Grocery Budget Update — Long over due

I had  friend ask on facebook about reducing budget and spending less. You could just choose to not buy stuff, but when it comes to food, that really isn’t feasible. There are strategies, some presented here…

I’ve talked about my goals in the past, to get my grocery budget down to $200 a month. I’ve found that since we aren’t willing to eat rice and beans, well, I’m not willing to eat rice and beans, I found that $300 to $350 is more reasonable.  I don’t aim to spend that much/little each and every month, I aim to get my 12 month average to that. Here’s my last 12 months (that’s how long I’ve been keeping track! woot!)

Feb-12        323.9
Mar-12        344.05
Apr-12        772.65
May-12        359.04
Jun-12        250.4
Jul-12        231.47
Aug-12        407.36
Sep-12        297.94
1-Oct-12        307.03
1-Nov-12        289.45
1-Dec-12        282.77
1-Jan-13        239.4
monthly average        342.1216667

April is a monster month, as that’s when we got the cow quarter. That worked out to be a great deal. We got cuts we wouldn’t normally eat, but the ground beef was even a great price. It was very low fat, which would normally go for $4 to $5 a pound; we got all the meat at about $3 to $4 a pound! That $1 a pound really adds up. I’ve gotten better at cooking on the cheap, working with what I’ve got, and planning ahead.

Keep in mind that there are no paper products, cleaning products or eating out in these numbers.  I bought a bit of baby food when Doctor Destructo was just starting on food, but it was a ton of work (who will wield the spoon? how long as this jar been open? what will he eat?) and so much easier, especially in the long run, to just feed him whatever we ate. I’d cut up what ever was soft enough for him at first, and now, I hardly cut much up at all (he’s 21 months now). He is quite adept at wielding the spoon himself and will even try to drink the broth from the bowl after the noodles are gone. All that to say, he has added very little to our food budget. He isn’t likely to add much until he starts eating enough that I don’t have leftovers any more. Hopefully, that is several years away.

I still don’t buy many pre-packaged foods. I will make if I really want it, though I’ve not found a good way to replicate nilla wafers. But my go to dessert is pudding, and I splurge a bit on that and make the ‘expensive’ recipe.

I will ponder my various food shopping strategies and see if I can write up a nice set of tips that I have found work well around here.  In the mean time, let me point you to a blog that I’ve learned tons from: moneysavingmom.com. I get nothing if you starting look around there, its just a blog I really like.

And, if you, dear reader, have questions, thoughts, comments or ideas you’d like me to address, let me know via facebook, comments or email.

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