Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How much do you spend on groceries?

Having two cars die within a couple months of each other is great.  Having gas as high as it is- even better.   Great economy on top of it?  Love it!

All of this has made it necessary that we adjust our budgets.  My food/grocery budget is now down to $500 per month which includes any eating out, or detergent, diapers, etc.

I just talked to my very frugal friend from when we lived in Utah, and she has a family of six like me, and spends $400.   So I've got some more work to do.

How do you do it? I asked her.  Well...

She doesn't buy any mixes and expensive cereal, but makes everything by hand since it's cheaper.  Check.  I do that too.

She makes a bit extra at dinner to use as leftovers for husband's lunch.  Check.

She plans her monthly menu's because that's the easiest way to spend a lot- is to come home tired and have no clue what you're doing for dinner, and to therefore go out and buy something.  Check.

She shops case lot sales, or the big sales that stores have once/twice a year, and buys all her meat for the year then, as well as stocking up on other things like tomato sauce, etc.   I don't do this unless I stumble upon a case lot sale by accident.  I don't have time to clip coupons and pay attention to that stuff!  But I do belong to Costco, which we have shown for our family every year saves us a good amount of money because you can buy a lot of things in bulk for less.  About like the case lot sales.  So sorta check...but I could do better.

I don't know what she does about dates, but I'd bet they're like us.  I try to go out with Pat once a month, but we either don't buy anything, or we go cheap.  Definitely no place with a waiter that we have to pay. I always want to have people over, but worry about serving beans and rice or tuna casserole.   And I can't afford the good stuff, that I, as a master chef (self proclaimed), used to serve.

So I'm still wondering how she comes out about $100 cheaper than me, but we used to be up above $700 so we're doing much better as it is.  If you want to call it better.  Pretty soon, I'm going to send my kids out hunting rabbits for meat. 
Anyway, if you have any tips, feel free to comment.


Sarah said...

Coupons definitely help a lot, but it does take some dedication. We try to use them whenever we can.
Take heart, we usually spend 300-400 and there are only 4 of us and no diapers to buy. Also, I know in Utah they have a program called Bountiful Baskets - maybe your friend is taking advantage of that? I wish we had it here. Basically, it's a co-op program. You pay X amount - about 20 bucks from what I remember from friends - to fill up a laundry basket with fresh fruit and vegetables. Also, in Michigan we paid a lot less in groceries...we were kind of sticker shocked by the price of food here. We probably spent 100-150 less a month on food in MI. (They also had this great store there, and in other places in the country, called ALDI. It's way cheaper than a regular grocery store. I think they have some locations in the west, I am hoping they come to Abq!)

Anonymous said...

Instead of inviting people over for dinner, invite them over for desert and games. A lot less money and work and a way lot more fun!