The Goal of the Grocery Budget Challenge is to be creative with our meal planning and grocery shopping so that we do not over-spend. We don’t want to make our families miserable with bland meals, boring snacks, and not enough food in the house, but we must stay on budget. Lately when I see my bill at the check out, I’m shocked at how few groceries are actually going home with me. This will be a challenge where we’ll need discipline, support, and planning.
On the 30th of each month, between January and November in 2014, we will meet here to discuss our challenges and successes for the month with our grocery budget. Every month, there will also be action steps due by the next meeting.
How Did We Do in April?
April Wins: By using the same strategies from March, I was able to stay within our grocery budget of $450. That number seems to be our sweet spot. It’s an amount that is a bit challenging to stay at, but my family is still happy.
We’re heading into grilling season and I always find this to be an easier time of year for me to plan a menu. Also, my husband gets more involved with cooking since he loves to grill.
Action Step 1: Plan your grocery budget for May. Take into account any special occasions, such as the Mother’s Day, graduation celebrations, Memorial Day, birthdays, anniversaries, dinner parties, pot lucks, etc.
Action Step 2: Continue to plan your meals and grocery list. For my system, read 11 Simple Meal Planning Tips.
Action Step 3: Maintain organization in your kitchen, it will make meal planning easier. For my system, read 5 Steps to an Organized Pantry.
Action Step 4: Eat from the Pantry in May. Eating from the pantry can help you get through a month when funds are really tight, but it takes planning and creativity. If you’re stumped on how to use a particular ingredient, search for ideas on FBS or other recipe sites. Use May to use up what you have stored in your pantry and freezer and see how much grocery money you have left over at the end of the month to put towards other things, such as an upcoming vacation or your emergency fund.
Action Step 5: Meet back here on Wednesday, May 30, ready to discuss your successes and challenges for the month.
How did you do in April? Did you plan your meals regularly? Did you come in right on budget or did you go over or under budget? And what are your emergency meals that you always have on hand? Please share in the comments.
Also, if you’re blogging about the Grocery Budget Challenge, feel free to leave the link in the comments.
Visit the previous Grocery Budget Challenge Meetings: