Hey friends! It’s a new week and I am moving just a bit slow today! For today’s mom Monday post, I thought I would chat about a few tips I have tried to implement to stay on a grocery budget. When we moved to Ithaca, and Chris officially quit his job for grad school at Cornell, I knew I would have to stick to a strict grocery budget. I have always been one to write out a budget and stick it to the refrigerator in the past. I like to see how much we spend and attempt to keep on top of unnecessary spending. Ahem, Amazon Prime anyone?! I constantly tell my husband they might offer free shipping but the items are not free! We both have done better thinking twice before we hit that 1 click purchase tab! 🙂
Anyway, back to budgeting. For the most part we eat generally healthy. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I make everything from scratch though. So as we try to eat healthy, a few boxes of snacks do sneak into our pantry, all to satisfy George for the most part! 🙂 Why does every child love gold fish?! Over the past 3 months, I have implemented a few strategies to cut down on our grocery budget each month. I am always interested as to what everyone spends on grocery so I will tell you what we spend. I budget $500 for everything. That includes toiletries. Some months we go a bit over if we have to buy a bunch of items that are not food like garbage bags, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Generally though, $500 is the range that we land in. Here are the tips that I have implemented:
1. Meal Plan Like Crazy – It is such a basic concept, but has really helped me lay out a plan each week. Typically we do homemade granola or eggs and bacon for breakfast. For lunch, we do sanwiches with salad and veggies/fruit. For dinner we always do veggies (potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower are a few of George’s favorites!) and a protein. Sometime that protein is meat other times it’s beans.
2. Pick 2 Meatless Meals A Week – Meat is by far the most expensive thing I purchase each week. If I make sure to have 2 meatless options a week, it really cuts down on the expense. A few of our favorite meatless ideas are, lentil curry, broccoli cheese soup, quiche, grilled cheese with homemade tomato soup, veggie pizza, etc.
3. Consider Using A Grocery Pick Up Service – I began to use the Walmart pick up grocery service when we moved here to Ithaca, and literally it is AMAZING how much I save each week by NOT stepping a foot in the store. It really makes me create a list of everything we need and be thorough about it! I am also skipping out on buying unnecessary snacks that G tends to point out! 🙂 If you do not shop at Walmart, look into other services in your area. My prediction is this is going to be the norm in a few years. It’s a genius idea and once I started using it I NEVER want to grocery shop again!!! I also like using the Walmart Savings Catcher to make sure I am getting a good deal on everything and not missing a local sale.
4. Use A Chalkboard In Your Kitchen – I have a cute little farmhouse style chalkboard in my kitchen that I write my menu on each week and I also write down how much I have spent on groceries that week. By the end of the month, I see where I stand and know how much we have left. This has really been a help when I make my meal plan each week. Knowing where you stand in your grocery budget during the months help you succeed!
There your have it! I hope these tips give you fuel for thought. I would love to hear how you stick to a budget each month! 🙂 Have a fabulous week!