Thursday, March 1, 2018

Grocery Game: I Declare VICTORY!

When we last spoke on this subject, I was bound and determined to keep my household and grocery budget to $400 for every month in 2018. In January, belt tightening was heightened so I skimmed it down to $350. I missed the mark, but decided s at least $24.50 was stockpiled so could count against February, giving me a starting goal of $375.50 for February. We made it! We spent a grand total of  $352.90. I'm amazed. We did not eat supper out at all. We picked up one Papa Murphy's take and bake pizza. with a coupon. We did have the regular show choir weekends, DH had a couple lunches with friends, his mom, and stopped for food when he went to the cabin and I met the volleyball girls one night. I did purchase about $17 of desk snacks so should count them, but won't. That's a business expense and saves me from hitting the vending machine on truly aggravating days. I packed lunch every day except once when I stopped for a Subway salad-even the day when I was at a training, eating my leftovers from the volleyball girls dinner. 

We did not do without proper meals, except when we chose to just throw a frozen pizza in or eat Olympic night snacking food. I need to remember that February is a short month, so I shouldn't expect we can achieve being $22 below budget each month, but good to know we can reign in stupid spending. We ate a fair number of plant based meal such as soups, curry, and pasta dishes. I think DH might be craving more meat based meals, so I need to think through March so I don't end up with a revolt. It was a ridiculously snowy month, particularly on weekends, so going out for dinner was not an appealing event, but with hopefully the spring thaw, we will want to be out and about again. I'll need to be careful not to substitute meals out for home cooked meals too often. 

My strategies for March are to get optimal value for our money. This means cooking more, double batching when possible,buying household goods when they are on sale-prorating to future months if I do any stock piling, and making sure I have at least one meat and potato hearty meal a week. I want to make sure there is always a steady supply of healthy snacks like fruit, hummus and pretzels or veggies, and popcorn, but again a few indulgences like ice cream to keep the family members happy. Do you have budget targets of your H&G? What are your tips for meeting your goal? Do you prorate stock pile items to spread out over time, or keep to what was purchased in each month? It is a nerdy and interesting topic for me. . 

9 comments:

  1. Having just come back from my hols and deciding not to shop for two weeks before, it brought home to me how much less I could probably spend. Time to up the ante - I am getting better slowly but it has taken a long time to get through this thick skull that I do have a good stock in the freezer and I don't need to have every single ingredient available just in case I want to cook something. Well done on keeping under budget though - it isn't always easy when you have a partner, even if they are on board. Anna

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    1. I don't think anyone should compare or think they have to follow my self imposed challenge. I know we were spending too much for less than satisfactory purchases. My challenge helps me decide purposefully before spending. Oh and we ended up geyying Chinese food last night so I still have spendthrift lapses.

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  2. Congrats! My only tip is when you near the end of the month and budget stay out of the stores and shop from your freezers. We eat a lot of chicken and pork, which is a good meat and potato meal filler but way cheaper than beef. Pork roasts are our new favorite around here.

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    1. Pork has become a favorite. We'll do more in March and get a pork loin for Easter I think. I need to balance out not over shopping the beginning of the month unless stock up, but good tip to make due and not shop at all later.

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  3. Congratulations on keeping below your budget. I do not have a monthly food budget, but I have a yearly one. It works better for me and allows me the option of stocking up whenever sales prices are their lowest.
    I have found buying huge pork roasts, cooking them and portioning them for the freezer helps with money and time. I never buy them unless they are loss leaders. I also do the same with chicken breasts or thighs when they are cheapest. I generally do not cook those, but merely separate them into meal size freezer packs. I buy ground chuck at its cheapest and brown several pounds then place them in meal size freezer bags. They become the quick beginnings for so many different meals. I also make hamburger patties, freeze them on a cookie sheet the put them frozen into a big freezer bag. We grab those whenever we are in the mood to grill a hamburger. Because I keep a freezer inventory there are several months each year when I only have to buy fresh produce, bread and dairy.
    I did get an email this week that the U-pick farm I love is expecting an early strawberry harvest, so I need to do some freezer cleaning/rearranging to prepare for those. I guess there is always something.

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    1. A new skill for me to master is a food inventory. I still waste too much. I also will stick up but prorate my budget as I don't want to be so tied to the month I shop stupid either.

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  4. That's definitely a victory! Personally I think an even bigger victory was not eating suppers out! What a great February for you! =)

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    1. And then March 1, we picked up Chinese take out! It was a rare splurge to celebrate a few milestones and cheaper than going to the buffet that DH originally wanted to do, plus leftovers today. I'm realistic we won't always be under budget.

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  5. Isn't it great when you reach a goal!

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