Grocery Budget Accountability

Discussion in 'Mama's Simplifying and Thrift forum' started by 3boysnagrl, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Our grocery budget is $500 per pay period (1st and 15th of each month) for food and groceries. We are a family of 7. My goal is to reduce what we actually spend each pay period by utilizing some budget friendly ideas like menu planning, comparing prices, and making budget friendly meals. At the end of the pay period, the money left will be redistributed: the first $50 (10%) will be donated to YWAM Ethiopia's feeding program, the remainder will be put into another area of our family budget where we could use some help (probably clothing!).

    So, this is to keep me accountable on my food spending for Dec 30-Jan 13.

    $100 in bank account:
    12/30 MySpiceSage.com - $43.25 = $56.75

    $400 in envelope:
    12/31 Safeway - $41.74 = $358.26
    12/31 WinCo Foods - $136.10 $222.16
    12/31 socked away in hiding: $150 = $72.16 hoping to make it the rest of the pay period with only that - and then I would have shaved $150 off the budgeted money for food.


    PURCHASES:
    12/30 MySpiceSage.com - 5# berbere (for Ethiopian food), 8 vanilla beans (free w/purchase) and 1 oz black cardamom pods (free w/purchase)

    12/31 Safeway - whole smoked turkey, 2.5# ground turkey, 32oz Lil Smokeys, 2 whole chickens ($.79/#), bananas, 2 bunches spinach, tomatoes, 32 oz broccoli wokoli, 32 oz fresh stir fry veggies

    12/31 WinCo Foods - milk (2 gal), eggs (3 dzn), potato chips (NYE), soda (NYE), onions, potatoes, rice, rice/lentil soup from bulk, pasta sauce, beef broth, popcorn (5#!), pastas, yogurt for Shawn for work, peanut butter, sour cream, cheeses, orange juice, string cheese (a must in our house), butter, and cereal ($2 a box!), sausage, bacon, raisins, mushrooms. (probably a few other things, too).

    ***
    12/31 - dh and I went through the freezer and made a list of the protein sources we have in there right now. Now we're making a menu for the next 2 weeks utilizing some of those proteins. We'll be going to WinCo later to get the rest of the big shopping done. I pulled out $400 in cash this morning, and put it in an envelope to use for groceries/food. There is $56.75 left in the bank (not in the envelope) for groceries, in case I need Shawn to stop and get something on his way home from work.

    I took $150 from the envelope and put it away. I am hoping to not have to touch that $150.

    ***
    1/1 I am so irrirated right now. I told dh my plan. Laid it all out for him. I asked him to go to Costco to pick up the dog food and a pkg of grapes, because last time i looked there, they were $7.50 for a huge container. He got the dog food (about $30) and TWO pkgs of grapes @$9/box. AND then he also picked up a pkg of razors... the bill was over $90. Now, had I known he needed razors, we would have gotten them later this month or I would have gotten those instead of the berbere this pay period. AND... seriously, $18 for grapes? And $40 for RAZORS!

    He wants me to save money. He says he is on board. But then he goes and does this. Now I have to work the money all over again because he used $$ out of our account, and there was nowhere near that much in there for groceries.

    ****
    1/7/2011
    I've been pretty sick all week - so some of my grand plans have gone to the wayside. We picked up more milk and eggs (totally knew we would need that, and it was planned). Wednesday I was in bed all day long, so dh picked up pizza. And tonight he picked up McDonald's. I also ordered my coffee online. So tomorrow I will see what we have left. We've been much more cognizant and intentional with our food money this pay period - and we are still well within our budgeted amount. We may not save nearly as much as I had hoped - but we had some expenses that we don't typically have (the $45 razors and the $43 spices and the pizza and McDonald's - all things we haven't typically been doing).
    ****

    11/12/2011
    We get paid tomorrow, so this pay period's grocery money is done TODAY. I have $54.06 left in my grocery envelope! :) So I am under my budgeted amount for this pay period. Mission accomplished.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  2. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    I really need to track mine too, can I play on your thread, or do you want me to start my own? :)
  3. littlelemon

    littlelemon Active Member

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    I'll track mine too. I am HORRIBLE about adhering to the grocery budget. I am always taking money from other envelopes to pay for groceries when I run out. We have $200 every 4 weeks, but before any of you freak out that does not include any meat at all or any milk or eggs (we get these from other sources and budget differently for those).
  4. Briefaerie

    Briefaerie New Member

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    We have a big stockpile so I'd like to stay below $300 for January for all food and health/beauty etc. Mainly that will be to purchase of fresh produce so we shouldn't need near that much but I'm tired of going over.
  5. AngelaJ

    AngelaJ Senior Member

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    I need to do this, too, but I'm honestly not sure where I even am. I think we're currently spending about 600/mo on all groceries and household, but we also spend a couple hundred a month on takeout and lunches out for DH and I (We both work eveyday, and occasionally forget to pack lunch).

    I don't know how much cheaper I can get it, realistically, but I do need to at least try. I guess I also need to just track and see how much I am actually spending. So, for this month (Jan), I'm going to set the budget at 600 and see how far I get. I'll keep you updated.

    I'm gonna attempt to post what I've spent so far. ;)

    1/1 $0
    1/2 $30 Mexican (estimate, I didn't see check)
    $ 7.48 Walgreens L-lysine lip treatment
    6.94 Earth Fare L-lysine capsules (can you tell I had a cold sore breakout?)
    15.74 Bi-Lo crackers, bananas, yogurt, milk, kotex
    1/3 $ 8.55 Target oxiclean
    7.55 CVS shampoo, cold sore treatment
    9.51 Bi-lo produce
    5.94 Chik-fil-A
    47.04 Food- Lion detergent, steaks, Can't find receipt to list everything
    1/4 $ 4.45 Wendy's (ugh)
    46.51 Gas
    1/5 $ 0
    1/6 $ 4.81 Food Lion cake mix, frosting, Lean cuisine for lunch
    15.00 Bi-lo milk, candles, yogurt, ice cream
    22.00 Hungry Howies (DD14's bday, requested this, not exactly sure on amt, since DH picked up on way home from work.)
    1/7 $0
    1/8 $0
    1/9 $33.73 Bi-lo Produce, cereal, granola bars, lasagna noodles, canned soup, creamer, eggs, ricotta frozen spinach, frozen salmon
    46.10 Target soft scrub, comet, lysol toilet cleaner, socks, shoestrings, tortilla chips, poptarts, pizza rolls, lean pockets, lean cuisines.
    $63.70 Aldi Too much to list, basically everything from my grocery list that I could buy there. Lots of produce and pantry items.
    $4.28 Redbox
    1/10 $0
    1/11 $0
    ***********************************************
    So far:
    266.15 Food & Household
    58.39 Eating out/take out
    46.51 Gas
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  6. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Mine for this month is super low because of other expenses but we have a large stockpile. My budget is $100 every two weeks.
  7. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Either way! I'd love to see what other people are doing, how they are tracking, what they purchase, etc. :)
  8. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Absolutely! Can't really set a realistic budget if you aren't sure of how much you typically spend. GOOD LUCK!!!
  9. chrissymama

    chrissymama Amity's Focus Member

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    I want to play too. First I need to set the budget.
  10. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Knowing what you are currently spending is the only way to set an accurate budget. then you can start to trim that back little by little. When I first started, several years ago, I was easily spending almost $1000 a month. I now spend about $250/month, but sometimes as little as $150. But it didn't change over night, it has changed over years. But, you have to have a starting point, and then a goal of where you want it to be. AS your stockpile grows, it's easier to cut your budget back too ;) If I really had to, I could get away with only buying milk, and my bountiful baskets produce share every week for at least 3 months, and still have decent meals. We have enough sundries to cover us for 10-12 months, although I need to stock up on TP soon. I use to have several months of diapers on hand, ( I switched from cloth to sposies when Tim had his stroke and sold off my beautiful diaper stash to pay for plane tickets). But, since Im still holding on to hope that he will be potty learned soon, I'm buying one pack at a time.
  11. lawyermama

    lawyermama not really a member

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    nm
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2011
  12. hastings

    hastings Amity's Focus Member

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    Our budget is $300 every pay period (every other Friday.) Right now the budget has gotten a bit messy due to Christmas and needing to pull money out of it to put other places. My current goal is to rein it back in and then try to bring it down to $250. I have no stockpile, so I'd like the extra to build one. Right now we're dealing with a new way of eating as I pull everyone into gluten free along with me so that's going to be a stressor for awhile, but I know I can make it work.

    I'll come back and put yesterday's shopping in in awhile.

    And, I'm so sorry about your dh's trip. I know how frustrating it can be when you think you're doing great and get tripped up by someone else's misunderstanding.


    12/30
    Wal-mart $54.13 (but I cheated because I had returned a pressure canner and had a $69 gift card as well)

    Whole turkey, spiral ham, pork roast, 4 lbs catfish, 5 lbs cheddar, 2 lbs shredded cheese, 5 lbs chicken breasts, ketchup, bbq sauce, cereal, almond milk, eggs, 4 pks bacon

    SF Market $126.17
    bananas, 2 lbs sausage, 2 lbs italian sausages, feta, 4 pounds crab for New Years (this is where the money was), 2 pounds mushrooms for NYE party, celery root, celery, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, tofu, lemons, spinach, avocados, parsnips, cauliflower, napa cabbage, onions, green onions, collards, ginger, apples, granny smith apples (for the picky child),gf frozen waffles, gf baking mix, almond meal, soy flour, misc spices, butter

    1/9
    Walmart
    $45.89
    bananas, bread, frozen waffles, cereal, milk, eggs, beans, apples, salad, spaghetti sauce, pasta, sweet potatoes, frozen veggies


    1/1 ginger, carrot and orange soup (lunch) pork roast with roasted root vegetables, onions, and brussels sprouts
    1/2 leftover roast (lunch) sausage stuffed mushrooms and salad
    1/3 pork burritos (lunch) chicken soup
    Planned meals
    1/4 squash, sausage and lentil casserole
    1/5 cauliflower and bacon soup
    1/6 Chicken Tika Marsala
    1/7 Catfish and collards
    1/8 breakfast for dinner
    1/9 ham
    1/10 spaghetti squash and pesto
    1/11 ham and beans
    1/12 leftover frittata
    1/13 turkey
    1/14 more turkey

    Kids are having trouble with the gf stuff-- just plain not eating it, so I bought some bread and such to ease them in more slowly.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  13. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    We just figured it out. The razors were $45! And I spent almost $45 on the berbere. So, that is almost $100 on things that we don't need every single pay period, or even every month. Those razors should last 3 months, and the berbere should last me at LEAST 6 months... I can get about 10 Ethiopian meals made with that amount of berbere.

    We figured it out. DH is also learning that just because we are out of something, it doesn't mean we have to just run out and buy it - we might have to wait and we won't die if we don't have orange juice for 2 days. ;) It's a learning process.
  14. Tap dancin mama

    Tap dancin mama Amity's Focus Member

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    Yowza, $45 for razors is a lot! My dh always seems to go out and buy things that I have coupons for. I had a $10.00 coupon for Crest Whitening strips and he went out and paid full price for it! They really want us to save money, but it seems like they sabatage it KWIM?
  15. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Oh this is us too. Ive tried explaining to him that just because we are out of something doesn't mean we need to run right to the store and buy it. I try not to let us run out of things, but if I do, it's because it's expensive. And we can wait until it goes on sale or do without in most cases. I keep a lot of razors on hand bacause they are expensive not on sale.
  16. IndiMom

    IndiMom .

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    My DH will hopefully have a new job in a few weeks and I would like to do this as well. Right now we are eating out of our food storage because the place he was contracted with hasn't been paying him. In the past we have spent around $800 for a month. That includes things like tp, razors, tampons, and shampoo and feeding 9 people. We rarely eat out, maybe a few times a year. I sometimes clip coupons but rarely use them. I am confident with some planning we can get by on much less. My problem is figuring out how to eat healthy meals with organic meat and dairy and plenty of produce (none of which we buy regularly) and do all that on a budget. We eat too much Mac & cheese and cheap casseroles just to get by.
  17. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    He buys the razors at Costco - and it's a pkg of 14 of them. He could go to the grocery store or Target and get them for $16/4. ugh. He has to shave every weekday because of his job, and he can use each razor 5 times before he needs a new one. So, about one a week.

    I just got a book by Mary Ostyn, called Family Feasts on $75 a week, and it has a lot of good tips (like all the ones we all know, but it's all in one place plus she has some really good ideas in general) and then a lot of recipes that are budget friendly.
  18. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Heather, is he extremely picky about razors? I bought a bunch awhile back, but Johnny can only use the Fusion vibrating ones, and these are sitting in my storage. I think they are Schick, I can look if you want them. They are good ones, but not the super super good ones (but not cheapies) I can send them FFS ;) They are still sealed in package.
  19. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    He uses the Fusion vibrating ones, too. And yes, any kind of change from everything he does every single day sets him off. ;) He doesn't do well with any kind of change.
  20. alexismom

    alexismom Lovin Life

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    Oh, how I know that so well. For Johnny, it's partly his military background and partly the PTSD. I was able to score the Fusion vibrating ones at Walgreens last week for $1.99 each. I got 5.

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