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 September & October
Well for starters, I completely forgot to write a September update–ha!
Back in the summer, our grocery spending hit $500 and I decided to shift our budget to $500 to accommodate our changing eating habits.
I would like to say that the increase is from my girls growing and eating more like adults. My oldest eats two dinners on the nights she has swim team practice.
But I’ll be honest, I was not as diligent about my planning. Maybe I should reread How I Spent $425 on Groceries and follow my own advice.
November is the last month of the challenge, so I would love to focus this month and get back to my $450 budget, but that could be difficult.
November is a great month for grocery sales and stocking up. If you have any wiggle room in your budget for some extra grocery money, this would be the month to find it and build up your pantry and freezer. I’ve seen turkeys for .25/lb, baking products at 50% off (or more–love the loss leaders) and great deals on fall produce.
Action Step 1: Plan your grocery budget for November. Plan for Thanksgiving, especially if you are hosting a big Thanksgiving Day dinner. Don’t take on the whole dinner yourself. If you are having guests, ask them to bring a dish. My mother hosts Thanksgiving every year for our extended family, but she only makes the turkey and gravy. Everyone else brings the side dishes and desserts. To be successful with staying on budget this month, you will most definitely need to plan.
Action Step 3: Maintain organization in your kitchen, it will make meal planning easier. For my system, read 5 Steps to an Organized Pantry.
Did you stay within your grocery budget in September and October? Let us know how you did in the comments.