Do you ever buy household items like toothpaste or laundry detergent?
How are you surviving if you only buy mostly produce items?
Well, I'm glad you asked. I don't want people to get the wrong idea about how we grocery shop. We don't eat only fruit and some veggies. We eat meat (though probably less than the average American.) We eat nuts, dairy products, and grains. I've only been tracking my shopping on this blog for a few months (2-3 months maybe.)
What you see now is a product of a lot of things. For one, I have a large amount of meats, cheeses, bread, frozen veggies, nuts, and pantry items stored either in our pantry or chest freezer. I stocked up on those items when they were on sale. I also save a bunch each summer from our garden bounty (and my sister's garden bounty!)
If you had seen those shopping trips, my weekly totals may have been $60-$90 depending on what and how much I purchased. But because I spent so much during those times, I now only have to spend $20-$40 each week to put together a solid meal plan.
And since it was summer, it helped a lot that our garden was producing so many great berries and veggies.
We are currently going through our stockpile and eating up anything in the back of the pantry or the bottom of the freezer. I hate to waste. That's "hate" with a capital H. So we go through and clean it up every once in a while.
As far as household items go...I don't buy them. And you won't see me buy them (unless they were free and part of some other plan) for the next 2 years or so. Say what?
Last year, I learned about the drugstore game. I played it for about 8 months. I played it hard. I ended up with enough toothpaste, shampoo/conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, makeup, sanitary items, razors, lotions, dishwasher detergent, hand soap, dish soap, cold medicine and pain relievers to last me for many years.
So I donated a bunch. I stocked up a few local food shelves, gave a bunch to family and friends, and then I quit the grocery game.
I left our family with about 2 years worth of supplies. And so you won't see any of those things purchased during my grocery trips.
And you won't see me head to a drugstore anytime soon. I'm glad I'm done playing "the game." My grocery shopping is so much simpler now.
I only shop 1 or 2 stores per week, maximum. If there's a great deal somewhere, I'll ask the store I'm shopping that week to price match, or I'll just skip it.
After awhile, you realize that sales come in cycles and a good sale will always come back. And if it doesn't, so what. There are more important things to worry about. :)
If you are interested in finding out more about the drugstore game, I recommend you check out The Centsible Sawyer or Money Saving Mom.
Both of these gals do a great job summarizing the deals at various drugstores and have the gist of how to play the game somewhere in their sites. You can also check out A Full Cup or Hot Coupon World. They always run the deals each week (and sometimes way in advance.)
But be careful. It can be addicting and it can be wasteful. You need to know when to stop and if it's too stressful for you, then just stop.