Saturday, April 2, 2011

1st Month at $200/mo Grocery budget a Success!

March Grocery Spending Results!
So, March 2011 was my first month challenging myself to a $200 grocery budget...and it went pretty well!  I think I need to explain that $200/mo for our family of five is a much tighter budget for us as compared to the past.  I really do mean tighter.  Believe it or not, before couponing & strategic shopping, our grocery total per month (for our family of 5) often came to a whopping $1000-1200+/mo. (that's $300+/week!) Ugh!...I'll go hide under a rock now! ;-).  

After I began couponing & strategic shopping, I found that I was able to slash this $ amount in half, almost instantly, even while building up a stockpile!...and I've continued to see our grocery spending decline! The last few months prior to dropping to my new $200/mo. challenge, I was spending around $333-$400/mo, which was a great improvement!  However, now, I'm very happy to report that my grocery spending for March actually came in under budget at $180.71! Woohoo! :-) 

During this first month's trial, I found that I was quite a bit more selective in what I chose to buy.  I tended to pass on many of the deals I may have taken in the recent past, too.  However, I feel like I've still really kept a pretty nice supply of high quality food, etc. around the house!  In keeping the "tally", I did notice that I really took a lot of trips! Geesh! At some point in the future, to save additionally on gas (& time), I'd also like to try to cut back on the # of trips, overall.  I do try to make most of these trips when I'm near these stores for other reasons, though.  Or I carpool with my dad...thanks dad! 

Now, hmmmm...what to do with that extra almost $20?  After giving this a little thought, I'm planning to save it in a sort of "grocery reserve fund" for times that I find super amazing deals that I want to really stock up on.  For instance, if I find a really great deal on lean ground beef, I'll want to grab a bunch to freeze for later use & can use this "grocery reserve fund" for that purpose.

Next up, April!  I'm going to continue challenging myself to the $200/mo grocery budget for April.  See the new "Monthly Grocery Tally (April 2011)" on the right hand side of the blog!

I'd love to hear more from you!  What kinds of savings have you found with couponing & strategic shopping?  Have you challenged yourself to a tighter grocery budget?  Or, are you thinking about doing this?  It would be great to hear what you've learned & how you've challenged yourself to be more savings savvy!  Please share your thoughts in the comments below this post! :-)

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