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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wisdom & Treasure Series - How Do You Spend $300 A Month On Groceries?!

It's Wednesday, and spending $300/month on groceries works for me!

Some of you were wondering how we only spend $300/month on groceries, including diapers. Today, I'll show you (but remember, it's not ideal, I'd like to have a larger grocery budget).

First off, I break my budget into weeks, so I have about $75/week to spend on groceries. The first thing I do is figure out the basics: milk, bread and water. Then I throw in diapers - I buy the cheapest store brand diapers (around $8) and they work just fine (unless you go to Family Dollar - there diapers stink! We shop at Weis or Wal-mart) and they last about a week and a half. As for meat, we only buy it when it goes on sale - chicken breasts for .79 cents/Ib. and ground beef for around a dollar. We buy it in 10 Ib. bags and it lasts us a month (or more), so that's about $25 -$30 there. Here's a breakdown:

$75 - $30 (meat) - $8 (diapers) - $15 (basics) = $22

Now, because my husband gets paid bi-weekly, I actually have $150 in the grocery budget at this point, so I can separate the budget a little better between two weeks when we buy meat. So in actuality, I have more like $37 left (does that make sense?).

If you pay attention to what you're buying and shop carefully, $37 can go a long way. I usually only have room in the budget for one unique dinner. Some of our cheap meals include:

Spaghetti (usually every Monday)

Homemade Pizza (usually every Friday)

Chili over baked potatoes

Chicken and buttered noodles with veggies

Cheese tortilla (small tortilla with shredded cheddar cheese, Oregano seasoning, and green onions, melted in a 400 degree oven for about five minutes)

Bean burritos

Chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes

*I buy things that are on sale and use coupons if they match up with a sale item, otherwise I get certain items at an outlet store.

As for lunches, my husband packs a lunch and I give the kiddos PB & J sandwiches with an apple, hot dogs, tortillas and cheese, etc. Simple.

Another thing to note is that we live in a place where there are a ton of outlet grocery stores, so that probably gives me a slight advantage.

*Sometimes we dip into savings for groceries, this is where I told you I'm not perfect with the budget!

Hope this is helpful! :) Now don't forget, TOMORROW we link up to share ideas with each other! Just write a post about that has your budget/ideas, tips for savings/great organizations to give to, etc. and then link up here so we can all help each other!

*My husband corrected me and said that our oil bills were closer to $200 then $300 a month. Sorry for the mix-up!


Kat said...

I'm just so full of myself. I was the first to comment on Heathahlee's blog and now on yours :)

Heathahlee and I were talking about you yesterday. I am in complete awe that you are able to spend $300 on groceries. We won't even talk about what I spend. Let's just say I'm working on getting it down!

Jenna said...

Our grocery budget is very similar to yours, as well as our family! There's my husband and I, 2 children, and one on the way. :)

I do a Grocery Challenge at frugalvillage.com. My goal for October was to try and see how close to $250 I could get for the month, but I'm at about $215 already! *sigh* And we eat very basic meals and shop at Aldi. The cost of everything just keeps going up!

We don't buy pre-packaged sweets; I enjoy baking and so does our daughter. We don't drink pop at home. I try to plan my meals for each week. I use coupons when there's a good deal at Giant Eagle (they have been scarce lately, though!).

Lacie said...

I read your blog often. It is a breath a fresh air to me- thank you!

I have been humbled and encouraged by your budget and the way you lead your life. I was so moved I asked my husband to read your last couple of posts and for us to re-focus our money.

I am not wise when it comes to money...and I want to be.


I will be reading.

Heather said...

I use the grocerygame.com to shop for groceries and I have rarely spent over $75 a week, including when we lost power for a week and lost EVERYTHING in our freezer and fridgerator and had to restock. Coupons are a must, really like free money!

Prissy Southern Prep said...

I really enjoy your blog, and I hope that you will visit me! I made my blog private, but if you would like an invite just shoot an email to me at lcgpreppy@gmail.com

Dana said...

i've done the grocery game before and it's a great way to stock up on stuff! there's also couponmom.com that is free (grocerygame is not) and it's the same concept. about a 1.5 years ago our budget was about $360 a month (for 5). now it is $600 (for 6) but we eat as more and more organic and grass fed, natural, etc... stuff as possible and i'm sure you've noticed it costs about 2-3 times as much. it's tough, but it's something we felt was important for our family. it's a little tougher to find great coupons for organic things, but i'm learning where to look.

scargosun said...

I only buy meat on sale as well and I am TRYING to get P to cut down on his meat demands but we are also an 90% local and/or organic household when it comes to food and as many other products as possible. The local stuff in most cases is WAY cheaper than grocery stores. I have also switched to chicken still on the bone and if I buy boneless chicken it is the thighs instead of the breast. That seems to help the budget. Also the farm share, $185 for 8 weeks of veggies has so far proved to be an excellent $ saver.

Suzy said...

I am very glad you stopped by. I hope we will visit each other more often.

Have a great day. Suzy

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Very good on the groceries! I know I'm spending more than that at the moment, but part of it is that I try some meals with more costly ingredients and I make meals for people and potluck every month which increases it, too.

I do shop at the cheapest grocery store and use a few coupons, though I could do better.

HeathahLee said...

Like Kat said, we both are going to try to get our budgets down. I'm just so sad that I have to start buying ground beef again...I miss my ground deer. If he had just gotten one more last year... : )

MamaHenClucks said...

I'm really, really impressed. My grocery budget is about $100 per week, but I still seem to always be going over. I also get $25 a week for "personal" spending, but it usually goes to groceries, too. Then I dip into the checking account for clothing and gifts, which is what my $25 is supposed to cover. This is encouraging to me and I'm excited to go grocery shopping to see how I do this week.

Also, your entertainment budget really made my hubby and I stop and rethink ours. We budget $100 a month for entertainment and babysitting, which seems incredibly excessive given your $5. We've decided to challenge one another to see what free stuff we can find to do with the chickies that will allow us to take most of that money and save it.

Sherry said...

Hi. I'm curious what grocery outlet stores you shop at. We have Save-A-Lot and Aldi, but I am doing good if I can get ground beef for under $2.00/lb. I would love to find it around a dollar.

Blessed said...

I end up spending around $350 for groceries every month - but that is partly because we drink Organic Milk - it's expensive but it tastes good and all of us drink it without complaining!

janellybelly said...

Sarah Mae! Thanks for the sweet comments on my blog! I have to tell you that I am LOVING this series! It has been so encouraging & it has really challenged me to truly take a look at our budget and do some penny pinching! Thanks girl! =]

PS. I WISH our Mortgage was $700 bucks a month!!!! LOL

Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing your tips. I enjoyed reading them.

Sherry said...

I got the chicken crossing the road funny from another blogger (www.myspecialks.com) who got it from another blogger. You know, because we're resourceful that way. :)

kari said...

love it! thanks for the great post. we spend 300 a month as well and i enjoy saving our family money and working within a budget.

chanelireli said...

we spend about $400 a month on groceries but I figure there are lots of us :) But we do have some sort of pasta once a week as well as homemade pizza. Plus we usually have quiche too which is super easy and cheap. Thanks for a great post!

Anonymous said...

There is no need to use places like grocerygame where you have to pay to get the information. There are sites like www.pinchingyourpennies.com that give you the information for free. They have lists of stores like Albertsons, Smiths, Safeway, etc. with coupons that match with their sales and a rating system to let you know how good of a deal it is. There are lots of forums with people asking and answering questions and deals for Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and even deals for clothes and toys.

No need to pay for a list.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving the nice comment! I love your blog, especially the header (I am actually in class right now, with no coffee and I had to ride my bike in the rain, and you're header made me feel momentarily warm).

We usually spend about $350 a month on groceries, which is fairly easy for us to stay under. $300 would take some extra effort though!

Hannah a.k.a.Topiary Lady said...

I WISH!! I have to buy all whole grain and as much organic as possible for my husband's diet. I spend at least $35/week just on organic raw dairy products (straight from the farm!). We don't eat much processed food, but the veggies and fruits are what kills my budget! I spend a lot on that every week, a smaller amount on meats, buy my whole grains etc.. in bulk. I bake almost everything we eat. We just can't eat cheap food because it's not healthy for my hubby. (He has Candida) I would say I spend $400-$500 a month, which isn't too bad considering the prices of the stuff I have to buy, but it isn't $300 either!

Unfortuntely there just aren't coupons for wholesome food!

Rebeckah said...

I enjoyed this post very much! I enjoy our grocery outlets here also! I am always SHOCKED when I have to go into a real grocery store with pretty lights and wide aisles. Boy, do we ever pay for those amenities! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your baby : )!

Gracia said...

Hi! I just found your blog, and after reading the "What's this blog about" I have to admit you'll see me around here. I'm not a stay at home mom, but I work from home while my dear Eric is at the office all day, so I find myself needing company too!
On the grocery budget, I think it's amazing that you can do that having small kids. We usually spend around 200-250$! Right now we're doing a no-spend end of the year, you can read about it in my blog, and although it's not easy, it's pushing our cooking creativity really far!
Now, before I leave to the grocery store (conveniently located 15ft from my front door) I challenge myself to cook something out of what I already got. And I've learned that I can do it most of the times!
That's something that I hope will stick once this experiment is over.

Laura said...

I'm lovin' your series.

HOWEVER, my biggest concern here is: CHICKEN SOUP OVER MASHED POTATOES?! What in the world is that and... how?

Your wondering friend,


p.s. Have you visited moneysavingmom.com yet?

Suz said...

Right there with you girl.. my budget is $60 a week & I love the challenge!