Friday, January 13, 2012

"Being Realistic" ... about Groceries

It's been happening for a while now...  "groans" as the cashier tells me the total of our weekly groceries shops... yes, audible groans.

Groceries are getting expensive!!

I remember our seminary days. Brian and I both having part-time jobs, both going to school and our $50 grocery bills that used to make me "groan".... LOL!! That was our goal... staying at $100 for all our weekly incidental expenses.... groceries, gas, movies, out to eat, etc!!

So now when just my weekly grocery shop rings up $100+... yes, I "groan"... loudly!  LOL!! And then we still go back to the grocery store at the end of the week... for soymilk, fruit, occasionally juice or to pick up something I forgot the 1st time;)

Thankfully we have all our needs provided for. My husband is an avid budget -er and has it all planned out so that we can have grocery money, pay the bills, save for a house, and even save a bit for the kids' college:) So to save we try to stick with the budget!!

After "groaning" this week, I began to wonder though... is our budget realistic?

We roughly average about $150 a week on groceries! Which sounds crazy high to me...

but then divide $150 by the 6 of us...

$25 to feed  each one of us for a WEEK!!!

Good grief... we are conservative even on our infrequent "nights out" and spent more than that on just one evening out for just TWO of us!! 

I used to coupon a LOT!!! I still bring along my coupons, just in case! But I've really gotten out of the habit of only purchasing items on sale and stocking up on items we use regularly... it just got too crazy to bring coupons and 4 children!

As I attempt to get back into couponing to be more frugal with our finances...

I realize I need to be realistic....
there will probably no longer be $50 grocery bills on the stock up trips...

Not with all these sweet mouths to feed;)

Besides shopping sales, using coupons and gardening.... How do you try to keep the grocery bills from getting too high??


Aliesha said...

I think you're doing a great job! You have a very low budget for a family of your size. One thing that really helps us is shopping at Aldi every two weeks (since the closest one is 30 minutes away we only justify the gas money twice a month). I find that almost everything I regularly buy is cheaper there than anywhere "in town"! But don't stress... like I said, I think you are doing a great job!

Stacey said...

Lots of things :) Drink water instead of juice. Plan my meals before I go shopping. Only shop once per week, and make do with what we have in the fridge/freezer/pantry for that week.

Honestly though, making a meal plan is the best way to save money. You know exactly what you need for that week, you can plan to use up leftovers and produce that you already have, and you can really see how much a particular meal costs.

Also, I know a lot of people think that shopping around saves you money, but it wastes time and gas to drive around to multiple stores. I do it all at one store, one day per week.

And I think your current budget is pretty realistic, though obviously prices vary greatly from region to region.

My weekly budget is $100 for the grocery store, and $30 for farmers market/buying club purchases. So $130 total for our family of 5.

SarahElisabeth said...

Really hard to translate. I'm in the UK. We spend about £120/week on groceries for 8 of us.

We use Stacey's ideas plus try to have 2-3 meatless meals per week. Buying sacks of potatoes and using seasonal fruit and veg helps.

We shop on line not sure that this would be available to you? If we spend over £100 then delivery is often free and I find it a good way of keeping tabs on cost. I didn't think that I was an impulse buyer but obviously was to some extent.

We don't currently have children with allergies. One of our children had, and has grown out of milk intolerance. We found that cooking for special dietary needs did push up our food bills so guess this is a factor for you.

Kelly B said...

Our dietary needs make groceries a little challenging! The nice things is that A LOT of boxed/convenience foods and mixes are OUT for us! But that means we make a LOT from scratch!

Besides the milk, eggs and peanuts! My husband has problems with garlic and my son now has an allergy to potatoes.... thankfully CHris seems to "grow out" of his vegetable allergies... but for now potatoes aren't a staple for us:(

Great idea about going meatless... not sure the "fam" would go for it! BUt they recently discovered soup;) Yay... finally!! So meats can be stretched that way... chicken & rice and ham & bean soup are the top choices!

I haven't really looked into shopping online. I think some stores in the city offer pick-up when you shop online at their stores.... it would be a 40+ minute drive each way for us though!

Angela said...

We shop at Aldi regularly too. For our family of 5 (plus one due in March!) we spend about $100 a week...I *GROAN* loudly too! I just can't believe we eat that much food! I think I do a good job getting the best price for things at the grocery store, but I wish I knew more about which meals are the least expensive per serving but still are nutritionally sound and something my family will eat.

Jenny said...

You are doing great! I use coupons, but hardly ever find ones for the grocery items we use. Basically, I just try to buy things when they are on sale, before I need them.

Angela said...

I do much better when I leave the kids at home with Daddy. I know that might be hard for your family, but it helps me price check when I don't have three kids with me. I have also try to use what I have on hand. I realized I was stocking up on stuff, but not using it. Trying new things with items like pasta that are cheap and I have on hand helps. I also try to buy the cheaper cuts of meat like chicken thighs instead of breast. BTW We're in the same boat with cost and cutting back. You're doing a great job!