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[Comments] (6) [Trackback URL for this entry] : We are trying something new with grocery purchasing in our household this year. I'm on a budget! This month I have $250 to spend on groceries, baby food and Target stuff (toiletries, diapers, wipes etc.) We are also participating in a money saving project going on at the Mommysavers message board. In January we went on a three-week spending freeze - necessities only. Now we are on a modified spending freeze. We can buy some "wants" but they have to be on our approved spending list for 24 hours before we can buy them. This is supposed to limit impulse purchases, which aren't a huge problem for us. However, I haven't put any treats on the approved list, so I've been baking a lot. In fact, I just made some gingerbread. If it's any good, I'll post the recipe later.

So, with the spending freeze, I was able to keep $25 under the budget last month. Making a menu plan for the week really helps me save money and stick to my budget. Plus, it's nice to already know what I'm making for dinner.

John and I are also trying to stock up on some food storage and other items, according to a little schedule we got in our ward. I cleaned out the cupboard in our laundry room to store some extra stuff in, and I found a card telling me that my washer costs $8 a year to operate - based on 8 loads a week and we only do about 3. It will certainly pay for itself soon.

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Sun Oct 14 2012 21:58: Titan from Titan

We are trying something new with grocery purchasing...


Posted by Alyson at Tue Feb 05 2008 20:07

I don't know HOW to make $250 work for a month of groceries AND household!?!?! Wow. We currently budget $500/ month for groceries and $150 for household, but I am happy to report I was $55 under budget for groceries, and 1/3 of our household budget went to stamps for holiday letters. At least we stayed on budget with our household items. The household budget is tricky with gardening time gearing up, and we don't have gear to "gear-up" with. You inspire me, Susie.

Posted by Kristen at Wed Feb 06 2008 09:06

Yes, I would like to know what kinds of things you make for dinner to keep it that low. It seems like the times I make menus I spend even more. That's basically like $50 a week for food. Milk and cheese alone is $10 of it and that isn't even a meal! Do you live off bread and water? ;)

Posted by John at Wed Feb 06 2008 09:46

Kristen: Eating out has a separate budget of $50 a month, so that would make the grocery budget a little more robust (the $50 a week only has to cover six days, not seven). Also, I get lunch and dinner at work about 1/3 of the time, so that helps too.

Alyson: I know this is heresay to some people, and I wish I was a greener consumer, but we just cannot swallow the cost of most organic things. We loved when you took care of us that week after Maggie was born, but honestly for me I'd rather eat plain old food and save the rest for a fun trip, college funds, etc. So I can totally see you spending that much on food. Plus, you have two hungry boys at home, and we have a little button that doesn't eat a whole lot.

But I cannot fathom $150 for household. Buying Swiffer rags, dish soap, and laundry detergent doesn't cost us that much. So it may be that our definitions of household items are different.

Posted by Susie at Wed Feb 06 2008 15:00

I think it is too difficult to separate household from food. I'm afraid gardening gear will have to come from somewhere else.
Kristen, if you are spending more when you plan meals, then you aren't planning the right meals. Planning meals saves money when you plan it around things that are on sale. You guys probably eat WAY more meat than us too. (Poor John.)
I wrote an article on saving money on food: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/541437/money_saving_food_tips.html
Some tips I posted elsewhere:
I stock up on items when they are on sale, such as canned goods. I don't have to pay 85 cents for a can of beans because I bought a bunch at 44 cents when they were on sale. I keep a full pantry. I add sale items that go in my pantry to my list when I look at the sale flyer, and plan my menu around fresh items that are on sale. I make a lot of my own baby food (although I don't think that saves much, other than applesauce and bananas) and feed her what we are eating as often as possible.
I buy meat in bulk packages to get a cheaper per pound. We don't eat meat at every meal. 1 chicken breast will feed us both, plus lunch the next day, same with ground beef, I never use 1 whole pound.
I buy generics, and ALWAYS buy toiletries, diapers and wipes with coupons. PG Brandsaver
I bake my own treats - soft pretzels, muffins instead of cereal bars, cookies, etc. Junk food and snacks are not on the approved spending list!
I also steal canned food from my MIL's food storage room.

Posted by Kristen at Wed Feb 06 2008 15:39

Yeah, I usually make dinner around 2-3 chicken breasts or a pound of beef. I guess I do have little mouths to feed...they are both hearty eaters. Aaron always has dinner leftovers for the next day and sometimes two days in a row. Have you heard of couponsense.com? It might work for you in Utah but in SA there is only one real grocery store besides Walmart and Target.

Posted by Rachel at Sun Feb 10 2008 11:19

Hm. I am spending about £10-15 per week on food but things are more expensive here. I really shocked the convener at a seminar I went to when I told him I couldn't go out to dinner because that was my grocery bill for the entire week. But I am living on a poor college student diet that I wouldn't wish on anyone: pb&j, pasta with tomato sauce (made from canned tomatoes), homemade soup... I NEVER buy meat except salami for lunch meat occasionally. I would like to be able to buy more expensive things and have more variety but I'd rather have the money to go out occasionally, I suppose.

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