Reader Friend Tammy writes:
You must tell me how you did this. I spent $300 on groceries this week.
Let me start off by saying how surprised I am that I spent just $39.61 on a week’s worth of dinners. When we were getting out of debt, we spent $400 a MONTH on food. Now, we’ve upped it to $500, because we’ve added a mouth, and well, because it’s nice to relax a little… But that is roughly $100-$125/week for food. So, believe me, I was shocked at a week less than $40!
Here are a few tips and practices I do:
I take my food money out in CASH, so I never go over my allocated amount. There are some times that we have to budget a little more, like if we plan on having friends over for dinner, or an out-of-town guest. But we budget for those things at the beginning of our pay period. If we neglect to budget specifically for them, I have to REALLY stretch the food budget! (It’s been known to happen). Furthermore, if you know you only have $xx, and that’s it, that’s all you spend.
We eat LOTS of left overs. There is SO little food being thrown out, that I am able to send leftovers with The Hubby 2-4 times a week (saving us the $20 we budget for his lunches each week).
I *try* to shop sales, but I prefer to plan my menu using inexpensive things to begin with. Stock up when possible, even if it means you have to scrimp to get by until your next payday, but don’t blow your whole wad on dried beans because they are $.50/lb (great price), unless you want to just eat beans for 2 weeks.
Buy in bulk, if the price is right. If you are low on funds, buying from bulk bins allows you to only buy what you need. “Bulk Retailers” (Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.) don’t always have the best price. Break out your calculator, and check!
Plan Plan Plan! It is glaringly obvious to me when I don’t make a plan of attack for our menus. Those are the month’s I find myself scrimping WAY more than others. Plus, with a plan, you only buy what you need, so things don’t go bad, just cuz they looked good in the store!
Those are just a few of my success tips. They’ve been working for me and my family for over 3 years!