A 64 dollar grocery budget can seem daunting, especially in a store like Target. With it’s vast array of items, from furniture to gardening items, and clothing (my favorite section), you wouldn’t think that a small grocery budget would fair well at Target. Well, I took on the challenge of using our weekly 64 dollar grocery budget to see how far I could stretch it at our local Target. Here are some tips that might help you shop wisely at Target.
Proteins Come First
It looks like proteins are the highest price at Target, so they will take up a big chunk of your budget. If you shop the meat area first (if you eat meat), then you’ll be able to see how much of your budget will be left once you throw those items into your cart. On this trip, we found 1 pound of ground beef for 4.49 with a 1.00 off coupon on each package. This was a bit high for our budget, but I knew that I would be able to stretch 2 pounds within 4 meals. I also grabbed an almost 4 pound chicken for 1.89 a pound. Again, a bit high for us, but I know how to stretch a roast chicken like nobody’s business.
Check the Fruit and Vegetable Aisle for Deals
From proteins to fresh fruit and vegetables may seem like an obvious transition in your shopping experience, but there is a reason why it’s so simple. If you’re looking to stretch your proteins, hearty vegetables are what you’ll want to invest in next. On this trip, I found sliced mushrooms and pints of strawberries on sale 2 packages for 3.00, and a 5 pound bag of russet potatoes for 1.99. I did grab an 8 ounce bag of fresh Green Giant asparagus for 1.99, even though I knew the price was high. I had a great idea for a few meals using it, so it went into the cart. If you don’t eat meat, this is where you can allot your protein budget to stock up on vegetables and alternate proteins like mushrooms and tofu (which they had in the produce section).
Search Aisles for Supplemental Meal Items
Once you get the most expensive parts of your budget filled, you can start looking for side dishes and other forms of protein to add to your cart. I knew that I wanted to search for great deals on beans, whole wheat pasta, canned fish, canned tomatoes, and frozen vegetables. It turned out that all of these items, except the beans, were at decent prices. By purchasing the Market Pantry brand from Target, I saved an amazing amount. I was impressed with the prices of Market Pantry items all over the grocery section. One of my favorite finds was a sale on frozen vegetables. I got 5 bags for 3.97, plus I used a mobile coupon to get them 5% lower. Did you know? Most “store brands” really are the name brands just with a no-frills package. By not paying for the “label” you’re getting the same product for a lower price, so take advantage!
Stock up on Dairy (or non-dairy) Items
In our family, this section of our grocery budget is the last one we allot for when we shop. We have 2 kids that drink soy/almond/coconut milk a husband that loves 2% milk by the gallon and a mom (me) who can only have lactose free milk, but doesn’t drink it very much. Dairy is loved here, but we can do without it from time to time, which is why we grab it last if the price is right. Target had a dozen eggs for 99 cents, so I grabbed 4. This will provide yet another protein for our meals for the week. I also grabbed 2 bags of shredded cheddar cheese to use for 2 meals during the week. Since I was out of milk, I grabbed Market Pantry 2% lactose free milk and Market Pantry 2% milk for my husband. One last purchase was a 32 ounce tub of plain yogurt that will be used in recipes for the week, and for the kids’ snacks.
Use the Cartwheel by Target App!
This is essential to shopping responsibly at Target. Their Cartwheel app saved me over a dollar off my groceries. That may not seem like much, but when those savings are off of cheese, milk, tortillas, canned tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries and frozen vegetables, you thank the mobile app gods for those extra pennies. Then, while wrapping up our shopping trip, I spied this treasure:
This is where Target wins. They release great coupons like this through text messages, the Cartwheel app and as a printable on their website. I immediately went from spending about 68 cents over budget to almost 10 dollars under! Want to know what our final tally was?
Total paid was 53.08 after the Cartwheel app savings and the surprise 10 dollars off. I essentially had 7 dollars to use to either update a few of our finds to organic products, stock up on more fruits and veggies, or save for next week’s budget. I also purchased enough items to take care of breakfast, lunch and dinner for six days (with one day dedicated to leftovers). To see what meals I created from this grocery score, check out this post: 64 Dollar Grocery Budget – Target Breakdown.
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