Our family of 3 (soon to be 4) is trying a Grocery Budget Experiment for the month of September! #frugal
Grocery Budget Experiment
Hi Everyone, how’s your September going? Our family is pretty busy with back-to-school activities and to-do lists AND getting ready for our baby boy due in October (!). I just want to take time out to let you know about a little grocery budget experiment my husband, Eric and I decided to try. We like to practice being resourceful and frugality, really because we have fun doing it and this practice is apart of our family lifestyle. It’s a matter of value and being frugal in one area allows us to save and have fun in other areas of our budget.
I have posted about some of our grocery hauls in the past…to see our grocery hauls, visit here.
Since I am a food blogger, I do tend to splurge when it comes to groceries sometimes…for example, I will get an idea for a recipe, that needs a certain ingredient which isn’t in my inventory…well, you get the picture. I wanted to try being on more of a fixed budget since there were some months over the past year where our grocery bill was $1000-$1500 – and that just seems a little pricey for just 2 adults and one child. Not to mention, that we also have been undergoing a fairly extensive kitchen renovation which is ALMOST done (whew!).
To see all of our kitchen renovation posts, visit here.
Eric took over the grocery shopping for this month to help me out since I am in my last month of pregnancy and I want avoid driving if I can help it. So a convergence of a few factors made this grocery budget experiment and I am deciding to share it with all of you. Perhaps there are others out there that want to reign in their grocery expenses.
How are we doing so far budget-wise?
I haven’t included that I’ve spent on sponsored posts that I’ve done on the blog, this is for the groceries that make up our meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If your are curious, let me know, I can calculate and factor that in as well.
Week #1 (Shop Rite – 9/2/2017) – $71.00
Week #2 (Shop Rite – 9/6/2017) – $33.00
Week #3 (Giant – 9/11/2017) – $60.73
Week #4 – TBD
Week #5 – TBD
That’s a total of $164.73 halfway through the month, with 2 weeks to go in September, not bad so far – am I right?
Here are some things that Eric is doing to save money on our grocery bill:
- shopping whats on sale as a priority
- buying in bulk – items like olive oil which we go through a lot of, it’s less expensive to purchase in a large quantity
- we use store rewards/loyalty cards
- meat by the pound – Eric is looking at the “by the pound” price and letting that determine what he buys – this does mean that we are not always prioritizing “organic” food during this experiment, however, most of the chicken or turkey Eric has purchase has been vegetarian fed and hormone free, at least. When I did the shopping I prioritize organic meats and that did drive up the grocery bill for sure.
- we eat a lot of chicken in our house – Eric got chicken in individual packages so that we can freeze some and waste less
- as I am making our meals, I try to think of eating through what we already have in the house
- we use herbs, tomatoes and we had a couple of eggplants from our garden to save on produce
- Eric told me that when he shops, he shops “for the week” which leads to…
- meal planning – I’ve been taking more time out the think of our weekly meal planning. As our family grows, I think this is important to consider and for budget, and food waste considerations
- Eric says he is avoiding expensive items that we do not need and he is also not buying sugary drinks, bottled water or seltzer water (which I bought all Summer because I had a craving for it).
- leaving off “convenience items” off the list and seeing whole ingredients to make food from scratch instead which leads to…
- simple meals – we’ve been eating pretty simple, no extravagant meals, we have been eating more rice to go with the meat and I use fresh herbs and creative marinades so things don’t get boring 🙂
- I also want to add that we rarely eat out – I make most of our dinners, from scratch and we utilize leftovers.
- other considerations: we have memberships at Sam’s Club and Costco as well and we are thinking of making trips there to get certain things in bulk.
I have to say that, I haven’t felt deprived this month, at all, in terms of food and I was wondering about that. I like to keep a well stocked pantry, so that has helped for this month and perhaps if we continue this experiment, that would be interesting to see how things turn out when we need to restock certain items. Later in the month, we need to restock on paper products and some laundry products which can sometimes drive up the grocery bill, so we will see how that works out! Stay tuned!
I will do a 2nd followup post to update you on how our Grocery Budget Experiment month for September concluded.
What do you do to save money on your grocery bill? Please let me know in the comments below!