Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How did I determine our grocery budget?

That is the question of the day. How did I determine the dollar amount of our grocery budget? Well... I chose $400.00 for my family of five. How did I choose it? Well... First let me tell you the grocery spending habit I had created in our home and the changes I had to make.

I am a foodie and for me going into a grocery store is like going in hungry, which is sooo wrong. The first rule is never go shopping when you are hungry. The other problem I had was I would start to plan meals going down the grocery isles. Big mistake. I was like Oooh that sounds great!! Aahhh, that sounds delish, in the cart it would go. There was no menu plan (written down) and that was one of my biggest problems. The other big problem was that I was wasting food. It is a shame to throw food away due to spoilage.

So, when I used to get home from my grocery shopping trips I found I'd be missing items to complete the meals. Then I would have to go back to the store for a few items and then came back with more items than I intended to purchase. I would also change meal ideas and then back to the store for other stuff. Then there was eating out too many times. I would guess that my grocery spending was well over $800.00 a month. I have no firm amount, due to DENIAL and was scared to really come to grips with it.

So, I decided that if I didn't change my ways I would end up going to F.A.A. (Food Addictions Anonymous) or S.A.A. (Spending Addiction Anonymous). LOL If these groups are real I apologize in advance. I was only poking fun at myself. I was out of control and in severe denial.

In order to change my ways I had to have a plan. These are the things that I would have to tackle and put to work.

1) Get Organized!
2) Take Inventory of Pantry, Freezer and Fridge.
3) Write a Menu Plan with items on hand.
4) Don't be Wasteful. Find ways to use food to eliminate spoilage.
5) Determine a Weekly Grocery Budget.
6) Grocery shop only once a week.
7) Award my Family/Myself if I stayed on or below budget, by putting leftover grocery cash into our vacation/Christmas fund.

My goal in the next 10 weeks is to live simply on the stockpile I have in my pantry and freezer. I am only to purchase the basics like dairy and produce. I am not purchasing processed foods and mixes and am trying to make homemade if at all possible. I've been canning, drying fruit and stocking up for winter. I will be journaling along the way and will determine what works, what challenges I had to overcome and what changes I will have to make.

Now.. How did I come up with $400.00 a month? Well it was what I thought was about half of what I was spending. I guess I could have tried to lessen the amount too, but I'm taking baby steps. This is an experiment for me, we'll see how I do. I'm not sure if it will be feasible after the 10 weeks once the stockpile is down, it will help me to be creative and coupon clip too. But for now there is a goal in mind and I like a challenge.

Be Inspired to Challenge Yourself!


Jeana said...

You will be so happy once you see the progress. I spend on average about $45 a week on groceries and another $100 a month at Costo for the bulk items like bags of chicken, frozen veggies and water for lunches. I also find it helps to put aside some money for food storage items and stocking up on "great deals" . For example last week Albertsons had Hersheys choc.chips for $1 a bag, I used money from my food storage budget instead of shorting my self $10 from the weekly buget for chocolate. I did the same thing for soup at Winco so now I am out of food storage money for a while, but have enough of both items for the next 6 months. You did a great job explaining your strategy, I think this post will be really inspirational to people who are also trying to cut back. Give those cheeks kisses for me! J

Anonymous said...

Good for you! It's amazing how much money we end up throwing away when we waste food. I shudder to think how many dollars I threw into the kitchen trash.

I spend $80-$100 a week for the six of us, so that's somewhere around $400 a month or so.


Anonymous said...

I think we are about $50 a week and then a big Costco trip that includes diapers and such for about $150. We honestly eat really simple and during times like these in our economy, I feel really good about that. I have been doing a grocery budget for about a year now, and I think I am honestly always tweaking it and changing it. When I am pregnant, it changes...the girls are eating more now...lots of change all of the time. Way to go!!