We’ve been pretty busy lately: going out of town all the time, having visitors, etc. Traveling is always pricy. We’ve tried our hardest to keep things on the cheaper side but when you add up driving 2 hours to Denver, flying out, renting cars, wedding presents, etc. it all adds up very quickly.
I think right now, travel is our biggest expense. We have other trips planned so we will just have to deal with the expenses of travel for now. That being said, I was trying to think of other ways we could cut down on spending. The only other thing I might spend significant amounts of money on is groceries. I don’t think I’m out of control or anything, but I know I don’t pay much attention to how much I’m buying and how many trips to the store I take a week.
Over the summer I did a grocery challenge of $275 dollars for the month and I pretty much nailed it (I was over by a little….64 cents to be exact!). I know cutting my grocery bill down can be done, it’s just a matter of paying attention to prices and giving up some pricier “luxury” items.
Luckily (and unfortunately) we don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods around here so I don’t get tempted by their goodies. We only have 1 grocery store….well, and Costco. Costco might be out for us this month because every time I go there I spend a ridiculous amount of money. I love Costco, but I need to keep in mind that just because I have a membership does not mean I have to buy everything from there. That being said, check out these pickles we bought from there:
That’s a regular pickle jar on the right, Costco version on the left. It’s literally like, ten pounds worth of pickles. Yes :)!
One more thing I’m really excited to try is this salsa:
Looks so good!! Okay, enough distractions..
Anyway, I’m sure my trips to Costco this month will be limited. One thing we do have that we need to get through is meat. Not just regular meat though, game meat: antelope and boar to be exact. It’s nice having these around but the thing is, you need to use certain recipes otherwise they don’t taste that great. They’re definitely not as convenient as having chicken around but we gotta eat it sometime! I think this weekend we might try to make sausage out of the boar so we will actually eat it.
So, yesterday I took a little trip to the grocery store and spent a little more than I wanted to: $82 bucks.
I did try to be a little smarter about some purchases I usually make like ice cream and wheat waffles. Ice cream is expensive! My husband has to have ice cream at night and usually I buy whatever and it’s around 6 dollars! I bought one yesterday that was on sale for 3 something. I personally love wheat Eggos but yesterday I decided to try the generic version which was a dollar cheaper. The nutrition facts were about the same so hopefully they’ll taste just as good.
The big ones on this receipt were coffee for the Keurig (almost 10 bucks) and string cheese. I love string cheese and bought a big pack so they should last me a while.
I’m assuming this trip to the store will keep us covered for the next week. If that’s the case, I’ll have about $64 dollars a week that I can spend on food for the next 3 weeks. If I do end up having to go again this week, I can only spend $48 (which I should be able to do…but I surprise myself a lot).
I’m not really including eating out because honestly, we never do. I guess that’s the beauty of living in a small town: limited restaurant access. I’m not too concerned if we go to Subway one day or something since we really never do. So this budget is strictly grocery store!
So, $275 bucks for 4 weeks….now I’m down to $192.79. Wish me luck!
Do you keep a grocery budget? Any good tips?
I had to BAN myself from stepping foot inside a Target when I was trying to limit my spending/budget. Anytime I’d go in there for one or two grocery items, money would just fly out of my pockets. There’s just toooo many cute things in that store!!
Good luck with your spending challenge! I don’t think I could go that low. I aim for about $400/mo.
PS. That mango salsa from Costco is just the best!! I use an immersion blender to puree it for a smoother texture.
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey says
I had a budget of $300 for the last year and a half. I just upped it to $350 because it was getting so HARD to make it work! Good luck!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
I need to make a grocery list, I buy on a whim. I am pretty stocked up this week, so I just need basics like milk and produce, thank goodness. I’ve been good at using my leftovers.
Matt @ The Athlete's Plate says
I think it’s sad my grocery budget for ME is $400. Haha.
We are a family of three (myself, hubby and a 2 year old). I set a goal this month of $200. I’m at $160 for the month but I have meals planned til the end of the month. Will probably only need milk, produce, bread. We have a very inexpensive fruit market that I go to weekly and spend anywhere from $5-$10. Also, I have just started couponing. Nothing crazy, but here and there helps. I went to a coupon class and what really helped me was really looking in your pantry and see what you have for meals. Plan meals around that. Also, most food goes through an 8-12 week cycle for sales. Example…Sargento shredded cheese was $1.88 at my grocery store last week so I stocked up (cheese has a long expiration date. It can be frozen if needed and we love pasta so I use it at least once a week). This week, it’s back up to %3.79. It won’t be that cheap again for a couple of months, but my stash should last. Plan your meals (breakfast lunch and dinner) and that will help A LOT! Good luck!
Sara @ Nourish and Flourish says
I need to follow your lead on this grocery challenge. I spend WAY too much each week…and I’m only feeding myself! You’re right about not having access to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s being a mixed blessing; every time I go into either store, I leave a cart at least 50% full of things I don’t need! e
I’ve found that buying in bulk and baking/cooking large batches of cheap foods (soups, stews, pumpkin bars, chicken etc), is the best way for me to save money. 🙂
ya TJ’s and whole foods just kill me hah i always buy things i dont need…but everything looks so good its hard!!! so i dont have a choice here..which is kinda a bummer.
ya i think i need to start making bigger batches of food and freezing stuff…sounds easier too then i dont have to cook all the time.