Thursday, September 10, 2009

Grocery Reality Check

Not sure if August was a bad month, or if I have just been way off base and in denial about our Grocery bill.

I looked at August 1 - August 31.....$640! I "think" part of that was maybe it is really closer to $620. Any way you slice it, I have $400 budgeted for groceries, and the FA wants us to cut that by 15%...bringing us to $340. My August bill was almost DOUBLE the reduced rate!!!

That was a major eye opener. What on Earth did we buy at the grocery store? My parents did come to I am sure I bought some extra stuff. But did I really buy THAT much extra????

At September 10, we have spent $141 on groceries thus far. Based on a 30 day month....we need to average $11.33 a day (for the reduced grocery budget line item). So, we should be at $113.....ok, $141 isn't bad. A little high (almost 25% to be exact, but who is counting!), but plenty of time to compensate. I was actually happy that it isn't so far off the beaten path.

It is absolutely amazing how quickly things add up. Not just in groceries, but on CC, dining out, etc. When you pay real money....not the plastic hurts you to part with it. And since CC functions on "buy me now, worry about it later" principle, you never really face the demon.

An interesting lesson for me....I am going to be much more careful from now on!


  1. Hey Mysti! Do I understand that right? Your trying to reach $340.00 per month for Groceries? WOW! We are a family of 5 and we have a budget of $620.00/month and we end up having to borrow from other budget areas for Milk, Eggs, Bread as we get closer to payday. You probably know I am a Dave Ramsey follower and he provides some recommended budget percentages..let me know if you want me to send those on. So..look at the yo start to climb out of's not what you spent on's what you SAVED by not going out! KEEP GOING!!

  2. I don't think that we will be able to make $340. That is optimistic!!! I had budgeted $400, and that is tight.

    We spent $620 last month, but like I said, I think part of that was having company. YIKES, I hope we don't spend that much....our budget (with every dollar has a name), doesn't allow for that.

    We only have a $50 a month allowance for eating out.

  3. We absolutely never eat out as family unless we're traveling (which we do at least twice a year). I have found that to be a HUGE way we have helped our food budget.

    I have been thinking about blogging specifics about our grocery bill for a family of five... Off the top of my head I w/say we stay around $500, which includes personal stuff like toilet paper, tooth brushes, facial soap, etc. I am not a big makeup person, so no budget breaker there.

    The #1 thing I do that helps with grocery budget is meal plan. It's tedious and boring, but it saves so much, and helps keep dinner time from being a last-minute scrounge.

    #2 Saver would be utilizing leftovers, whether that's eating the same thing again or using what's left and incorporating it into a different meal. NEVER throw food away.

    #3- I get us special treats, especially for the kids' lunch that helps encourage them to take their lunches and not buy at school. I also get frozen pizzas which substitute ordering out pizza that we used to do to give me a break from cooking.

    #4 Couponing and stockpiling based on sales, and matching sales with coupons, is a given. I could be doing a much better job on this. Check out

    I'll stop now! I hope you can tell I am cheering you on!

  4. I was so amazed when I started tracking it how much I actually spend!

    Love the blog! Keep up the great work!