Saturday, October 1, 2011

the results are in...

I confessed that over the last several months I had not been putting a whole lot of effort into the whole grocery shopping thing.  I wasn't really planning or thinking or anything.  I totaled up our spending in August and vowed to attempt to start improving in September. 

My "grocery budget" is pretty much everything.  It includes diapers, toiletries, food, any eating out, etc.  I admit that Amazon gift cards that I accumulate from both Swagbucks and surveys are helpful to my grocery budget; in September I was able to get 702 Pamper baby wipes for free from Amazon and two bottles of Natalie's Burt's Bees baby soap for only $2.82 out of pocket.  Mostly, though, the improvement from August to September happened just because I started thinking and trying again. 

I didn't use any "guerrilla" shopping techniques during September.  I stuck mostly with Food City and Wal-Mart rather than stalking sales and matching coupons at various places around town.  I may try to start adding those more advanced systems to my repertoire in the next few months.  I can't promise that I will ever drop our budget to the point of "internet fame" like my frugal-living blogger heroes.  I just want to make the best use possible of the resources we have available. 

Anyway, our total spending for everything food-and-grocery-related in August was $566.83.  This averages to about $142 per week for our family of four.  You can tell I wasn't making too much of an effort this month!  :-p 

September's total spending was $432.21, an average of approximately $108 per week.  I dropped the total grocery bill $134.62 from August to September.  Since all I really did was return to thinking and planning, I don't think that's too bad of a start.  In October, I intend to use My Grocery Deals to start utilizing the sales at various stores.  I will use what coupons I can/have.  Eventually I'm going to start figuring how serious frugalistas do the whole CVS game.  I'm not there yet.  My eventual goal is to lower our spending to $60-80 per week.  I would like to go lower, but I'm not sure that I can pull that off.  We'll see how meeting the first goal goes.  Baby steps, right?  ;) 

If you want to share your favorite tips for shaving money off of your grocery bills, I'm all ears! 


Tara said...

I think you're doing great. My budget is usually $100 a week too and there are only 3 of us (well, do the pets count? Because they really add to my spending too!). :)

It helped me this month to start using the envelope system. I got by on closer to $40 a week by just using cash. It was a lot easier for me to stick to the budget knowing I couldn't pull out my debit card!

Even after Nick gets paid, I'm going to try and keep our budget lower than $100 a week by continuing to use the cash/envelope system. We're looking at getting the Sunday paper too and see if those coupons make it worth it. Right now I don't use coupons or anything.

karen said...

Pets totally count in my opinion!