I have certainly found that I am no longer spontaneous when I go to the grocery store! Not that I didn't have a list before but now I don't even look at other sales. If it's not on my list I don't even look for it - I've done all my couponing and planning in advance so I consistenly spend less.
It's also amazing how my idea of a good deal has seriously changed! For the past 2 weeks Mac N Cheese crackers have been on sale 5/$5.00 and I have had a coupon for $1.00 off 2 making the boxes $0.50 each! Wow! Serious deal :) Well, it would be if they had the crackers in stock :( I already have a rain check - I'd like my crackers!
Because they didn't have exactly what I wanted I looked for something else and found other crackers that also qualify for the same $1.00 off coupon but of course these crackers are only on sale 2/$5.00 meaning my coupon made my crackers 2/$4.00 - at a previous time - say last year - I would've thought the 2/$5.00 was a deal! Now I know I could get more off and it's harder to spend the money. But I did and it's still a pretty good deal.
Even still I did pretty good though I only saved 50% today! Aagh :) No, it was fine - I had to pay full price for Velveeta - that hurts! But still I spent: $68.18 and saved just over $67.
Here's what I got:
Another thing that has changed is that I'm buying some different items. Today I bought cereal I probably wouldn't have considered otherwise - Banana Nut Cheerios - sounds weird but it was on sale :) Maybe it'll be good! That and Cinnamon Chex. Hmm, I'll go with it - I'll let you know.
I also spent $40 at Safeway because they had chicken breast on sale and at HT I used a raincheck to buy ground beef on sale so I'm still under budget (though I have another $15 to spend on milk and juice at Wegman's) but I bought enough meat to last me for the next two weeks so overall it was a good week.
The second part of planning is your meals. I look for new ideas everywhere because I get tired of the same thing. Some weeks I am excited and have lots of new stuff and other weeks I pull out old favorites and figure it out. This week I found a lot of new stuff and I'm excited! A big thanks to Kraft Food & Family who's magazine constantly brings me new recipes and inspiration (if you don't subscribe already I highly recommend you check it out):
Monday: Orange-Chicken Rice Bowl
Tuesday: Weeknight Lasagna Toss
Wednesday: Mac Chicken Cacciatore
Thursday: Tex-Mex Taco Dinner
Friday: Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Bake
Saturday: Date night