Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thrifty Grocery Spending Challenge

Because we are trying to cut way back on spending, I decided to challenge myself to a thrifty grocery spending allowance this month. I am still cooking most all of our meals from scratch and we are eating as locally and organically as possible.

Using the USDA's food expenditure allotment I came up with the amount of 550.00 for out grocery budget this month. The thrifty plan called for a 512.00 food budget and the low cost plan was 648.00 for a family of four. Since my nursling is eating much more now, I decided to round the 512.00 to 550.00. No science involved, that's just the round number I chose.

I got 550.00 cash from savings and my trial month began yesterday. I divided the cash up into 5 different envelopes.

milk- 130.00
Piggly Wiggly-65.00
Co-op order- 100.00

I placed my co-op order for the month of September yesterday and my total was 102.00 I was pleased that this was so close to my allotted amount. I had to refine my list of items several times before I got this close.

I went to Walmart today and my total was 98.63 which leaves me 11.37 for the rest of the month. This may or may not be possible. Over half of my spending at Wal-mart was for non-food related items. (dog/cat food, toothbrushes, baking soda, dishwashing detergent, vinegar for cleaning, etc.) I hope I can still feed properly without any additional Wal-mart spending.

I go to buy our milk for tomorrow. We had been using 6-7 gallons of milk per week. At five dollars per gallon it is still affordable compared to some raw milk, but it adds up quickly. I make yogurt, and butter from the milk, but that still adds up to a lot per month for milk. So I chose to allot 130.00 for our milk budget. I will get 4 gallons some weeks and five other weeks. We also get our cheese from the milk farm. Lets see if we can still drink raw milk but a little more in moderation.

I went to the market today and spent 4.00. I purchased a cantaloupe and watermelon. Still lots left in my market budget, but the month is just beginning and I buy our farm fresh eggs with that money and we go through a lot of eggs. Some weeks we go through 4 dozen per week. That adds up quickly. In an effort to use less eggs I made a breakfast menu this month with a little variety for the boys. They would eat eggs and fruit everyday.

I go buy Piggly Wiggly on the way to get milk each week and pick up butter, bananas and any other item I may need. The bill is usually between 20-30.00. I will have to trim even more off with a 65.00 PW budget for the month.

Still Learning

No comments: