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Grocery Expenditures Revisited–the January Edition

Groceries  I started tracking our grocery expenditures here on my blog at the beginning of December.  I fell off the wagon about a week before Christmas.  I was attempting to spend no more than $200 for the entire month on groceries; however, for some reason, I never think Christmas is going to cost as much as it does.  I like to bake and cook, so inevitably I spend more on grocery items in the month of December.  Of course, much of what I bake is given away as gifts, so I probably should consider some of those expenditures as part of the gift budget.  Oh well.  On to January.

We start this month at a slight disadvantage because January is a strained month financially since Steady Eddie’s December paycheck is deposited before Christmas instead of the last day of the month, which in effect makes the month of January about six weeks long.  Whew!  In addition to this, we host at least one get-together after Christmas.  This year, we hosted two.   Thus, so far this month we have spent $170.37 on grocery items, which includes most of our entertaining.  If we take out what we spent on one of the parties, our total goes down to about $96.33.  That pretty well shoots my $200 goal.

For January, I’m going to set a more realistic goal of $300, which I feel we will really have to work to meet.   Way back in December, Anne at LifePundit left the following comment on one of posts about our food expenditures:

Wow, There is no way I could even dream of spending only $200/month for groceries — for my family of three. Please explain more — or maybe I need to search through previous posts.We loved the curried chicken chowder and are having the leftovers tonight.Can you do Christmas dinner in that budget?

If I could learn to do this (spend less on food and cleaning supplies)….. I can’t even imagine.

While I am by no means an expert at this and really should point her to the likes of Crystal, who can feed her family of four on $35 a week (which includes non-grocery items!), I do have a few tricks up my sleeve:

  • Buy few processed foods, even snacks.
  • Eat fresh fruit or raisins for snacks.   If we don’t have the chips, cakes, etc., we can’t eat them, right?  We can only eat what is available, and the good stuff really is cheaper. 
  • Cook from scratch.  Use what’s in the pantry.
  • Only buy meat on sale.
  • Either buy what we need when it’s on sale or buy it at Aldi, where the prices are usually cheaper. 

I plan to put this plan to work this week by only buying the meat I need and a few other miscellaneous ingredients.   I will not be making a big grocery-buying trip for the upcoming week; I will just buy the essentials. 

That’s it.  There’s nothing really magical about it at all.  I really want this to work, so I plan to be diligent about it this month.

We can do it!  Go team!

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for such a thorough answer to my question. I’m still impressed.

    I sometimes think it would be cheaper to eat out than to eat at home. I’m also looking into regular purchases such as $7.00 cat litter. Do I really need the hard clumping kind? (One time I put real sand in the sand box. The cat ran away to hide under the bed.)

    We have an Aldi. I’ll have to give it a shot.

    Thanks. And good luck! I’ll be checking back often.

  2. Helloooo!!!!
    I loved your blog! I have a similar one but in portuguese where I try to show that we don’t need much to live well.
    Your tips are very easy to do…and there is a plus…if we buy the good and healty stuff we usally use weigth.
    My mom felt like is daugther is doing not so well (she have a lot…a lot…a lot of money), but i’m more happier than she ever was.
    For the groceries I try to live with a budget of 200€(50€ per week). November and December was a disaster, but now we will be on track.

    I’ve became a fan of your blog!
    Sorry my english…:(

  3. Hello again!
    I have one question. Do you, all saving mom’s work? I’m at home, although my husband thinks that i work (i give class at the university at nigth and give private lessons at home).
    This is a new condition for me…i feel like i’m going nuts and i don’t have kids yeat…only dogs! :S
    Another question…do you have a mortage?

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