If there’s one way to begin decreasing your grocery budget, as well as being accountable to some kind of meal plan, it’s by agreeing to blog about your kitchen activity nearly every day for an entire month. (See below for the description of 3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days.)
Honestly, I get many requests for help on lowering personal budgets,especially in the food department, and I’m excited to tackle it here on my blog, but my first question would be…”Do you know exactly where your grocery dollars are going?”
By taking up this daunting challenge, I am estimating that I will only spend $300 this month on food and toiletries for our family of seven.(I already had some beef stock piled from marked down meat deals and about ten pounds left from our “cow.”)
Just like any weight loss program, which requires you to track every thing you eat for a certain amount of time, I recommend keeping a receipt book for every single, little food expense during the course of a month. Did you forget something at the store and had to run in for just a few items? Mark it down. That gets you every time. Did you swing through the drive through when you realized you forgot to start the crock pot? Mark it down.
Track it ALL, yes, every single penny, for one month. I know, I know, to a Type Z person like myself, that sounds like torture, but if you are serious about getting a handle on your grocery budget, you need to find out where some of this loose money is disappearing before you can really tackle what needs to be done to substantially lower the grocery budget. Obviously, this needs to be done with personal budgeting as well, but one step at a time.
I asked earlier this week about naming our “Needs vs. Wants” and received many enlightening comments. I think this topic really hits home for some of us in the food department (especially if you ever go grocery shopping with your kids. LOL) Immediate savings can be seen by taking back our grocery budget and I am excited to see how you all do.
So what about you? Let’s learn from each other and interact in the comments section below.
Do you track your monthly food expenses on a regular basis? Have you ever? Did it make a difference?
P.S. I’m a bit behind on posting all my meals and grocery shopping tutorials for the last few days. I will be getting those up shortly (as well as some of the recipes you’ve been wanting). It’s amazing how real life can just stand in the way of my best intended plans.