I am going to be doing a 3 month grocery challenge (and by default, Scott too!) for May, June and July.
We usually spend between $400-450 per month on groceries alone. . this doesn’t even include eating out!!
After doing some research, this doesn’t seem too unreasonable, but could be much lower! I would like our grocery budget be closer to $350-375 per month.
Now, onto the challenge. . . my goal is to spend $300 per month for the next 3 months.
While, I don’t think this would be sustainable for the long term, I think over the next 3 months I can use items in our overflowing pantry and freezer. And really start to concentrate on making smart choices at the store and making changes in our buying habits that will translate to more savings in the future. In the interest of full disclosure, Scott did make a Trader Joe’s today and bought $36 of “staples” –> dried fruit, peanut butter pretzels and honey roasted peanuts. We will also keep eating out about twice per week and sticking to our normal ‘eating out’ budget.
I will be keeping track of total money spent, amount per store and per week. I will also keep track of groups of foods: i.e. fruits and veggies, meat, carbs, snacks, impulse buys etc. and how much is spent on each one. I will also keep track of savings via coupons.
Also, to make sure that we don’t overspend, we are going old school with cash in an envelope.
When the cash is gone. . . that’s it! I think it will be easier to see where the money is going by handing over cash versus the credit card, where to be honest, half the time; I don’t even look at the total!
My overall goals for the challenge are:
- Use Pantry/freezer items
- Buy staples only on sale
- Buy only what is needed for the week ahead
- One weekly trip to the store(s)
- 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
- 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.
- Go vegetarian for one dinner each week
- Take Jodi’s advice and check out Wal-Mart for cheaper prices
- Continue to bring my own bags – it’s only 5 cents, but each little bit helps, right?
How much do you spend on groceries per week/month? And how do you keep your grocery spending down?? Any tips for me?