with this money. Then, it’s easier to put back.
    Kim Feth
    Apex, NC

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    We had a period of life where[I kid you not]had a total of $20 a week for food for a family of three. I really learned then to PRAY when I went the store, asking God to go ahead of me and prepare the way. I had a list and a plan and I wrote down the cost of every item as I went and added it as I went. I put $1 on the top of the list before I started in case I made a mistake. Here in Ohio we have sales tax on “non-food” items so I had to be careful in case anything fell in that catagory. God got us through and we never starved. He would{and still does}cool miacles like I would find a special coupon or buy one get one free deals. I also grew sensitive to when He would prompt me to get something-that I would turn out to need later. I was also convicted to find ways to share what we had. He is so faithful!! And He cares about all the details of our lives. I just saw Him work in so many amazing ways that I still do this. Shopping is much more fun and “fruitful” when God is apart of it. In Jesus’ Love Kathy Knoblock

  32. 32
    Alisha says:

    Girlfriend I am married to MR. BUDGET. And I say that lovingly. There’s not enough space to go into the miracle God performed through a “Budget” in my marriage. Just know I am a “Witness” to this one. So here are some suggestions.
    1. Use a calculator. Know your weekly or monthly limit (depending on your shopping habits). Using the calculator will give you a visual on exactly how much each item cost. Something alot of us have no clue on – including my self 7 years ago. This also helps you put stuff back that is “extra” that you thought you would like but is not necessary.
    2. Pray over your groceries when you get them home. Seriously. Ask the Lord to make them last longer. God will see your obedience as a steward and he is faithful to bless.
    3. Look at the foods you buy. What is important to you and Colin? For example: Is it important to eat healthy or more important to have friends over and build relationships. If its to build relationship than there may be a few food items you will need to adjust. For example buying fresh food over fresh “organic” food. These are important decisions.
    Those are the 3 things I did to conquer THE GROCERY STORE
    *Can I just say I am so proud to hear that you are willing to be obedient to your husband. Girl that’s huge. Can I also say I am so proud to hear you say you ran from Nordstrom. I struggle with the wonderful outlets we have, Nike, Tommy, Banana Republic, Gap – they call my name like Dark Chocolate! LOL. Praying for your success!!!!
    Let us know how things work out.

  33. 33
    Joy says:

    OK, I learned to plan meals ahead of time based on what is on sale that week. Try to stick to the perimeter of the store because that is where most of the “healthy” and fresh stuff is. (Then you won’t get trapped in a sea of name brand junk that isn’t good for you.) Once I have made my plan I stick to it and freeze what is leftover for later that week. give it a try.

  34. 34
    Anonymous says:

    I have heard Dave Ramsey say determine how much you want to spend at the grocery each week and put that amount of cash in an envelope. Pay cash for your groceries. When you run out of cash in that envelope for the week, you are done grocery shopping. That will help you spend more wisely.

    If you guys haven’t gotten it yet, check out Dave’s Total Money Makeover book – it’s great.

    Good luck!


  35. 35
    tulip says:

    Someone asked if milk and cheese freeze well. YES, THEY DO!!! We have a large, upright freezer as well as a side freezer in our fridge. I buy several gallons of milk and put them in the freezer. When I’m low on milk, I pull a gallon out of the freezer (it does have a yellow-ish color to it) and let it thaw. You do have to shake it before every use but that’s nothing! Cheese does well, too. I buy a big block of sliced cheese from Costco (120 slices @ 9 cents a slice!), separate the three squares, wrap them in plastic wrap, put them in freezer bags and throw them in the freezer. Just pull out a square when needed and let thaw to use. Perfect! Shredded cheese also does very well. Freezing items such as milk, cheese, bread (homemade or store-bought), extra packages of deli meats, extra whole chicken or turkey bought on sale will help keep you from running to the store every time you run out which in turn tempts you to spend more money. If you only go to the store a couple of times a month, you will spend less money.

  36. 36
    Anonymous says:

    Hello! I have wasted so many fresh fruits and vege’s over the years!! It pains to me to think of it:( But anyhow, the “green bag” lady now has plastic wear that is green and keeps bread, fruits and vege’s absolutely fresher longer!! I prefer these plastic containers over the bags because they are neat and organized in the fridge. I know you can get them on h$n. Good luck!!

  37. 37
    Katy Lin :) says:

    definitely buy the off brand whenever possible – it is almost always the exact same thing as the name-brand item, just in different packaging

    be sure to watch the per-unit price (per oz, per count, etc.) to get the most bang for your buck

    the other thing i’ve learned recently is making meat go farther – meat seems to be the most expensive item we buy, so i halve whenever possible. For example: Last night i made pizza casserole and the recipe called for 1 lb of ground beef. I scrambled the whole pound, but only put 1/2 of it in the casserole. tonight we had tacos with the other 1/2 lb. this works well bc it’s just the two of us – idk how long it will work once we start having children

    just some thoughts 🙂

  38. 38
    Joni says:

    Just received a newsletter from and they give recipes for dinners under $3! thought of you. Go to

  39. 39
    Angel says:

    I have become a coupon shopper. I just love it when I can use a coupon for something that is on sale. Here is my biggest way to save money on my grocery shopping and I do the ad matching at Wal-Mart. The night before I go shopping I get my grocery list, the few store ads that I get in the mail, and I go to my computer and pull up other grocery store ads online. You can go to for example and view their ad for the week. I look for items that I buy weekly and ones that are on my list. We drink a lot of milk around my house and tonight at Wal-Mart I ad matched my milk for $1.58 rather than paying $3.44 for it. It takes some planning, but for me it has been worth it.
    Oro Valley, AZ

  40. 40
    Jill says:

    I recently (as in the last month) have put myself on a budget! My husband loved the idea so much, he soon followed. I make a grocery list. I plan for 2 weeks worth of meals at a time. I usually cook 4-5 times a week, and then on the other days, we grab something inexpensive, at HIS expense!! Only shop from your list. If it’s not on there, don’t buy it. From past experience, I was allowing myself $300 every 2 weeks at the store for just groceries. I have been under $200 both times this last month. That leaves me $100 for anything I forgot, extra milk, etc. I look at the grocery ads before I shop, and try to plan my menu around the meat that’s on sale. Also, Walmart will match any other local grocery ads on their prices. I save so much by just shopping at Walmart.

  41. 41
    Heidi T. says:

    I, too, feel your pain, but I can also rejoice in the freedom of following my husband’s financially savvy ways. We’ve been married nearly 14 years and he has tracked our budget to the $1 every year. I provide him with my labeled receipts and he has learned to be lenient with the cash I forget to track. As I honored my husband in his leadership, he and God allowed me to live a dream: I stayed home with my babies for 7 years on a very modest income. Now I am pursuing a career I love and I can not believe we lived on one income through diapers and formula! I have no regrets whatsoever.

  42. 42
    Anonymous says:

    buy almonds and other nuts in the bulk food section. Also steel cut oats are cheap there too, and rice, and sea salt, and many other things.

  43. 43
    KASI says:

    Melissa – When I was a new bride, I, too questioned the definition of "budget" with wide, Southern eyes. I wasn't just hoping – I was expecting my husband to melt under my wide-eyed, innocent gaze and just give up his silly plans for us to be financially wise and (gasp!) frugal. Alas, when he handed me the monthly envelopes (yes, I'm telling the truth!) and requested that I place ALL of my receipts into them, I was totally aghast at the prospect. And, I must admit, I was slightly rebellious. 🙂 Fast forward eleven years –> we are in seminary, living well within our means, and not suffering one bit because of the economic turndown that has this nation freaking out. God took my husband's wise financial mind and led him to put our house in order so we would be prepared to follow when He said "go." Praise Him!

    Here are some pointers:
    *look at the store circulars each week and decide which store has the best deals on the items you like
    *make a list and stick to it (with perhaps a handful of exceptions – without fail, I will think of things in the store that I didn't think of when I made my list)
    *gather your favorite recipes into a notebook – these are the ones you use over and over again
    *think through the staples you use in your kitchen – spices, canned items, olive oil, flour, etc. and make a master list of those on the computer – watch for when these items are on special and pick up extra
    *check the "day-old" and "clearance" section of the grocery store – they do exist, and sometimes you will find jewels for the kitchen in these areas

    Cook at home most of the time. It's easy to throw together pasta and veggies into a saute and make a salad without any planning if you have the kitchen stocked with basic goods. Start asking your friends for good crockpot recipes, too…they exist(!) and can be a lifesaver when you have busy days.

    And one thing that is still somewhat difficult for me – try to limit the number of times you go out to eat. You two decide what your monthly limit is and stick to it. You'll be amazed at how much money you will save! (And you'll figure out how much cheaper you can make the same meal.)

    I could tell you a much longer, more detailed version of my story with my "money man"…but since this is the longest post I've ever written, I'll stop here! Just know that your efforts and sacrifice will be worth it down the road, and you'll have the satisfaction of looking back and praising God for His provision of this thoughtful, wise man in your life!

    Blessings, Dear Sister.

  44. 44
    Rochelle says:


    Read her faq to get started. We have saved soooo much….thanks to her blog. Check it out you won’t be sorry you did…especially if you have a CVS close by.

  45. 45
    Anonymous says:

    I feel your pain! My hubby cut my grocery budget in half in Dec. All praise goes to God for showing me how to do it! I live in ATL and LOVE organic foods/Whole Foods. I still buy my produce, turkey bacon, and chicken there. All other items I purchase at Wal-Mart. They have several organic brands I like. I met my budget in Dec. with $30 to spare! I had to stop buying fresh herbs. Praise the Lord! You can do it!

  46. 46
    Anonymous says:

    Bless your DARLIN heart!!! You have got to be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Wal-Mart is the cheapest, only you have to go before daylight to only have 2 people in front of you in the check out. You may be able to find your precious jacket or one like it on EBAY but I would bet Colin wouldn’t stand a chance against your “sweet eyes”, at least not in first 2-3 years of marriage! 😉 After 13 years, I still shiver at the sound of the “B” word!

    Lake Charles

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    Mindy Banks says:

    UUUGGGHHHH!!!! I need mentor too!!!!

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    Christina says:

    It’s what I tell myself all the time: self-control, self-control, self-control! Do I NEED it or do I WANT it? Too many things I gravitate towards are the wants, not the needs. It is tough! For me, I stick to my list and budget the best when I grocery shop without my boys (they wreak havoc on my budget and my nerves – love them as much as I do).

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    Gwyn Rosser says:

    First of all – always plan out your meals ahead of time. Just sit down and have a general idea of what you’re going to have on which days and what you need to complete the menus. Then ALWAYS go to the grocery store armed with a list. And THEN do not turn to the left or to the right!! Buy only what’s on that list. Buying house brands helps a lot, using coupons is great – I usually can save $8 to $15 a trip with pretty minimal effort. You can get some great coupons online. Just search for grocery coupons. I really do enjoy the challenge of spending less than I’ve budgeted. I feel like I’m really doing “my job” well. Oh, and above all, pray before you go shopping….I’ve found some spectacular “deals” before that I know the Lord provided.

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    Lisa Snyder says:

    Melissa, I didn’t read all the comments so I don’t know if someone has already turned you on to this, but you MUST check this out immediately! It is nationwide. I just started the grocery game in November and have shaved my family’s grocery spending considerably. My goal is to feed my family of 4 for $80-$100a week. The best part is, we’re eating quality stuff, not beans and rice. If Colin is serious about budgeting, please read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. You can see him on the Fox Channel or listen on the radio. It is a quick read and can revolutionize the way you think about money. It also eliminates the need for writing every single purchase down (a tedious road I have been on myself). BTW, he calls it “cash flow planning” instead of budgeting! Happy grocery gaming!

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