Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Married Life: Meal Planning, Grocery Shopping & Fuel Perks

I know..this title sounds so exciting already. haha.

When it comes to shopping, I'm always looking for a good deal! Red tags and Clearance sections are my best friends in a store (especially Target!), outlet and factory stores are amazing, and I love coupons!  I RARELY by anything for full price.

When buying our food and drinks to have at the house, I wouldn't say that Matt and I are cheap.  I would just say we use our money in the most reasonable ways possible for us. {I realize it's not the same for everyone.}  Instead of spending roughly $100.00 a week eating out every night, we spend almost $100.00 a week to buy everything we need for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the week + whatever we might need, like paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.  But those last few things aren't every week purchases.

On Sunday afternoons, we'll figure out what we want to have for dinner each night of the week.  From there, we see what meats we need to buy, what side dishes we want to have, etc.  I use the same notebook every week to write our grocery list down.  The left side of the page is designated for what we need to buy, and the right side of the page is our dinner plan.  {After we get home from shopping, I cut out the dinner plan and keep it on the fridge for the week!}

We do ALL of our grocery shopping at Martin's.  After making our list, we'll make sure we have a Sunday paper with a Martin's ad and go through to see what deals there are
on things we've already said we need/want.  Once we've looked through it, some times, our list changes a bit.  Our main focus in the ad is looking at the sections that say "buy 7 of these items, and get an additional 40 cents in fuel perks." We LOVE fuel perks!  So, say we had cereal on our grocery list, but waffles is a part of that Buy 7 deal, then we'll get waffles instead.  {That really happened, by the way.}  So, basically, we're just really flexible with what we want to eat!

The Martin's ad in the paper will also have additional coupons down the side {that aren't always included on the ads they keep in the store!}.  Our favorite one is the coupon that says, "Spend $50.00 and earn an additional 30 cents in fuel perks."  Well, it's very feasible for us to spend $50.00, so we love that coupon!

So, looking at those two previous examples, of the buy 7 items and get 40 cents, and the coupon to get 30 cents in fuel perks, that's a total of 70 cents in fuel perks in one transaction! Then, depending on where we are to our next mark of spending $100.00, we have the possibility of getting ANOTHER 10 cents.  If you're wondering {and maybe you're not}, we really did get 70 cents off in one transaction. It was a great day :) haha

I've always been amazed watching Extreme Couponing, and really wanted to be an extreme couponer myself, but, I don't have the time or the patience to take up that hobby/lifestyle.  I'd much rather go through the coupons, see which ones I can actually use on our grocery trip {and if you use your Martin's card, they double coupons up to $1.00}, and take them with us.  So, we do save a good amount of money by using our Martin's card, because Martin's card members get cheaper prices, anyway, but we use the money we'd have to spend on food anyway to "earn" some money for gas....which is something I hate to pay for.  Thankfully, the prices aren't TOO bad right now, but I don't like spending so much money on it.

The coolest thing ever was when we built up our Fuel Perks so much, that we filled up Matt's truck for $15.00! Yes, less than $1.00 per gallon! It was awesome!! haha

Now, I know I said that we do ALL of our shopping at Martin's, but I probably should've said we do MOST of our shopping at Martin's.  Sometimes, we choose to do the majority of our shopping at Martin's, but then go to Sam's Club to buy all of our meats.  We can spend $50.00-$60.00 in meat, and have enough for the month, and then some.  Once we buy it, Matt's cuts everything up, and packages up portions in freezer bags to keep everything in the freezer until we need it.  Then, it's takes just a little bit to thaw it out to eat! 

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