Well ladies (and gentlemen- you know you're out there too ) Jenny has agreed to share her tips and tricks with us! She lets us in on how she got all of this:
for only $47*!!
If you have any questions for Jen after reading her tips, ask away! She will be happy to answer them!!
There have been a lot of people asking how I am able to feed my family of 4 on just $25 a week. Would you believe I also pack all 4 of us lunches 5 days a week off of that too? I have been able to pretty much stick to this budget for a year now. Around the holidays I may go over 1 or 2 weeks, but not by much. I maybe reach $50 instead of $25. My budget does include toiletries and paper products, so here are my tips and tricks.
1. My dh is an avid hunter, my freezer is always full of meat. He hunts duck, pheasant, goose, & deer. I have gotten pretty creative with all this meat. Pioneer Woman's pot roast recipe is actually delicious with a venison roast! I do buy chicken and some beef hamburger, BUT only when it is on sale or on the clearance meat rack. This is where I save a good chunk of my money. We are also lucky enough that meat is given to us by my family who buys animals to be butchered. Some of them don't like the ham butts, some of them don't like the breakfast sausage, some of them the roasts, etc. It's not a lot but I bet it takes care of 1-2 weeks worth of meals per year.
2. I grow a massive garden in the summer and can or freeze everything. I'm fortunate that my girls' are not picky eaters and will pretty much eat anything that is put in front of them. For fresh fruits and veggies I look at the sale ads for the week and see what is the cheapest. We always have fruits and vegetables in the house. Probably $10-15 of my budget is spent here.
3. Coupons - I live in the middle of nowhere, but I still take full advantage of coupons. I get a Sunday paper, I get my aunt's and grandma's inserts, and the gas station across from my work also gives me 3 of each insert per week. The stores I shop at are Walmart, Dollar General, Piggly Wiggly and Copps. Copps has double coupon day every Weds, but you can only dbl 5 coupons and you have to spend $25 which this is a complete waste of time for me considering I live 30 minutes away. Once a month they have dbl dbl coupon day, where you can double 10 coupons so it's no problem to hit the $25 mark that way. This is when I do my damage. These are my stock up days. I will probably do anywhere from 6-10 transactions. I haul my dh along for this as you can only do 6 transactions per saver card. My out of pocket for these trips is usually about $3 per transaction. This is where I stock up on lunch foods and cereal. I also take full advantage of Walmart's overage policy. This is how I get my chicken breasts, coffee, fresh veggies, etc. People have a love hate relationship with Walmart, but I love mine. I have never had a problem. When I am coupon shopping I usually save 90-95%!
Look at what $9.79 can get u at Dollar General. 8 Olay bodywashes, 4 malt o meal cereals, 2 bottles of Maalox, 5 Suavitel fabric softeners, 4 Quaker Oats, and 1 ibuprofen that I didn't have a q for. That was $2.50 alone. See what coupons can do!
4. Toiletries - They are included in this budget, but I don't pay for them. I WILL NOT pay for them. These are the things that you can guarantee you will get free somewhere along the line. I do pay for feminine products but will not pay over $2 a box. I have enough shampoo, body wash, body soap, deodorant, and razors to get us to 2025! Most of it I was paid to take out of the store. I have paid for some of the coupons from a clipping service if it's a good deal. Example: I paid $10 for 40 Bic razor coupons, but I got an overage of $2 per coupon. That's $80 in free groceries. Ok $70 Paper products you just have to work the sales. I don't have a mountain of toilet paper, but I have a warehouse at work full of it. We own a portable restroom business and do lots of events. Yes I admit it we use half rolls of tp, but hey it's free.
($0.80 yes cents! Trip to DG)
Other ways I save money on our groceries, I buy in bulk. I buy all of my spices and baking supplies in bulk from the amish store. They are 90% cheaper then the store. I buy my milk in a bag from Kwik Trip - $1.39 per 1/2 gallon, along with my bread and bananas. They are the cheapest around. I cook from scratch as much as possible.
If you are wondering what our meals consist of there is usually one meat, one vegetable, and either a potato, rice, or pasta. The girls' lunches are not processed foods. They usually have a sandwich, a veggie, a fruit, and yogurt, maybe fruit snacks or a granola bar if I found a deal. It's hard to keep under budget without serving over processed food, but it can be done. It took me awhile to perfect it and you can't do it overnight, but for us it's doable.
If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them!
*all of that for $47: Look at what $47 can buy you, 5lbs potatoes, 4 CHeck Mixes,16 boxes of fruit snacks, 2 Pasta Sides, 2 Pillsbury cinnamon roles, 2 gr peppers, celery, carrots, sweet potato, apples, 2 cucumbers, Rhodes rolls, 1Kens dressing, 2 Classico pasta sauces, 6 Ronzoni Healthy Harvest spaghetti, 2 Pillsbury crescent rolls, 3 Oscar Mayer Carving meats, 3 Ro*tels, 12 Hunts tomatoes, 2 Sierra Mists, and 5 Gains. I also got $5 off my next trip! Total before sales and q's $162.35
Pssstt...Jenny's bargains, don't only consist of groceries! Did you see what she picked up for her daughters room for only $3.50 and read what she is planning to do with it and I have NO DOUBT she is one creative and talented lady- look what she did with this paint can!