$212.78 later I had a car full of groceries to feed my wonderful family for almost a month! That's a record for me. I used to easily pay double that for just 1-2 weeks of groceries.
TIP: MAKE A LIST!
-Make a list of meals
-then make a list of ingredients you need for each
-add on to the list other things you may need for snacks, lunches, etc.
-I even go so far as writing the approximate price next to each item on the list-rounding up to the nearest dollar.
-Add up how much and you can get an idea of what you're spending so you know if you need to take off or if you have it in your budget to add on.
-I always get a nice surprise at the register-Less than what I predicted I would spend.
TIP: If you're making meals;make enough for two or three of the same meal. You are buying all the ingredients and putting it all together anyway, might as well make more for later. It may be a few dollars more then, but worth it later. You're saving time and energy. It may not even be a few dollars more. You buy a sack of potatoes or onions because one recipe calls for some, why not double or triple the recipe. You get more meals out of the food you were already purchasing.
I freeze the extra dinners. Or all of them if I have bought so far in advance that the food would go bad if I didn't freeze them.
TIP: Freeze the same dinner in multiple bags. Just because the recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts does not mean you have to make all 4 at the same time. Just freeze into smaller portions. Unless you like leftovers. Our family does not eat leftovers.
flatten your frozen dinners to freeze. Once they are frozen you can stack them the way they are frozen or stand them up on their side, whichever if more space efficient for your freezer. Mine will probably stay this way.
So far I am liking this new system. It is very tiring, but it will save me time later that I can spend with my family in the evenings.