Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Food Budget

One of my biggest struggles in my role as wife/mother/general-picker-upper is sticking to a budget. Sometimes it's my impulsiveness that gets in the way, sometimes I don't keep track of what I'm spending, but more and more often, it's simply the cost of groceries that causes me problems.

Our big grocery expenses this time last year were formula and diapers. Wendy's off formula now, and we use cloth diapers, so both of those items are gone. Wendy doesn't eat much; I think her diet is responsible for about $30 per month of our overall grocery expenditures. (That's a big word.)

Even with those significant savings, our monthly grocery spending is more than last year. And it seems like it's creeping up all the time. I try to make a trip to the store once a week, and alternate a big trip with a small trip, since usually every other week we only need the perishable stuff.

I know I could probably save more if I shopped around, but with gas prices being what they are, I don't really feel free to drive around a bunch looking for deals. We used coupons a lot for a while, but decided that we were pretty much breaking even after figuring the cost of the newspaper. I haven't been using my Sam's Club membership, and that's something I'm going to start again, to hopefully save money on things we can buy in bulk.

I guess all this rambling is my way of asking you for help. What do you do to help keep grocery costs down? Are you happy with your grocery budget? Are there cheap sources of healthy food that I'm overlooking?

4 comments:

Nichole said...

There's a great discount grocery store near us that carries mostly organic and all-natural foods. We do a major part of our grocery there every week.

Tawn said...

I think we're going to try this, you might check it out. From what I understand to get the most out of your coupons, you have to buy the items when they are on sale. http://www.thegrocerygame.com/

Allie said...

If you eat a lot of veggies, you can try a farm share or CSA (community supported agriculture) program. We spend $320 from the end of June to the end of November and get a bag of about 12 lbs of organic veggies a week. Check localharvest.org for one near you. It's a big money saver and the food is picked the day before the bags come out -- it's so much better than what you find on the grocery store shelved. Farmer's markets are a great source too -- local harvest can show you those in your area too.

Happy Mommy said...

My biggest source of overspending is defiantly at the grocery! We are a family of 5 and eating fresh veggies and fruits is a big must so we do eat alot of chicken, and I we also grow alot of our own veggies this time of year. We have chickens and so we don't have to buy eggs. If we just had a cow....