Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grocery shopping on a budget

When Mr Bacon brings it home twice a month, that means it's time to grocery shop (along with paying bills). How do we go about it and keep within our budget? First I should say we feed a family of 5 (with one bacon bit on the way) for about $200 a month! This takes a lot of planning and a few years for us to figure out exactly how to cut our grocery bills this low. We use to spend over $500 a month when it was just 3 of us at home! Right now we allow ourselves to spend $80 every 2 weeks at the grocery store, the other $40 a month goes into an envelope to spend at SAM'S club. Here we shop about every 3 mths and stock up on things like meat and frozen veggies.

The first step- Menu planning. We rarely eat out so it's making our own meals each night. Really if you eat out a lot, think back to how much you spent on that dinner. Do you even remember? Or did you just pull out the plastic and hope for the best? When we do go out to eat it costs about $40- this is about a weeks worth of groceries for us! Way cheaper to eat at home, and I know what's going into my meals for my family.

Every two weeks we make up a menu for the next two weeks at a family. Yes you read that right, all 5 of us sit down and talk about what we want for dinners. The kids like that they get to help pick out the meals.

Once we get our meal plan down, I hunt though the pantry and freezer and see what we have for each meal. What's not on hand, we add to our shopping list and head off to get groceries, yup again as a family! Yes people think I'm insane for it, I take 3 kids 7 and under AND a husband to the grocery store! But really it works for us. Our kids get a good lesson in how to buy good vs. bad foods, and they get a nice math lesson in whats a better deal. Mr. Bacon and I keep each other in check to make sure no impulse buys go into the cart without both of us agreeing to it. So crazy, maybe, but sticking to a budget we do!

So you're thinking you want to try this, start small. If you're used to eating out a lot, challenge yourself to see if you can cut it back each week. Try to plan even a few meals a week will help. Baby steps are what get you to your goals.

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