(We met Laura last week over homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Today, she is back to talk about how she donates groceries to her local food pantry each week while spending just $7. Laura also shares her favourite deal/frugal living/coupon sites which make this possible. I love that she’s included the Money Saving Mom, as it’s one of my favourites as well. I would also add The Budget Mommy and Mojo Savings to the list.)
I suspect Gina is enjoying every minute with a bundle of joy. Gina tweets and blogs about a variety of cool stuff so similar to my own life — from vintage to food allergy — so I don’t think she’ll mind a guest blog about one of my mom issues: budgets, grocery shopping and the local food pantry.
My kiddo has A LOT of food allergies and intolerances (but that’s another entry), so our grocery bill is a bit outrageous. I don’t buy many items in boxes or cans, processed foods, simply because all the label-reading can be a full time job. Plus, I’m kind of a wicked good cook — I must be, judging from the size of my backside.
But I digress…
Just because I can’t buy much in the form of non-perishables doesn’t mean they are bad foods. Every week I have a $7 budgeted amount for the Salvation Army food pantry. The kid and I drop this off on Thursdays after school. I’m not sure she understands, but does answer, “yes” when the receptionist asks her, “Did you bring groceries for us?”
I have four coupons from last week’s Sunday SmartSource coupon flier for $1 off Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese. The kiddo is allergic to wheat, but considering I ate Kraft Mac & Cheese every day for 4 years in college and many years after, it’s okay. It’s also on sale this week at Publix, BOGO free, the regular price is $2.59.
Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese, BOGO at Publix
4 boxes at $2.59/2 = $5.18
Less: $1/1 x 4 coupons = -$4.00
$1.18 for 4 boxes of Kraft Homestyle Mac & Cheese
Campbell’s Select Harvest Soup, BOGO at Publix
2 cans at $2.39/2
Less: .40¢ off 2 coupon (Publix also doubles coupons) = -.80¢
$1.59 for 2 cans of Campbell’s Select Harvest Soup
Welch’s Juice, on sale 64 oz for $2.88 at CVS
Less: A $1 coupon off that I printed from coupons.com
$1.88 for 64 oz of Welch’s juice.
Special K cereal, on sale for 2/$5 at Rite Aid
Less: a BOGO coupon that I printed from the manufacturer’s web site
2 boxes for $2.50
I’m slightly over my $7 budget, but for just $7.15, this Thursday we’ll be able to drop off:
4 boxes of Homestyle Mac & Cheese
2 cans of soup
1 64 oz Welch’s Grape Juice
2 boxes of Special K cereal
I know it isn’t much, and it will take a couple stops at the various stores. We have a long daily commute to school, so it isn’t a big deal to stop each night on the way home.
If you’re interested in saving, the resources I’ve come to use are:
I allotted $7 for the food pantry, but if you have a couple extra bucks this week, there are some more items you can add. Hormel Chili is on sale at Kroger for .79¢ if you buy 10 participating products. They have the pull-top lid, so they’re convenient to eat out of the can. Also, 64 oz Mott’s Apple Juice is $1.49 and one of the included 10 products.
Qty 9 Hormel Chili @ .79¢ = $7.11
1 Mott’s Apple Juice at $1.64
It doesn’t sound like much, but then again, I had dinner tonight.
(Thank you, Laura!)