Example: one week I buy four jars of our favorite spaghetti sauce but make dishes that use two cans of cream of chicken soup, spaghetti and a pie crust, all of which I purchased in weeks past. I'm adding to our stockpile even as I'm using from it. What I add depends on coupons and sales. What I use depends on my whims (who are we kidding?).
The great trouble with moving is that you stop stocking the shelves and start using everything you own. Your grocery budget enjoys this greatly since it's really getting only half used up. Your creativity doesn't love this because you have to figure out what to do with four jars of spaghetti sauce in one week. And no one is happy when you finally get to where you are going and have to start stock piling again from scratch while actively buying what you are going to use since you have pretty much nothing except a lot of flour in the pantry.
And thus my shopping bills have not been pretty (unless you think giant, giant numbers are pretty).
A few weeks ago I tried buying ingredients for two weeks worth of meals. I spent $120 after coupons on food alone -- just about what I had wanted. It would've been no problem at all had I not gone back the next week and (even though I had supposedly already bought most of what I needed) spent another $60. Yikes. I meant to only spend $20. (Yikes again).
I think things are on the mend, however. Had a huge stack of coupons -- about $14 worth -- yesterday and after using them managed to spend $80, right on the budget for my two weeks of ingredients this time around (since next week is so short). I managed to buy a lot of things I'll use later that were also on sale + coupon. And I'll do a trip Monday for a small amount of things, most importantly car snacks for Dave (um... and me). And that should be that.
I'll declare this a tentative frugal win.
In other news, black Friday? Yeah I'm going to missing that this year because I'll be in a podunk town in South Carolina. The nearest decent shopping (that is not Walmart ... if you do count Walmart) appears to be 45 minutes away. We'll see if I can trick anyone into doing that with me. Really, I just want to go to Old Navy. I love black Friday at Old Navy.