*This will be a new weekly feature on the blog that will share how I stay within my new grocery budget and pictures of weekly eats. (Usually they won’t be this long winded, but a little explanation was needed this week so you understand why I’m doing this).
About a week ago I heard a word I’ve heard all too often in the past few years. It’s a word that brings back terrible memories for me of lost friends, tearful days, and obscene STRESS & WORRY.
The word I heard was LAYOFFS.
I’ve made a conscious choice to not discuss on the blog where or what I do in my ‘9-5’ job to maintain a level of anonymity.I believe at most I’ve stated that I am a Project Manager for a Telecommunications Company. This decision was not made so that I could bash my company without them finding out, I have absolutely no intention of doing that. I made that decision because I felt it was important to have a space that was my own that wouldn’t become a conversation on business calls. For the most part, my coworkers do not need to know that I installed window films last weekend or that I have a serious Pinterest addiction. However, I will mention that like many other companies, mine has been going through a large reorganization of personnel. This will be the 4th major round of layoffs that I’ve been through with the same company. There have been several other rounds of layoffs, but only 4 have seriously threatened my position.
The first time, my position was downsized. I floated within the company for a few months, jumping between temp jobs while management promised to find me a new position. I was eventually moved to a new team and a completely new job where I stayed for about a year before the next round of layoffs.
This next round I survived the cut and kept my position only to watch all but 2 of my friends/coworkers lose their jobs. It was devastating to watch, I can only imagine what they were going through.
A few months later I heard the dreaded word again and this time I was put on the ‘layoff list’. The list was never something we saw, but the story was that a manager would list out who they were letting go and then that would be passed to other management teams who had the opportunity to scoop you up if they had space on their team. I was lucky and had made a contact only 5 months earlier that gave me a chance on her team. This was in 2009.
While my manager changed shortly after I entered my new role, I have stayed on that team for 3 years. Now we’re at it again…
I don’t know yet whether I will have a job in the coming weeks so I’ve started making some adjustments to my budget just in case. It can’t hurt to save a little money even if I’m kept in this round.
[Maybe I watch a little too much reality TV, but I keep feeling like I’m in danger of being voted off the company island.] So I’m working to pad my piggy bank.
Very cool coin bank, that I cannot afford (even if I wasn’t worried about my job)
There are lots of ways to save money, namely getting rid of all non-essential purchases. I’ve already created a short list of what would immediately go if I do lose my job, such as cable, Netflix, various memberships, etc. However, I’m tackling my grocery bill first. Even if I keep my job, I plan on sticking to this budget going forward.
- Pay cash
- Weekly budget of $40
- Use Coupons
- Weekly Grocery Budget does not include my dogs food, but will include his treats
- When possible, make what you don’t need to buy (i.e. make cookies and bread instead of buying them)
- Consider buying in bulk
I know $40 isn’t possible for many households, but I’m a one person household so this shouldn’t be a problem. I’m also starting with a very well stocked pantry/freezer so I’m not having to eat only what I buy with the $40 each week. Often that $40 will go to replenishing items and I will stretch it out as much as possible with coupons.
These posts are always going to be about a week behind so I can show you both what I bought for $40 and some of the meals I made. This haul was purchased from 3 different stores and it cost me $39.29. How’s that for cutting it close!
Grocery Haul – 2/11/2012
1 very large bag of Spinach (this bag typically last me about 2 weeks and I use it almost everyday)
5lb Box of Cuties Clementines
1 Coconut Chocolate Chip Clif Bar (not pictured because I ate it during the grocery trip. Seriously good flavor, by the way)
Swanson Flavor Boost (Qty: 2)
Hormel ~1.5 lb Seasoned Pork Loin (Qty: 2)
Light Cream Cheese (Qty: 1)
Tyson Cooked Grilled Chicken Strips (Qty: 2)
Bolthouse Mocha Protein Drink (Qty: 1)
Palmolive Dish Soap (Qty: 2) – These technically aren’t part of my weekly eats because they were part of the doggie donation, but with coupons it was cheaper to buy them with the weekly groceries, instead of separately.
5lb Bag of Whole Carrots (my dog eats these instead of boxed dog treats)
White Sugar – 4lbs
I didn’t take any pictures of the coupons I used, but I had a stack of them to keep the Albertsons bill low. One coupon was for a free pork loin so it saved me $10 right away. Coupons may seem like a lot of work, but without coupons the Albertsons trip would have cost me $52.93, well over my entire weekly budget.
I also want to point out that I rarely eat out, and cook almost all my meals at home, so this budget is not being supplemented with any ‘eating out’ money. Here are some of the meals/foods that I made.
DARK CHOCOLATE NO BAKE OATMEAL COOKIES
These were my sweets for the week (made using some of the sugar from this weeks grocery trip). I should also note that these lasted a total of two days…thinking they would last a week was more than a little hopeful.
Spinach Salad with Walnuts, Feta, Grilled Chicken Strips, Cilantro Dressing
Breakfast for Lunch (using leftovers)
Eggs, Toast, Rosemary Potatoes, Feta, Avocado
Banana Mocha Smoothie
Turkey Burger with Spinach & Fontina
Simple Lemon Pasta
Whole Wheat Pasta, Lemon Juice, EVOO, dried Italian herbs, garlic powder, panko, parmesan
What tips do you have to same money on groceries? Any other coupon lovers out there?