Home > Grocery Challenge part 1: The bill. Brace yourself.

Grocery Challenge part 1: The bill. Brace yourself.

August 23rd, 2008 at 01:47 pm

We put all of our expenses on the credit card. (Calm down,we pay it off every month.)

So, for the last two statements the average we spent on food was

Grocery: $567.30
Restaurants: $386.84

A total of $954 a month. For two people and a baby, and this doesn't include formula. This does include things like shampoo and TP, and it will continue to. I obviously need to spend less on those as well.

Jeepers. If we can't cut that down. We're out of control. I know we aren't eating it all, because I threw out a big bag of spoiled food last night!

So, goal number one is to reduce these amounts by 25 percent for the next two months. That means a total of

Groceries: $425.47 ($141.83 less)
Restaurants: $290.13 ($96.71 less)
Total food bill: $715.47 ($238.53 less)

The long-term goal is to cut those amounts by 50 percent, by December, for a total of
Groceries: $283.65
Restaurants: $193.42
Total food budget: $477.07

The first goal is to cook at home more, reducing restaurant expenses. The second is to reduce grocery expenses by cooking more from scratch and from shopping at Aldi's and other discounters, and by using sale flyers and coupons to plan menus. I should have been doing this already. I guess I didn't know how bad it had gotten.

8 Responses to “Grocery Challenge part 1: The bill. Brace yourself.”

  1. Personal Finance Student Says:

    I think it's smart you are going to give yourself time to reach your final goal. I have started making a lot more from scratch the last year or so and have seen a difference in our grocery bill. We budget $300 for two adults and a toddler. I use some of the $300 for household things as well. Oh, my husband almost always takes leftovers and snacks that have been prepared beforehand (celery & carrots, piece of cakes, etc.) Good luck with everything. !

  2. thriftorama Says:

    I know I have to do something. We are spending way too much on food. I don't want to go cold turkey and become instantly beans and rice only, but we could save a lot of money and still eat well and go out to eat with friends. We just have to be smarter about it.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    double post

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I don't have great financial records for pre-kids, though I guess I could pull out old credit card statements. (Kind of curious now).

    But that was the first thing when we found out I Was pregnant and my spouse lost his job. We primarily ate out and my dh figured if he wasn't working anyway, he was going to start home cooking healthy meals.

    We probably got our grocery budget down to about $500 or $550 monthly (including dipes and formula for some period of time, and this would be with no eating out) but since joining this site I would say we average $450/month. Our eating habits really haven't changed much. Just shopping smarter, and I think my dh is just getting better at the whole thing with time. IT's an art.

    I also wanted to share just to say don't get discouraged if it doesn't happen all at once. My hubby has been home cooking for 6 years and this year our bills have still been decreasing. They have mostly been going down, down, down, the better he gets at shopping. The REAL key is to get a large repretoire of recipes and get proficient at being able to use up whatever happens to be on hand. I think in the last year that is the area we have improved the most. But it took some time (years) to get to that point.

    (I also can't help but feel that we are doing better with full night sleep and clear heads. A luxury you don't have with a 0-2-year-old. Wink )

    Eating out was out of the question for many years, but with the economy as is we have been hitting a lot of 2-for-1 deals, and a nice trick is we meet for lunch dates while the kids are at school/daycare. We have a 2-for-1 buffet lunch date next week. So we have found maybe we deprived ourselves a bit much in the early years. There seems to be options out there to eat out and not break the bank.

    Good Luck!!

  5. thriftorama Says:

    Monkeymama... thanks for the post. It's encouraging. except for the part about not getting sleep for 2 years. Ugh. I feel like I can't go on like this. It's also hard to lose baby eight when you don't sleep.

  6. Original MomCents Says:

    OMGsh! When we only had 1 baby our food budget was only $250 a month and that included formula and diapers! We didnt eat beans and rice either! lol.

    Some tips:

    Buy generic formula! If you look it has the same ingredients as the name brand for 1/2 the price.

    In the winter have a soup/salad/sandwich night once a week

    Have a "breakfast night" - Pancakes/bacon/eggs..etc

    Try and take a bag lunch to work once a week

    Drink less soda

    Make a weekly or monthly list of meals you want to prepare at home the ingredients and stick to your list.

    (I am anal and prepare our dinner menu a month in advance. My husband like it because he always knows what he is having for dinner!)

    When eating out : look for the daily specials, eat a salad, drink water, look for coupons, dont get dessert, Bring it home so you arent tempted by anything "extra"

    I can give you TONS of other tips or recipes! I like things fast and easy....and as healthy as I can! You can do it, it sometimes just takes a little creativity!

  7. thriftorama Says:


    All good tips, and I welcome more! I know our monthly total is jaw dropping. I was shocked too frankly.

    Funny thing-- we don't drink soda! It's never in the house. A big budget-buster is my hubby's gourmet coffee taste. Peet's. He loves it and coffee is his passion, so he won't give it up, even if it's $10-$20 a pound. We'll have to work around that one...

  8. Original MomCents Says:

    well... I cant blame him! I LOVE coffee too! I now have 4 kids so I eventually did cut back on the "fancy" coffee! I found that Maxwell House french roast has a great flavor. I do treat myself to Starbucks - so I can say much! Let the man have his coffee Smile

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