Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deal or No Deal? :-)

My friend Jennifer at All Things Frugal wrote a thoughtful blog today about her shopping experience at Publix. I have been thinking along those very same lines this week. I have a goal that I want to spend by the end of the month, but I also don't want to miss any really good sales. So, in trying to figure out how to plan and shop on a budget that works for my family, I made up the following list.... however, it is based upon the fact that I make up a menu plan for our family.... and for us and budgeting that is key.

When I look through the grocery circulars and get ready to shop the BOGO's or coupon deals...I'll ask myself these questions:

1. What staples does our household need this week?
This assumes that I made a menu, and it takes into account the fresh food, and groceries I will need. Perishables. Sometimes, it will be a meat that I planned our weekly menu around, or vegetables and fruit. Milk is always a staple much so, that if I could, I'd consider purchasing a dairy cow! (just kidding-sort of) lol! Then after I figure out the staples, I see how much that will add up to. That way I can see what kind of wiggle room I'll have in the budget.

2. Does this work into the menu plan for the week?
Secondly, when I see some things, I'll see if they can work into the menu plan for the week. Or if the might fit next week's menu plan. For instance my family has not had pizza in a while, so since it is on sale I'll add it to next week's lunch menu, and I'll have less to buy for next week.

3. Is this something my family needs/eats/uses?
If it is something that we may use, and I'm sure the kids would eat it.... I may get it. If it's a really good deal. But, perhaps not in large quantities. If we use it alot, like the honey I just bought on sale at Publix for $0.50 each.... I will snap it up. Currently, CVS is having a great sale on M&M's, and while we could use them for Valentine's Day, or to give away to friends....both dh and I are watching what we I will pass on this product. (Even though I know I could get ECB's with it). What a great thing...ECB's and Candy! Tempting me for sure.... but I'll stick to my plan.

4. Is this the best deal I can get?
Again, if it isn't the greatest deal I can find then I let it go. I'll know if there is room in the budget, and if I'm willing to pay $x.xx for the item.

5. If the deal is really good, can I alter the menu plan?
If I found chicken $1.99 a pound again, I would snap it up in a heart beat and use it for next week's menu, or freeze it. Or like Crystal at Money Saving Mom.... finding free range eggs by the dozen for $0.20 each. I'd snap that up in a heartbeat, and we would be having a lot of eggs that week. The rest of the menu's could be pushed back until the next week.

I think the most important thing I am learning is this: There will always be another good deal. I need to remember that...I don't have to get caught up in buying now, in case I miss out.... Sometimes I personally get a little frenzied thinking...I don't want to miss this or that. As long as I am working on stretching our families budget, I'll hear of the deals when they come. (Like the recent triple coupons at Bi-Lo). It will come around again, and so will other good deals. I just need to incorporate the ones that work for our family.

1 comment:

jeannie said...

Dont forget that we are having an Homeschool Valentine PARTY
Go buy the M&M's.... (LOL)

I totally get what you are saying. I am in the process of making out my list, then I just read that BILO is 3x again.

What to do! Who knew getting such great deals whould send us in a frezzy...(LOL) Not knowing what to do!