In the final months of 2014 I intentionally began looking at shaving my grocery budget. The budget and system in place were no longer working and needed tweaking.
Re-valuating My Budget
I’ve used a budget and coupons for years. The budget amount was settled upon when two of four children were in diapers. Back then I budgeted a certain amount per family member.
$30 per each person (6) = $180 a week.
You would think no longer purchasing diapers, wipes, baby food, and formula would save money. Wrong. I did not factor babies turning into teenagers.
It is always good to pray and re-evaluate the grocery budget as children grow and family appetites change.
After pondering and more importantly prayer, my family budget is changing. Instead of a per person plan, categories are now budgeted with their own amounts.
Categories: Fruits and vegetables, meat, diary, miscellaneous, and household products. This covers everything I shop for weekly. Each category has its own monetary amount assigned now.
For the last two weeks I’ve shaved $50 off our grocery bill. I’ve been surprised at the amount of food I can purchase having a budget per category. And how much I can save!
Having a strategy for grocery shopping will make it easier to stay within budget and save time planning meals.
Providing fresh food for my family has been an ongoing challenge. The new strategy has allowed me to purchase (and see the value quickly) of focusing on whole foods more closely.
Cutting out almost all processed foods has not only saved money, it has meant healthier choices. We still eat chips, but they are planned into a meal. It started with eliminating boxed macaroni and cheese last year and has ended with my family now eating six pounds of apples a week. We’ve learned to make many of our packaged favorites at home — and enjoy them. The cost of more apples is far less than all the boxed and bagged items I once purchased for snack food. Now, if I can get my kids to let go of boxed cereal — our last holdout!
Choosing healthier whole food options does not have to cost more. It does mean making things homemade which often costs far less than packaged items that do not taste as good.
Coupons When Possible
I no longer purchase a Sunday newspaper for coupon inserts. After compiling my grocery list I now do a Google search for specific products in addition to visiting favorite coupon sites:
I also use store digital coupons loaded to a customer loyalty card.
In an upcoming post I will share how I am earning money from my grocery bill (on staple items!) and saving it toward Christmas 2015.
Do you have a goal for your grocery budget? I’ve watched my grocery bill increase over the years without re-evaluating. Now, I have goals in place to help me save time and money in 2015. My goals are:
* To purchase food to nourish my family. This means cooking homemade and using simple ingredients.
* To save money by meal planning, purchasing items on sale, and buying seasonal fruits and vegetables.
* To use food to bless others through hospitality and service.
I would love to hear how you are saving money — and learn from you.
Join us as we read through and discuss the Bible in 2015. If you are not on Facebook and would like to participate, click here for other options including a printable reading schedule. Share this mentoring opportunity with your friends!