*After a couple of my friends asked me about how the month went, I remembered I needed to write an update on our totally (not so) interesting month of going cheap on groceries.
-Go HERE if you want to read my first post about challenge.
During the month of August I challenged myself to try and restrict our grocery spending to $100. We normally spend $500 or more to feed our family of 5 a mostly organic diet (this includes bulk purchases, stockpiling what I can find on sale, etc.). I knew that spending $100 was definitely going to require a different mindset. Because the pantry and freezer was fairly full I knew we could do it.
Result? We came very close. I am guessing we went just a bit over $100. My plan to use cash did not work out well for accounting purposes because I was often buying non-grocery items in the same purchases and just ended up using our card.
Here are the main areas we spent our money this month.
1) Fruit! I am guessing we spent $45 on fruit. We go through lots and I did not want to skimp in this area.
2) Eggs-We go through a good amount of eggs. I even bought the cheap ones (gasp) a couple times.
3) Milk- We don’t drink a ton, but I think I bought 2 gallons worth of organic milk last month.
4) Small items to complete some meals.
One thing that gave us a little buffer was that we had a couple things to return to Costco last month (Jeans, Burt’s Bees Baby wash, and some electronic thing I can’t remember). This provided us with a little extra wiggle room and we bought whole wheat english muffins, organic olive oil, cheese, and some other small things I am forgetting.
Two areas that I did not count towards our $100 were a small party I planned for my daughter’s (very late) birthday party, and also a couple meals we took to friends. I did not want to shy away from doing things like that because of a silly challenge. Hubs said to go for it and not count it towards the $100. So we did cheat a bit.
Overall it was totally do-able and nice to not feel the pressure to go out and spend time grocery shopping. It definitely freed up some of my schedule a bit and I was able to spend more time on Wednesday mornings (and other times) throughout the month doing other things. It was a nice change of pace. I almost feel like we could do it again for September. We still have a pretty good amount of food in the freezer and my kids would not starve, but we need more variety again.
Where did I shop this month?
3 trips to Grocery Outlet
2-3 trips to Fred Meyer
1 trip to Costco
1 trip to Roth’s (Which might have resulted in me overreacting about my husband buying prosciutto and parmesan the first week of the month…”You spent how much on what???”)
What did we eat? Roasted chicken, white bean and tarragon soup (SO GOOD), chicken tacos, pizza, lots of homemade refried black beans, rice, pizza, parmesan and basil chicken pasta, beef tacos, and more. See? We still ate good.
Meat for the above recipies included; 1 medium sized roasted chicken which we used the bones for making broth for the base of the soup. 1 pound of McK Ranch ground beef that we turned in taco meat and stretched with tiny diced zucchini and squash, and 1.5-2 pounds of chicken breasts for the pasta.
Now excuse me while I go prep for a Trader Joe’s trip.
Have you ever experimented with your grocery budget?