Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Groceries on a Budget...

I know there are many blogs and posts out there that focus on living on a budget and saving money.  I have read many of them.  One of the main ways to save money is to spend less on food/groceries.  There are so many ways to save money on groceries from clipping coupons to meal planning.  Well, I will tell you what has worked for me.

First, let me tell you where we were a year ago.  We spent between $180-$200 every time we got a major load of groceries and probably $20-$30 in between for other random things.  My pantry was full and I could usually figure out something to make for dinner whenever I actually cooked.

Fast forward to a few months ago:  with our ambitions of K starting his own practice and the loans we owe on his schooling, we had to figure out some ways to save.  Spending less on groceries seemed like a no-brainer to me, but where to start?

Well, I have read Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover and also Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half  by Steve and Annette Economides.  While they are both great books I found that they were missing something for me.  I don't want to eat lesser quality food just to save money and I don't want to spend tons of time planning my grocery shopping and going to multiple stores to save a few bucks.

I decided to take the good points from both books, such as setting a budget and using cash for groceries  to meal planning.  To these key points I added my own (and to me the most important one): EAT REAL FOOD!

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/4206360542

Over time, I have been buying less and less processed food.  I find the more fruits and vegetables I buy that aren't pre-packaged the less my grocery bill is.  (All that packaging and processing costs money!)  I also sometimes buy meat that is discounted and freeze it immediately.  I shop by myself only once a week and I only buy what is on the list.

Get a freezer.  Grow a garden.  Preserve foods by canning and a dehydrator or freezing. Make your own bread and snacks.  In our house we make fruit roll ups, granola, popcorn (air popped) etc.  We also make homemade cleaning products and use cloth diapers.

Now, for our family of 4 our average weekly grocery bill is around $75-$85.  No clipping coupons, so driving to 3 different stores, no reading flyers.  Just buying REAL FOOD.


  1. That's great! We spend about $125 a week on a family of three so I know we could improve. Sadly, I think I'm the cost culprit with my love of flavored water, frozen lunches for work and lots and lots of fruit. (good apples run abt $1 each! that's insane!)

  2. Shannon - you should check this out: http://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/251/Easy+Fruit+%26+Herb+Flavored+Water
    I found it on pinterest (of course). They look like some really delicious and easy recipes for naturally flavored water. Let me know if you come up with any other ideas for saving $...I am all ears!


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