Groceries represent a major part of our budget. They also represent a major issue when it comes to fat loss since what’s in your fridge has a great deal to do with your nutritional intake. So this budget move aims to fix two problems simultaneously; we will hopefully fatten our savings while slimming our waists. How will we do this:
(1) We are giving coupons a second chance. We tried this several times over the last four years but we never planned in advance, it was usually a matter of buying a Sunday paper at the grocery store, then shopping. And predictably enough, it was a debacle and a half. We ended up buying a bunch of stuff we didn’t need (not to mention plenty of unhealthy snacks).
(2) Our Grocery list has authoritarian powers. Our grocery list has become the closest thing to a dictator in this house (and in the store). When we hit the Wal-mart or the Kroger we only allow ourselves ONE item that isn’t on the list (just in case we forget an essential).
(3) The calculator called shotgun. We write down the cost of everything that goes in the cart and we tally it up before we hit the register. That way there are no surprises.
(4) Pre-planned major meals. While breakfast and lunch are usually individual meals (especially during the week), we plan each dinner for the week and most of the weekend meals before we draw up our shopping list. It keeps the food included on the shopping list down to a minimum and it also keeps us from overeating.
(5) Buy LOTS Non-perishables when they are on Sale. Make sure you take advantage of the sales on paper towels, tissue paper, cleaning supplies, etc. when they come along. We recently got Boston Butt pork roasts for .79 cents a lb at the local Harris Teeter. If only we had more freezer space we would have purchased more. Usually that cut of meat goes for anywhere from $1 to 1.79/lb. One five lb roast, left in the slow cooker or the rotisserie and combined with some spices or sauces can feed our family of three for at least three meals.
Using these techniques we are hoping to bring our grocery budget, once a whopping $550+/month, down to a more manageable $65/week.