Monday, June 21, 2010

Frugalista in Training

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I wanted to enter the All You grocery challenge. Have you heard of it? The jist is you spend only 25 dollars per person over the age of one on groceries per week. I had super high hopes that Nick and I could do this. Alas I am not skilled enough in the ways of the Frugalista to take on the challenge.

One of the reasons I wanted to take part in the challenge was to blog about it. Instead I am going to blog about my journey toward becoming a Frugalista. Here is what I have learned so far:

1. Coupons save you dough and lots of it. I studied every couponing Mommy blog I could find and I learned the mystical ways of the couponing ladies. I no longer pay (much) for things like toothpaste, cleaning supplies, cereal, and pampers.

2. Stockpiling is not just for people who believe that the end times are upon us. Building up a stash of dry goods when they are on deep discount allows you to "shop" from your pantry. This is something that I have been working on lately and the biggest reason I wont be able to hold my own in the grocery challenge.

3. Eating out drains you dry. This one I have known for awhile. The cruddy thing is that Nick and I thoroughly enjoy eating out. It's our staple date as Nick doesn't enjoy going to the movies. Shopping and going to lunch is our together time out of the house. This one I need some help with. Any suggestions?

4. Cooking batch meals also saves you big piles of cash. Cook a big tray of lasagna, split it up and freeze it. Lunch for several weeks, tada! It's easy and economical. You choose when you eat your leftovers. One big reason I don't finish all my leftovers is that I get tired of eating the same thing. This saves me the monotony of spaghetti for six days straight O.o

5. Find free food :D We have a meal ministry at our Church every Monday. Once a month I cook something for the ministry but I can attend every week. I don't currently do this but I am going to talk to Nick about this as an option for us. We could assist in serving the meal and witness to people who come for the free meals.

6. I have a Victory garden. I love digging in the dirt. I have had a garden for as long as I can remember. My Mom and Dad started me with one row that turned into a small garden of my own by the time I was in Kindergarten. This year I am growing things that I hope to turn into baby food for Little Bit. Another thing I am doing with my garden this year is canning. Dad started teaching me how to can last year and for Christmas he bought me a canner! I was stoked. I am such a nerd. Amy oh Amy how does your garden grown? I am growing peas, black beans, green beans, cantaloupe, tomatoes, sugar baby pumpkins, acorn squash, peppers, and butternut squash.

That's what I have learned thus far. Any tips or tricks for me?


  1. Great tips and tricks! Any coupon sites or suggestions?

    Instead of eating out, make a picnic and go sit somewhere to eat together rather than eating out.

    Our garden is an amazing help in the summer with not having to go buy fresh veggies and they taste so much better too!


  2. Thanks for the tip on the picnic. There is a lovely park in our town. When it's not 100 degrees out were gonna give this a try! Sorry this is late coming back to you. I was compiling a list of my favorite blogs and they usually post on Saturday. Here are a few of the best couponing blogs imho:

    Couponing blogs ß----------- My favorite for Target, CVS, and Walgreens ß---- My favorite for Martins

  3. Hey, welcome to the Frugalista life! My weekly grocery goal is more aggressive than the All You challenge: I aim to spend $80 a week and so far I have been shopping for four over age 1. (The baby turns 1 on Sunday.)

    Have I succeeded? I used to meet the goal, but then I purchased a bunch of hormone-free meat upfront that I have not succeeded in paying for out of my weekly budget. So some adjustments are probably needed, but I'm comfortable that when all is said and done I'll still come in below the $125/week that All You would allot me.
    I do it by pairing coupons with great sales, keeping a stockpile, and cooking with a lot of vegetables. One thing I have never had is a successful garden, so I look forward to reading about yours!

  4. First, Happy Birthday to the baby! That is amazing that you spend so little on groceries. I hope that one day I can get there. I am currently working on my stockpile and trying to work out how to get some beef stockpiled. I was going to buy a calf with my Mom but she is a big softie and is backing out. A friend in our small group raises cattle and the next time he goes to butcher I think I am going to purchase half a steer. It seems like a big part of saving is building a successful stockpile. Now the question becomes where to put all that ;D