I’m so excited to have Ashley of Fiddle Dee Me as a contributor for the 64 dollar grocery budget series! Besides being fellow Star Wars fan and member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel, she loves Wegmans even more than I do. Wegmans has always been our “special occasion” store, where we buy amazing cuts of meat and exotic fruits and vegetables when we want to make a fancy meal at home. The tips that Ashley shares in this post are phenomenal. If you’re a Wegmans shopper, check out her article below.
When Amiyrah first asked for volunteers for her $64 grocery challenge, I didn’t know if I had the guts to try it out. We spend insane amounts of money on food, you guys. Right now, we’re eating a semi-Paleo diet and we’re consuming loads of vegetables, meat, and fruit. I thought this challenge would be a great way for me to see if we really need to be spending what we’re spending on food each week. And if I could manage to pull this off, it may mean parts of our food budget could be moved to paying bills or *gasp* savings. So, I signed up and took on the 64 dollar grocery challenge at our favorite grocery store: Wegmans.
If you’ve ever been to a Wegmans, you know why it’s so hard to stay on track with a grocery budget. They have the most amazing selection of food. They have amazing specialty foods, prepared foods, and quick cook meals. Their specialty items can get quite pricey and it’s easy to get caught up in the gourmet selections.
They also aren’t known for their sales. It’s rare to even find one or two items on my list that are on “sale”. Instead, Wegmans promises everyday low prices on a lot of their items. You can check the site before you visit for a flyer, but they don’t post them regularly and I find they’re not really worth the time. It’s more of an added bonus if something I want is on Shopper’s Club sale that week.
The only way to shop Wegmans on a budget is to plan, plan, plan.
I started by going through our fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what we had on-hand and what we needed. Because we’re eating mainly Paleo, we don’t have a ton of stuff in our pantry that needs replacing. We shop at a warehouse store once every two months and stock up on meats and canned goods. We also use our local farmer’s store for cow milk and eggs.
My biggest planning tip? Use the Wegmans website to create your shopping list! Yes, it takes a little bit of time to search through the items and create your list, but it’s so worth it. Not only will it track your estimated cost for you, but it also will tell you the exact location of each item in your store. This means you’re not wandering around and going off-list because you stumbled upon an aisle full of irresistible goodies. You can link your account to your Shopper’s Club card, which makes it easy to add past purchases to your list. This is perfect for staples like milk and eggs.
With my list loaded into my Wegmans app, I headed out to the store. I always plan to shop only the meat, produce, and dairy sections, with a quick stop in the pasta aisle to grab some spaghetti for the kids. I avoid the prepared foods, bakery, and bulk sections at all costs. I know I can get caught up in the pretty food and end up blowing my budget in an instant. Also, I prefer to shop early in the morning or late at night so I avoid the samples and other displays that end up suckering me in to buying something I don’t need.
One thing I love about Wegmans is their produce department. They sell a wide variety of produce and their Wegmans Organic brand is super affordable.
One big tip regarding Wegmans’ produce: use the scales to weigh your items and print price stickers. This way you know exactly how much you’re spending and you save tons of time in the checkout lane because the cashier doesn’t need to decipher every type of vegetable you’re buying.
For the first time ever, I brought along a calculator and entered every item as I went along. I had a couple of “if I have room” items on my list and realized I would have money for those because I knew exactly what I was spending. I hit $56.18 when my list was finished and I knew I had room to grab some eggs and a package of chicken tenderloins.
My grand total: $63.14!
I was pretty proud of myself and realized that shopping on a budget at Wegmans is very possible as long as you plan. I also bought only what I needed this week, no extras. I am going to try my hardest to make it through these 5 days without stepping foot in Wegmans again and I look forward to taking this challenge on my next trip. I know I won’t always be able to stick to $64 on weeks I need to replenish meats, but I do know that I can be mindful of my shopping habits, make a plan, and stick to it. Thanks, Amiyrah!
Dinners for the week:
Salmon Cakes with veggies and homemade mayo
Cauliflower soup and chicken fingers
Frittata and fruit
Muffin Tin Meatloaf with spinach cakes
Way to go, Ashley! She did so well. Are you a Wegmans shopper? Do you have any tips to add to Ashley’s list? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for more grocery inspiration? Check out the 64 Dollar Grocery Budget Series at Target: