I have done this week's shopping, and am officially at the end of my $20 weekly grocery budget challenge! I ended up going over by $5.15. I spent a total of $113.14 on all groceries and household (toiletries/paper products, etc) for my family of six since March 1. (I realize that does not add up to $100 for 5 weeks...I added in my Rite Aid rebate check for $7.99, since that originally came from my grocery budget).
Things I Have Learned:
It was not as difficult as I thought it would be. The absolute hardest part was walking away from some of the deals I found, and would normally stock up on. I did even manage to stock up on a few small things, even with this budget.
I have/had way more food in the house than I thought! I still have a half full freezer, and could go weeks longer. In my chest freezer alone, I still have 2 turkeys, a turkey breast, some ribs, 2 packages of bacon, one whole chicken, 2 packages of chicken breast, a pork roast, and a beef roast. Plus about 10 boxes and bags of various vegetables, some fruit, some hamburger buns, rolls, and bread, and even some treats!
Meal planning, and knowing what you have, makes a huge difference in your grocery bill! Make sure to use up the fresh produce first, before you forget about it and find it going bad. Have a plan for all the food you bring in the house. It's not a good deal if you end up throwing it away!
Make a plan for all leftovers, even if it's just a couple of tablespoons of something! Omelets, quesadillas, and soup are just a few ways to use up those little bits of leftovers! We've discovered some great new combinations this way!
Shop and Eat deliberately! What I mean by this is, if for instance one week you buy tomatoes for a salad, make sure you plan other uses for those tomatoes! Plan tacos or BLT's for another night.
All in all, I am satisfied with how the month went. I was hoping to stay under the $20 a week, but some deals just sucked me in. I haven't even touched some of the stuff I bought this month yet. I still have my bottle returns to take back, and am planning on those being my grocery money for next week. (I have $17-18 worth sitting in my garage!)
I will be sharing my Week 5 shopping, along with my new goals, later tonight!
And in other good news, we finally got our car back TODAY! 33 days in the shop, and we're now $2248.17 poorer. It came in under the original quote of $2500 though, so I'm happy! At one point, the quote was up to $2800! But we now have a completely new engine, and I am no longer stuck at home when my husband's at work! YAY!