This year I am really going to try to cut down on our grocery bill. I was noticing our spending creeping (too many visits to Costco and the Holidays will do that to ya!) and I’m anxious to get it back on track. In the past our family of 5 was spending on average about $400-450 a month with occasional purchases to help stock our food storage. We have a really great stock pile of reserve food that we eat from as well so that also contributes to our weekly menus. I love a good challenge so the thought of cutting our costs and cutting down on the unnecessary spending is exciting to me! I started it at the new year and hope to keep it up all year long. My goal is to cut $100-$150 off our monthly total. That’s a nice chunk of change at the end of the year! I’m saving receipts and keeping track all year long.
My latest trip to the grocery store helped me get supplies for the next two weeks. In addition to these items, please remember that I’ll be using items from our food storage, and other frozen meat that I already have on hand. I was getting some skepticism on facebook when I shared a preview photo of my haul but I’ll show you all how this works for my family and explain more as I go.
Total cost: $105.53
In addition to this meat, I already have about 10 lbs. of frozen chicken breasts I buy at Costco along with frozen chicken drumsticks, frozen sausage and ground turkey.
2 lbs. Beef Round Steak $6.43
2 Pork Roasts $6.66
Ground Beef $6.78
Included in this haul are frozen meals my husband will take to work for lunch. He takes about two frozen meals a week and I stock up when they are on sale or if we are running low.
2 Marie Calendars meals:4.78
2 Zataraines meals: $4.95
6 Rice bowls: 12.97
This is part of our breakfast. In addition we also eat cereal, toast and eggs.
2 packs mini bagels $2.96
Blueberry bagels $1.48
8 count Yoplait yogurt:$3.78
We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I only like to buy these as needed so I will go get more apples and other produce before the two weeks are up but I hate to over buy and let it go to waste. I estimate I’ll spend about another $10 for apples, lettuce and broccoli down the road IF I need them!
1 package strawberries $1.48
1 Pomegranate $1.48
2 onions $1.06
3lbs. Apples $3.12
Mini Sweet Bell Peppers $3.98
Yellow Bell Pepper .48
1lb. Baby Carrots $1.28
5 lbs. Gold Potatoes $2.68
3 ct. Romaine Lettuce $1.98
I do like buying frozen veggies. They are easy to keep from perishing and are great to have on hand. I will stock up on these items if I notice them on sale. This week was a light buy…
Sweet Corn $1.12
Green Beans $2.48
This is a rare occurrence. We don’t typically buy a lot of processed snack foods but once in a while I’ll grab a few boxes of crackers and really monitor how often I give them to my kids. And the pudding is for me! It’s my latest pregnancy craving so don’t judge! This food is kept up high and only I can distribute it, it’s not free range!
3 boxes Cheese crackers $4.50
2 boxes Snack Cracker packs $3.36
4 boxes Mac ‘n Cheese $2.72
2 pack Snack Packs $1.56
Here are our essentials, things I buy regularly. I was getting a lot of “Only 1 gallon of milk for 2 weeks!” comments on FB when I first shared my sneak preview photo. If you follow me on FB you’d also remember that I have a huge milk phobia! I won’t drink it if it’s not fresh so I don’t make a habit of buying milk in bulk if I can help it. I will for sure pick up a gallon as needed but I MUCH prefer buying fresh, so yes! We drink more then 1 gallon every two weeks!
Flour Tortillas $.98
Sour Cream $1.28
Cream Cheese $.98
2 packs Lunch Meat $3.96
2 loaves Whole Wheat Bread $2.76
Chow Main noodles $.98
4lbs. Jasmine Rice $3.86
I didn’t use any coupons for this purchase except one voucher that was sent to me in the mail by the grocery store for $10 off your total bill. I might start using coupons but in the past I’ve seen that when I use coupons I tend to buy things I wouldn’t have normally bought and a lot of it is for processed foods. I did make a special trip to this grocery store because of the $10 coupon. I noticed a big difference in the cost so I think I’ll take the extra 10 min. to drive there and shop at WinCo more often.
Total cost for this haul $105.53
Here is a list of meals I’ll be making with all these groceries for the next two weeks
Waffles with fresh Strawberries
Porcupine Meatballs with Green Beans
Pork Roast with carrots and potatoes
Pulled pork Salad
Fajitas and rice
Glazed Chicken, rice and corn
Potato and Corn Chowder
For lunches I pack the girls
Sandwiches, apple slices, carrots, almonds, crackers, turkey roll ups, bell peppers
And at home my youngest and I will eat for lunch
left overs, sandwiches, soup, veggies, roll ups, mac n cheese
Like I said before, I do expect to run out of milk and produce at some point during these two weeks. I have estimated about needing to spend about $20 more for restocking those fresh items. I also mentioned that we have food storage. About 4 times a year we’ll stock up our food storage and buy items we use regularly. Things like cream of mushroom soup, canned veggies, soups, pasta, peanut butter, cereals, beans and canned diced tomatoes, etc. In Jan. we spend $136.13 on case lot sale items to fill our food storage. This is a great way save throughout the year.
Tips that are helping us save on our monthly grocery bill
- Make a menu! Meal planning helps you narrow in on what you need and makes it more likely that you won’t be buying things you don’t.
- Some meats can pull double duty and will cost less if you buy larger portions. Pork roasts can be cut in half and used for a roast and pulled pork for a second meal.
- Avoid or reevaluate your shopping at large warehouse stores. Sam’s Club and Costco are great but this is where I noticed my spending getting out of hand. Everything looks so good! I wanted it all. We jokingly call Costco “The $100 store!” cause you can’t get out of there for less then $100! Now I only try to buy the following things at Costco and limit it to stocking up on Frozen Chicken, Whole Wheat Bread, Vitamins, toilet paper and canned chicken and some produce the I have noticed is cheaper there then at the grocery store.
- Loading up a few times a year on things you know you use will help cut back on cost. When I shop case lot sales I can get items up to 50% off. We use these items throughout the year so they are rotated regularly and won’t go to waste.
- After you make a shopping list for the week/month, shop your pantry. You might be surprised and already have a lot of what you need.
- Food that goes to waste is a waste of money! Only buy what your family can eat before it goes bad. This might mean having to make a run for fresh milk and produce.
- We save a lot of money by not buying things like cookies, soda, chips and ice cream. Occasionally we’ll treat ourselves but those sorts of things don’t make it on the list very often and subsequently save us a lot of money.
So that’s my plan! I’m looking forward to seeing how we do. Do you guys have any great money saving shopping tricks? Who uses coupons? Tell me where you cut corners and help stay on a budget! I’d love to hear how you manage your families grocery bill.