Alright, friends. I mentioned in a previous post that I kind of fell off the boat this winter with healthy eating (and maybe smart shopping too?). Now that I am feeling (mostly) better with this pregnancy, I need to kick it into high gear and reform my grocery habits.
Also, besides my eating habits, I need to make sure that I’m not spending money needlessly at the grocery store. So, I think a budget challenge to myself is in order. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a “no spend” month challenge- I think this is a great idea! But this is a busy season in life for us, and I feel that planning an entire month of no-spending in all areas would be a bit overwhelming right now. So I’m deciding to focus on the one area that I can change most easily: my groceries.
Instead of my usual Saturday “Good Pickins’,” I’m going to take today to announce next month’s challenge to myself.
For the month of March, I want to spend less, waste less, and eat smarter. This will break down into four main grocery goals.
- To cut my grocery budget dramatically.
- To use up the food that I already have in the house.
- To make smarter, healthier purchases.
- To make and grow more at home than I get in the grocery store.
Here’s my plan to accomplish each of the above goals.
- I’m going to give myself only $25/week for my grocery budget this month for my family of four. This will be to buy only the necessities that I don’t have preserved or laying about- milk, fresh produce needs, or the stray ingredient that I need more of.
- I will shop first from all my autumn preservation. This food will be my mainstay this month. I’ve got to empty out some of my pantry and freezer. What’s the use of doing all that work if it’s going to lie unopened?
- $25 a week doesn’t leave room for snacks and junk food. I’ll have to be more constrained with my purchases, and make sure I’m only buying that which is nourishing.
- No convenience items allowed this month. If I need bread, I will make it. If I need yogurt, I will culture it. If there’s no room in the budget for sprouts, I will have to sprout them myself. Etc., etc.
Rules of the challenge:
- $25/week is my personal challenge, because I know I can feasibly accomplish this with how well stocked my pantry is. If you have a bigger family or that number just won’t work for you, pick a higher weekly budget. The goal is not a competition to see who can get closet to starvation- rather, it’s to cut our grocery bills dramatically by eliminating unnecessary purchases for this month.
- I must shop from my pantry and freezer first. Now, for the record, I’ve got a lot of frozen meat, fish, and some chicken. I’ve got a few pounds of frozen cheese. I’ve got jars and jars of canned fruits and veggies. I’ve got pasta, grains, oils, etc. I’m starting off on a good foot. Maybe you won’t have this same luxury. That’s okay. Shop your home food store first anyway- you might be surprised by what you do have. But, as in #1, you can always adjust your budget target if your cupboards are bare. Just stick to a reasonably low bill for YOU.
- I will focus on budgeting one week at a time. I didn’t want to do a $100/month challenge… because, frankly, I think it’s hard sometimes to plan a month in advance- and to space out my budget accordingly. If I just take it one week at a time, it’s easier.
- I will plan for each week’s meals. This will be the only way to stick to it.
- I will report my weekly meal plan and spending. It will keep me accountable, and it will help give you some meal plan ideas too. 🙂
Does your grocery bill need some reformation? How do you save money, waste less food, and make smarter choices?
Will you join me in my challenge this month? I’d love to have you along for the fun. 🙂