The Great Grocery Challenge! (Pt. 1)

A few days ago, I dropped a painful $50 on groceries.  And really, I didn’t get that many groceries.  $17 on a case of beer and another $8 on a case of Pepsi.  However, I did pick up a couple items and this little gem came out of the receipt machine:


10% off everything.  Not the biggest deal right?  Well, I put a reminder in my phone for when it expires – November 2 – and didn’t think much of it until the next day.  I realized I had given myself a date to buy groceries and that small act alone has given me some structure.  Suddenly, I know when I am going to buy groceries: that first Saturday morning in November.  Knowing that, why don’t I actually plan around it?

So, that’s what this is: a plan to plan to buy groceries.  I have decided that I will use up my entire remaining grocery budget for fiscal October that day.  As it stands I have $125 left in the grocery budget.  Even though I normally try to stay far in the black for each of my budget categories, I’m going to plan to hit this one on the dot.  Why?  Well, I’ve given myself a date and a goal and I’m going to see just how far I can take $125.  I’m going to actually make a legitimate grocery list (something I almost never do).  After that, I’ll start searching out coupons and sales to maximize how far those dollars go.  Then, it’s time for SuperMarket Sweep!

Remember this show?!  How awesome were early ’90s game shows?  Double Dare anyone?  How about Legends of the Hidden Temple?  Those were the days…

Here’s the initial outline of a plan (aka grocery list):

  1. Dog food.  I’ll buy the biggest bag I can, since that’s the best price per ounce. Maybe several bags?
  2. Toiletries and paper products.  Most coupons apply to very specific things.  This one applies to everything, so why not take advantage.
  3. Frozen crap.  I’ll be the first to admit I buy terrible food.  Something I should probably change.  However, this will be the most I’ve ever spent on groceries and I am going to have to focus on things that won’t go bad.  Looks like I need to clear out the freezer in the next two weeks.
  4. Buy lunch for the entire week.  Seems like an easy opportunity to make sure I get work lunch in-line for the week.
  5. Non-groceries?  That coupon does apply to everything.  I’ll think about if there’s any other items that I could throw into this challenge and put that coupon to use on.
  6. Buy in bulk. Of course, as is always a strategy, I’ll buy in bulk where I can.

That’s the top-of-my-head outline.  There’s many more details to flesh out, but I’m liking this already!

Anyone have any secret ninja grocery shopping tips?

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2 Responses to The Great Grocery Challenge! (Pt. 1)

  1. Pingback: Progress Report: October ’13 | Teaching Down Debt

  2. Pingback: The Great Grocery Challenge (Pt. 2) | Teaching Down Debt

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