Grocery Challenge: Month 1

I made it!! For the month of May, we spent. .  .

$299.25!! Just under my goal of $300. Smile 

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As a reminder my overall goals for the challenge were:

  • Use Pantry/freezer items –> YES!
  • Buy staples only on sale –> getting better.
  • Buy only what is needed for the week ahead –>YES
  • One weekly trip to the store(s) –> YES
  • Menu plan weekly and start by looking at the pantry, freezer and fridge and seeing what I can work with that we already have or will go bad soon
    –> this is going really well and is very helpful for meal planning!!
  • Start using coupons – I started following our local grocery stores (HyVee and Cub Foods) on Twitter and signed up for weekly emails from Cub Foods and I am going to start checking out some online coupon sites.
    –> still just using the Cub coupons we get in the mail. Haven’t had a whole lot of success with online coupons or anything on Twitter.
  • Go vegetarian for one dinner each week –> Done. Usually eggs.
  • Take Jodi’s advice and check out Wal-Mart for cheaper prices –> haven’t taken the plunge yet!
  • Continue to bring my own bags – it’s only 5 cents, but each little bit helps, right? –> Yes!

Overall, a really really good month. When I started the challenge, I really didn’t know if my $300 goal was even attainable given how much we were spending .. up to $425+ each month. ..

My number one tip so far has been using the cash in an envelope. It helps to curb spending so much knowing you just have a certain amount to spend per trip. It also forces you to really look at prices. It has raised my awareness of prices of items and has made it easier to comparison shop as well. We continue to go to Cub Foods as well as Sam’s Club each week. Staples for us at Sam’s include: milk and fruit weekly (+eggs and chobani yogurt once per month ). **We also buy toilet paper, paper towels, etc at Sam’s, but we keep a separate household items budget that isn’t part of our grocery budget.

I am so happy that we are doing this challenge, and I am looking forward to keeping it going for the next 2 months.  ..

after the next 2 months, I anticipate increasing the budget somewhat after our pantry and freezer stash is depleted, but more on that later!!

I know quite a few of you have being doing your own grocery challenge too – any tips to share or things you learned from this month??

Missed my previous updates? Check them out here!

11 Comments

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11 Responses to Grocery Challenge: Month 1

  1. way to go katie! i am impressed at the budgeting skills.
    kendra @ kennygump recently posted..an adjustment and some dark short storiesMy Profile

  2. That’s awesome! Does that $299 include the pre-prepared meals you purchased? If so, AMAZING!!!! I’ve been doing better when it comes to spending money on food, although I’m not great at separating out household essentials (TP, etc.) from my grocery bill. Do you separate them at the register? I am much to lazy/busy to go through a receipt and separate them 😉 I am going to post an amazing vegetarian meal and Monday and maybe one later in the week if I get around to it – They’d be good for your meatless nights!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..My First MarathonMy Profile

    • KT

      Yes it does inculde the Let’s Dish meals!! Which makes me even more excited! 🙂 When I am at the register, I separate out household items from groceries, so I can pay for the groceries with the cash I am using and the other stuff with the credit card. Suoper exicted about your vegetarian meals!!

  3. Congrats on meeting your goal for the first month! I think the leftover pennies should go in the FroYo jar! Hope you don’t mind, but I put a link to your grocery challenge in a comment yesterday on Hungry Runner Girl. She was asking about grocery planning, and I thought her readers could find some helpful tips & advice from you! Happy National Running Day!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Mountain Born – Kuhl Aktiv Pant ReviewMy Profile

  4. Way to go!!! That is a huge accomplishment!
    Melanie @ BeautifullyNutty recently posted..The New HairdoMy Profile

  5. This is super impressive, Katie! Good for you. I’ve considered doing the cash-only approach before, but I worry about the hassle at the register. I can see how it would be eye-opening though!

    Thanks for the inspiration–I might have to try something like this!!
    Kim @ healthy nest recently posted..Running on the cheapMy Profile

  6. Good job, I should really try this. I make unnecessary trips to the store when I should just eat whats in the house! I told my husband I would not buy more cereal until him and my step son eat whats in the house first. my grocery bill is pretty unreal, and why!? ugh makes me mad, lol
    sara @ fitcupcaker recently posted..WIAW- Vacation Eating & Tips For Staying On TrackMy Profile

  7. Rock on with your bad and thrifty self! I am so happy for you. This week I took out $200 for the week. I realize there are 4 of us and two of them are teenagers/pre-teens, but I struggled with it for one week! I probably would have gone WAY over if it hadn’t been for two things:
    #1) Your blog. Seriously, I think about what you’re doing and it inspires me.
    #2) Buying a house (that’ll scare anyone into pinching pennies!).
    Stephanie@nowirun.com recently posted..Sunny Sentimental RunMy Profile