Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Great Grocery Project - Part 1

As I mentioned before, we are going to be very carefully tracking and analyzing our grocery expenses over the next year - looking for ways to save money without cutting back on the quality of food that we eat.  The plan at the moment is to provide brief weekly or bi-weekly updates, and then at the end of each month a details analysis of where the spending money went.

Let's just say the first week and a half of September did not go exactly as planned.  We are in the middle of an unplanned total basement renovation which is taking up lots of time (and money of course!) and our oven broke.  We spent two weeks without an oven.  Needless to say, this meant we spent a lot more money on prepared foods and quick snacks than we normally would.  Thankfully, we ordered a new element and my husband was able to repair our oven.  That sound you hear is a huge sigh of relief on my part.  Hopefully this means that over the next few weeks our grocery spending will even out again.

I'm a little sad to say that I spend $176.87 on groceries over the past few weeks (mainly due to the no oven dilemma).  But this is life, and it will all even out.

Over the weekend I went to No Frills and there was a great sale on cabbage.  I have an amazing Creamy Coleslaw recipe from Bonnie Stern's Friday Night Dinners that is super easy to make and delicious.  I plan on making a large batch of coleslaw this afternoon to eat with our dinner, and also to throw in our lunches for the next few days.

A new grocery store with an excellent produce section (I'm a bit of a produce snob) opened a few weeks ago right between where I work and where my son goes to daycare.  This is really great for me, because I like to buy fresh produce regularly so that none of it goes to waste.  Wasted food = wasted money.  The new store will be a great place for me to stop and conveniently pick up whatever fresh produce I might need, thereby (hopefully) meaning even less food waste (or money wasted!) in our house.

Big Money Saving This Week:
The big money saved this week in our house came from household items rather than grocery, but is worth mentioning.  Regular readers know that I am a big fan of Shopper's Drug Mart Optimum Rewards.  This week, many regular items we need and use were on sale - so I redeemed 95,000 ($170.00 worth) of Optimum points.  With this points redemption I was able to pick-up:

4 packs of President's Choice Bathroom Tissue ($4.99 each)
1 Box of Pamper's Swaddlers Diapers ($22.99)
1 400mL bottle of La Roche Posay AP Lipikar Baume lotion (33.00)
1 bottle of La Roche Posay Children's Sun Block ($29.95)
1 Box of Pampers Training Diapers ($22.99)
1 Box of Pampers Newborn Diapers ($22.99)
1 Box of Always Pantiliners ($5.49)
3 various sizes packs of Energizer batteries (for a total of $29.97)
2 24 bottle cases of PC Spring Water ($1.99 each)

The subtotal of all these items came to $209.44.  I redeemed $170.00 worth of Optimum points and ended up paying a balance of $39.44.  That's a pretty great savings!

Our other big savings this week, was repairing the oven.  Yes, we spent more on groceries by going without an oven for almost two weeks - but if we had rushed out to buy a new oven immediately after ours caught on fire and broke we would have been spending between $1000-$3000.00.  Instead, we ordered a $50.00 party from Amazon and my husband repaired our oven himself.  Hurray husband!

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