Thursday, January 17, 2013

Groceries on a Budget

When Tim and I decided that I wouldn't go back to work full time, I decided to find ways for our family to save money, to help make up the difference. So, I instituted a $50 per week grocery budget. That's $200 per month, and for us about a savings of $100 (I was spending about $300 on groceries per month before). Food, toiletries and cleaning supplies all fall under the category. It doesn't include diapers and wipes, Stella has her own category in our monthly budget. On weeks where I need to by multiple toiletry items, I've been known to go over by like $10, but I don't think that's too shabby!

My mama can't believe I can do it, and she keeps asking me to tell her how. I'll do my best to lay it out over the course of a couple of posts, but I don't really have any secrets. I just set my mind to it, and do it. I rarely use coupons, but I am going to start trying to use more to stretch my $50 even further. I feed a family of three (Love Bean doesn't eat as much, but she does eat what we eat). In the book "Miserly Moms" she feeds a family of four on $50 a week.

I've found there are three things you MUST be willing to do if you want to make $50/week work for you.
1. You can't get to the store and be easily enticed by items not on your list. When I first started, I would only take my $50 cash into the store with me, so I wouldn't be tempted to go over and use my debit card.
2. You have to take the time to prepare and plan before you go. This usually only takes me a half hour to an hour.
3. You have to be willing to give up some of what I call luxury items. Like some name brand products, cookies that can easily be made at home, and other things like that. A specific example for our family, Love Bean rarely gets Gold Fish crackers anymore, she eats whatever crackers I buy for the rest of the family, or Meijer brand animal crackers.
Next post I'll go over my prepartion and planning process, how I shop the store, and what I purchased for $50 on my last trip to Meijer.

I'll leave you with one money saving tip I've found works for our family. I buy a box of the individually bagged chips about every month and a half. Even though at about $9 a box, they take a 1/5 for my budget that week, it actually saves us money over time. We were buying 2 bags of chips a week, which was costing us $6 (if they were on sale 2 for $6). So over 6 weeks, that's $9 vs $36, that's a savings of $27!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Jamie! I'm so impressed :)


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