Friday, March 18, 2011

Will you do me a quick favor?

I'm doing a little survey and if you give me just a moment of your time, you could be eligible to win... 

Uh...  I didn't think this one through far enough, I guess.  I forgot to think of a prize.  BUT- if you give me just a moment of your time, I can promise that no salesmen will call or visit.  How's that? 

I'd like to know what you spend each month on groceries and household supplies (like toilet paper, toothpaste, Windex, etc.- all the things you rely on to keep the family running oh-so-smoothly every day). 

Even if you never comment, I hope you'll play along this time.  Crawl on up outta that hole and let us know you're alive.  You have nothing to lose.  Nothing to win, either- but definitely nothing to lose.  And no salesmen will call or visit. 

Leave me a comment with:
  1. The amount of your average monthly bill
  2. The size of your family
  3. Your approximate location  (And don't freak out.  I know some of my blogger friends try to be very careful about guarding personal details.  It doesn't have to be a specific location- keep it vague, "The Northeast," "Southwest U.S.," "Canada." Comment anonymously, if you'd rather, so nobody knows it's 'You.'   Besides, even if you say where you are, no salesmen will call or visit)
If you're feeling chatty, I'd also be interested to know:
  1. Do you do all of your shopping at one store for convenience, or do you go to several to get the best prices?
  2. Do you use coupons?  If so, how much do you think they save you each month?
  3. Would you like a salesman to call or visit?  ...Would you change your mind if I said he's good-looking?
Come on, guys...  You can do it.  It will take you ten seconds.  Maybe 30, if you're a crappy typist.  Please?  Pleeeeease?  I assure you, no salesmen will call or visit.

This is for no other reason than to satisfy my own curiosity.  I've been talking with local friends and family about grocery expenses and it just sparked my interest.  I always feel like I spend SO MUCH at the store, but I wonder what my bill would look like compared to ones from other parts of the country. 
I watched that show about people who spend all their time finding coupons and searching for good deals.  Have you seen it?  These folks are seriously hardcore savers, which is awesome, but it seems to take over their lives (Olivia watched it with me and she is now inundating me with coupons, trying to help- bless her heart- only some of her coupons are for things like $5.00 off at Garfield's restaurants...  Um...  Do poor people go out to eat?  I think not.  I had to ask where she was finding all these coupons, since we no longer take the newspaper.  I didn't get a complete answer.  She just "found them."  I suppose I should go around the neighborhood, asking if anyone is missing their newspapers...).  I feel like whenever I do use coupons, I actually end up buying things I wouldn't normally buy, or sometimes a more expensive brand vs. a cheaper store brand, which I think, is exactly what 'they' want me to do.  You know how 'they' are.

Thanks (!!!) for the input on the last post (about diet/health).  I was honestly surprised that anyone commented or emailed at all.  It was so long, I wasn't expecting you to finish the dumb thing, let alone want to comment. 

I got a couple helpful emails linking the sore armpits with the fevers.  I feel stupid (more so than usual, I mean) to admit it, but that hadn't occurred to me.  I was looking at the armpit thing as just another random nuisance.  Now, I totally see there could be a connection.  Duh.  As soon as our sitch improves, I'm hoping to get into a (different) doctor.  Thanks!

Also...  I can't be positive, but I'm fairly certain my hair is falling out (again/still).  Has nothing to do with anything.  Just tossing it out there to let you know how my day is going.  Is there anything sexier than a fat gal with no hair?   Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, guys.


Tamara said...

I spend about $400 a month for a family of six...and yes, I do use coupons. (I could do much better, but I've been letting Shad buy groceries lately.)
I used to think it was terribly hard and time consuming to do the coupon thing, but it really isn't. There's a website (run by a woman in Kansas City) that does the hard work for you. She compares the sales (from stores in our area) with the coupons you should have and posts the deals on her website. She even has a nifty little thing that allows you to click on the deals you want and print them off. I've been a bit of a slacker lately, but a friend of mine just bought 10 boxes of cereal for less than $2.50 total.
The site is
I think you know where I live, but if not, it's northeast Kansas. ;)
Need more info, email me - six sunflower seeds at gmail dot com.

Nicki said...

We spend around a thousand a month on groceries now. When we were broke, it went way down. So we buy things we don't need or brands that aren't on sale or aren't store brands now. There are six of us - two adults, two teenaged boys and two littles. I'll never do the couponing thing for all the reasons you mentioned and I , too, have seen friends get totally obsessed (and who needs another new hobby? Not me!). I did, though, shop sales when we were low on cash. Our grocer does these "meal deals" where you buy one thing and get the rest for free so we ate those, even if we didn't like the meal or thought it was unhealthy, all the time when we had to. I really resented it and actually feel like we never ate as unhealthy as we did when we were trying to make every penny count. Go figure. So all of that to say that when we had a budget to work with again, we budgeted $1500/month for food. We never use it but we come close sometimes.

Nicki said...

Oh and I live in Texas and only go to more than one store if the first ran out or doesn't carry something we need. We shop with a list, exclusively, created from a week's worth of food menus we pre-prepare. Now I"m oversharing. ha.

Anonymous said...

I think we spend about 200 a month on groceries. I don't really use coupons, unless I know I absolutely need that thing, for the reasons you mentioned. I shop at Wal-Mart for most groceries. Then, I go to Target for meats, specialty items (like ethinic stuff etc.) and for paper products (I buy Target brand b/c I like the price vs. quality). I buy Target brand stuff most of the time when I'm there. I sometimes go to the Target website and just go through their coupons online and print out the ones I know I can use when I'm there that day. I also plant a small garden in the spring/summer and grow my own herbs.

There are four of us- 2 adults and 2 small kids. We eat a couple of meals out a week, too. We live in South Alabama.

Katie said...

I'm in Ohio and I spend about $150 a week for 7 people (two adults and five kids 1 1/2 to 8 years old). That's not just food, though. That includes all cleaning supplies, toilet paper, diapers, beauty products, and the occasional pair of pants. We rarely eat out.

I watched that show, too, and it just amazed me. I have never been one to use coupons in the past, but I'm going to give it a try, now. Last week, I went through the store circular online and planned my meals around what was on sale. I ended up spending close to the same as usual since I bought some special things that trip, but I actually saved close to $50 on the stuff that I bought. I'm taking a couponing class tomorrow morning from a woman I go to church with who is constantly getting stuff for free (40 boxes of pasta this week--and she actually ended up MAKING $2.50 to take it out of the store!).

There is another site called that is national. You can plug in your state and your store and it will give you all of the deals and what coupons match up with them. It also gives printables.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I just wrote a gigantic comment and Blogger ate it. It's 3am and I need to try to get some sleep, so I will try again tomorrow!

Denise said...

Sadly, I coupon and still spend an exorbitant amount of money on groceries- about $100-$150 a week for a family of 4. Food is getting very expensive. We do try to buy a lot of organic and fruits and veggies- not much in the 'processed' realm- though some. It makes couponing hard as well. If you buy / eat processed foods, you definitely can plan your meals around what's on sale and save a ton with that and coupons.

I only shop 1 store if possible. And we also have a produce delivery service that costs $22 a week (they deliver meats too). This is included in my total above, though sometimes we exceed, sometimes less..

Don't let this scare you off of buying healthy if you want to. There are some ways to do it- farmers markets, organic coupon sites - many on fb etc.

a great resource for couponing so you don't spend your life working on it-- you just enter the item or brand you are looking for and it will tell you which coupon mailer it's in by date (pg- proctor and gamble, rp red plum, etc) So you don't cut coupons until you need them, and if you date the inserts from the paper when you get them, you can flip through your stack, find it in 2 seconds and cut it. VERY simple way. I save about $20-$30 a week with this combined with store sales and again- I don't buy a ton of processed stuff- just some.

Coupontom also has printable coupons sometimes from or other sources (if you don't get the paper).

a great website and fb page for learning how to save $ on this and other things is never pay retail again . Lots of helpful tips.

Couponmom listed above is a great way to find out what's on sale.

I live in NC. Good luck! and I feel so bad for you with the medical issues you posted. I hope you can find some relief soon and a way to get some help- no one should have to wait on medical care. Just horrible. ;( But you have a great sense of humor about you!

Tracy said...

I wrote it in Word first this time so I can retrieve it if Blogger eats it!

Here goes:
We spend about $500 a month at the grocery store (Kroger) and then another $350 at Costco and Wal-Mart for some groceries and cleaning supplies. We are a family of 5 in the Midwest. I try to buy some organic stuff, but I can’t afford to go all the way.
I have always used coupons, but I have started using them more. I think I used to save $25 a month, and now I save $50-$60. We don’t get the paper, but my MIL saves the coupons for me. I also use I don’t clip anything that I wouldn’t normally use. I try to combine my coupons with store sales, but it’s not always possible.

Even with a coupon, I make sure I check the store brand price. Sometimes the store brand is cheaper than the other item even with a coupon. It can be deceiving.

Don’t laugh, but I have an aisle by aisle grocery list as a Word doc (Aisle 1 – fruit, salad, potatoes, alcohol, frozen seafood; Aisle 8 – canned veggies, canned fruit, applesauce, mac n cheese, etc). I start with all of my coupons and mark the brands, quantities, sizes that I need on the list (under frozen veggies I would write 2-8oz Kroger brand). Then I go through the rest of the list and delete the items I don’t need that week. I try to plan a weekly menu before I make my list. It’s not necessarily day-by-day, but I make a list of seven or so meals and we just pick one each day.

I have also become more aware of expiration dates. If the yogurt is about to expire, the kids might get yogurt for lunch a couple of days in a row. If I buy a giant loaf of bread at Costco, they get PB&J, we have grilled cheese and soup for dinner, and maybe French toast for breakfast. I think we are starting to save a little money that way, too.

Single Mama to Ngoc said...

I spend around $50 a Month on groceries for a family of 3 (my Mom, myself and my 5yr old). When my Brother is home, my bill usually goes up to about $80 a Month. No I don't use coupons because I always forget them. But if you arrive early on most days, there are manager special's on meats, dairy & breads that are about to go past the best buy dates (usually 50%-75% off). I shop between Walmart and Aldi's. I cook almost every meal at home and we do eat out sometimes. I lost my job 4 yrs ago and after being unsuccessful in finding a new one, I'm now trying to build my own business, so money is super tight. I have also gotten my power bill down to less than $30 a month with basic habit changes (and we have one of the highest electrical rates in IL).

Anonymous said...

I'm so late to this party -- because of another party, but whatever. You know where I live, so I wont' bother mentioning that part, but:
1. I spend about $1000 a month on groceries and the various other sundries you get at the grocery store.
2. Family of 7, but our 6yo son eats as much as the adults in this family.
3. I dont' bother with coupons any more because getting the paper would cost more than we'd save and it doesn't feel worth my time to hunt them down online because they don't make coupons for fresh produce and REAL foods, and I try to not buy much processed stuff. I mean, I do buy it, don't misunderstand -- you know, some nitrite/nitrate free lunch meats and hot dogs every now and then, and breakfast cereals, but other than that, not much. Oh, okay, there are the corn chips. Not Doritos, just plain corn, and the other day I bought fruit snacks, but that was so I could use them as a visual aid for a class I was teaching at church about reading food lables and knowing what they mean. Scary stuff. Anyway, eating food created by God turns out to be more expensive than eating food created by a chemist. Too bad God doesn't publish coupons. Or is that that what seeds are? One more thing I need to start that I've been putting of . . .