1. 25.00 will buy a decent amount of things on sale OR can be used to buy bulk items like flour or sugar without breaking the bank.
2. I had 25.00 to spare per week because that was 1/2 of the money I was spending on diapers for my son now that he's pretty much potty trained (he's six and autistic, so I was thrilled when this step entered our lives :).
If you don't have 25.00 to spend on rebuilding your pantry, my suggestion would be to figure out what you CAN eek out of your meager budget and make it work. Could you skip a week without having to buy meat to use that money for something else? Instead of buying the kids potato chips for their lunches could you get away with something different but cheaper? Even if it's only 10.00, 10.00 will buy you ten cans of fruit or vegetables on sale (or if you have a bulk store near by like I do, you could get 12 cans on sale for 7.99 if you buy a flat, etc), or 8 bags of frozen veggies to restock your freezer. Get what I mean?
So, anyway, this is what I bought this week with my 25.00. What I ended up doing was that I haven't had to buy diapers the last month because of the son potty training, but I kept my grocery budget (currently sitting at 150.00 a week for my family of four) the same and deducted the 25.00 per week from that.
The past four weeks I bought different things to rebuild my pantry and freezer (both of which were sitting pretty much completely empty when I started)...
Week 1: Bought two flats of green beans, 12 cans each, for 7.99 a piece on sale at Three Bears (our local bulk store that doesn't require membership fees). Saved the rest for the next week. So, I spent 14.98 and had 10.02 left for the next week.And so here we are on week five. What I got in all it's miscellaneous glory is above. I shopped at a combination of Carrs (5.00 Fridays rock) and Three Bears (where I tend to go to find cheap cleaners and such).
Week 2: Got 12 boxes of rice pasta from Amazon for 27.15 on sale (it's more expensive now sadly). So, I used part of the 10.00 from the previous week to make up the difference. Although I still had 7.87 left from the previous week after I made up the overage.
Week 3: Bought one flat of fruit cocktail from Three Bears for 11.00 and some change. And also bought 30 lbs of sugar for 5.00 per bag at Carrs with Just 4 U savings (it's an E-Coupon program that I love. I get "individualized prices" based on my shopping history with them and they are good deals!). Total 26.00 for that week. Overage left from previous weeks 6.87.
Week 4: Bought five value packs of chicken, as heavy as I could possibly find, at Carrs during 5.00 Friday. Spent a total of 25.00 on chicken and filled one shelf of my freezer with chicken thighs and drumsticks. It was a good day!
So a quick breakdown of what I got?
- 1 container cat litter: 5.00 on sale because of 5.00 Fridays. This is actually a stock up price for me. I had some in my laundry room already, but I'm determined not to run out of cat litter and have to buy it at regular prices again. Man it's expensive regular price and you literally throw that money away!
- 1 two lb. bag of brown sugar. 2.26 (Just 4 U personalized price) at Carrs.
- 1 Welch's Farmer's Market Grape Juice (all natural not from concentrate, yada yada): 2.50 on sale at Carrs (I've been trying as part of my normal grocery budget to pick up at least one container of juice per week to try and get my daughter to drink more of that and less other things that aren't so good for her, like soda)
- 1 container of Kleenex (we all have colds right now): 1.25 (Just 4 U personalized price)
- 2 containers of vegetable oil: On sale 2 for 5.00 at Carrs (daughter requested fried chicken and I was also out, so I got two. Great price, too!)
- 1 can refried beans .99 (Just 4 U personalized price)
- 1 package Guittard Baking Chips 3.50 on sale (son is deadly allergic to peanuts and these are one of the few types of chocolate chips that are peanut free).
- 1 container of generic Lysol 1.50 (at Three Bears)
- 1 container generic Windex 2.50 (at Three Bears on sale)
- 1 Scotchbrite sponge .69 (regular price Three Bears)
- 2 pack Latex gloves (planning on doing more in depth cleaning with things like Borax around here) 2.49 (Three Bears)