Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grocery Budget

I just don't think that I can get our monthly spending much lower. Rrrrrr, I think that this is the best that I can do. So for the past four weeks, we spent $510.68. We have $480 budgeted so we went over by $30.68. I'm ok with this one. I still have $3 in Jewel cats, $11 in CVS bucks, and $8 in Walgreens cats. So if I subtract those, I'm at $488.68.
We had to buy some supplies for our little getaway so that is what pushed us over. Instead of going out to eat, I splurged and bought microwavable meals to save money. In the end, it was probably worth it.
And then there was the Den problem. He said about two weeks into the four weeks that he was going to change it up and redo the way that we shop.(I can hear you groaning) He thought that the budget/meal plan was a little to restrictive. Yup, so when it came time to shop, he bought what he wanted. And then when we needed to stock up again, he wasn't up to redoing the monthly menu. So I had to sort it all out when we needed to stock up. My guess is he will just follow the menu plan next time around. Or I hope he will!
I'll let you know what happens in the next four weeks. I would love to have a $300 month. I'm such a loser. This is what I aspire to!
Thanks for letting me ramble,


Annie Jones said...

Of course, I don't know your exact situation or how grocery prices run in your part of the country, but it seems to me that the biggest obstacle you and Den are having with groceries is not sticking to the meal plan you make. We spend, on average, $60-70 a week for 2 adults and a little one. I think $300-$325 is do-able for your family of 4.

That's for human food only. (I can't remember if you count your pet food, cleaning supplies, etc. in with your groceries or not.)

McVal said...

When groceries get low and I'm determined not to eat out or purchase more til the end of the month... I make an announcement to the family and we punt. The cupboards, freezer and fridge get cleaned out and inventoried. And we sort of make plans from that. In a pinch, pancakes with choco chips for supper... It feels good to use up what's in the cupboards sometimes.
But good luck! My husband is a bit opinionated so he might splurge a little so he's not ending up with a can of whitefish for supper... (true story on the whitefish)

Frances said...

Ramble away, SonyaAnn. I might have a heart attack if I spent that much for groceries. Though, since part of them were for your trip, I might consider that part "vacation expense" and not grocery expense, since it saved you from eating out.

I forget, are you just including food products, or do you include pets, HBA, etc.?

I don't know that you will ever be able to lower your bill if Den won't cooperate.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-I count everything in the budget. Cat and dog food and all toiletries are included. Everything that is "used" is counted in that. If I took off all of the toiletries it would probably knock $20-$30 off a week.
We do live in a very high area to live. I think this area was 4th or 5th in the country. Our taxes on a very modest tri-level are $5,000 a year.
But you are completely right, it's not sticking to the meal plan. I'm trying to let Den have more control over it and maybe that will help. But I think at this point, I'm just beating my head against the wall!

SonyaAnn said...

McVal-I think the problem is Den and I have two separate ways of cooking. He is a much better cook than I am but I'm cheaper. He is kind of spoiled so he wants his way when he cooks. But I shouldn't complain because the food is wonderful.

SonyaAnn said...

Frances-That is everything. All toiletries, dog food, cat food and anything else that I can throw in.
I'm at the end of my rope though. He is doing the shopping now so I just tell him a price and he tries to stay within the budget. He likes to wonder around the store and come up with ideas. But he is shopping at ethnic stores so it is cheaper than what we get here. I've been buying all of the toiletries. I think I've done the best that I can.

slugmama said...

Well if $480 covers food, pet food and toiletries for 3 adults and 1 preteen boy(plus the pets), I think you are doing very well!
This food stamp challenge I am on gives you $101 per person for the month, so under that you would have $404 for your food budget. And that is ONLY food...no toiletries or cleaning supplies or paper products & no pet food.
This $101 a person per month is doable I am finding but it takes work! And I don't have a spouse or SO changing things up at dinner time or meddling in the food buying like you do.
and Annie Jones is right....the cost of food varies so much around the country that it's insane! Heck, I can do to a diff. grocery in the next town over but the same exact chain and basically all the prices are 20¢ or so LOWER on almost every item!....so if prices can vary within my small area like that, imagine how they fluctuate across the country!?!?

The only thing besides tying up Den I can suggest to get you a teeny bit lower....try to cut the meat intake. That category's your biggest grocery expense. Prepare less meat or get Den to work on meatless dishes....that might appeal to his inventive/creative side, right? ;-)
Challenge him to bring 2 or 3 non-meat meals to the table each week.

But considering your challenges and where you are with this, I think you are doing well. 8-)

slugmama said...

And remember....once Anna leaves for school, your food bill will be going down, down, down!

Oh, another thing you can do to get free groceries since you are on the computer anyway...lol....start emailing companies that make products you like. Send them complaint mail &/or compliment mail, just mail them! 9 times out of 10 you'll get free product coupons or at least $-off coupons and if it's for things you want or buy anyway, that will bring down your grocery bill! Also, start ramping up your rebating efforts to bring in extra free $ each month and put that toward your grocery budget.
Ok....I've blabbed on enough for now.lol

Annie Jones said...

I agree with Slugmama, that if you are including all of your consumables in the same budget category with food, then you aren't doing that badly for a family of 4.

I just never have included HBA, cleaning supplies, etc. with my groceries because I never buy them at the "grocery" store. :)

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-"that might appeal to his inventive/creative side, right? ;-"-This is the problem over all! He is an amazing chef. He worked for years in a French restaurant. You hit the nail on the head. He has to be creative. And I'm far from a creative cook. In fact, I think that most times he is just being kind and chokes what I cook down. I've had very expensive meals(our anniversary) and it was weak compared to what Den makes. I told him he should go in the kitchen and help them out! He should be entering contests.
Our gas prices are so high even when everyone elses are dropping. I think that is part of the problem with food prices.
Den did get 5 meals out of a huge roast the other day. He can stretch meals when he wants to. He should stay home and I should go out to work. I tell him that all the time!!
And thank you for thinking that I'm doing a good(ish) job. It doesn't feel like it.
I bet that when Anna goes away to school she will about starve to death! She doesn't know how good she has it!

SonyaAnn said...

slugmama-I need to bring in some money. I'm starting to panic a bit about college and the bills. I think that I was going to try to bring in/save $5 a day and see if that would help around the house.

SonyaAnn said...

Annie Jones-If it gets "used" I count it with the food.
I may be at the point where I can't get it any lower. It will be interesting to see if the grocery bill does go down with Anna leaving. If it does I'm going to try and save that for the bills. I will probably start cleaning for Grandpa Mott when Anna leaves for school. I'm sure that he will still need someone. That is an extra $30 a week that I can save for school!

Rene W. said...

Grocery budgets are so hard! When I first started budgeting, I found out that we were over $600 a month! Since I started on my shakes, I've reduced it a lot, but I still feel I spend way too much - need to learn the coupon game!!

SonyaAnn said...

Rene W.-They aren't fun!!!! But it does help me try and find ways to cut back. So your shakes, are they protein shakes? You can lose a ton of weight fast if you can stick with it. It's what the body builders do. My brother is getting married and I think I'll do the shakes to drop the weight!

Beth said...

You're not a looser! I think that's pretty darn close to your budget. I know first hand how hard it is to stay under a certain amount....it sucks! I'm ready for some rich, good-looking guy to come along and rescue me from this poverty!

SonyaAnn said...

Beth-You and me both!!!!!