Right before August I decided to slash our grocery budget in half. You can read about what inspired that decision here.
Since it is now officially September, I have checked my weekly average for my August grocery shopping trips. They averaged out to:
(drum roll, please!)
$21.82 per week
This is from my Monday shopping trips for August, and some honey and chocolate chips from Costco (my MIL has a membership there, and these are much cheaper at Costco than anywhere else I've found). They will last me quite a while, too.
That is $12.72 under my budget for the month, so I feel pretty good about it! One thing I haven't figured out how to budget, or work into my budget, is the $ I spent on the 2 1/2 bu. of peaches. That is a one-time-a-year expense that should last until this time next year. Hmm, I just figured it up, and the peaches come out to $.82/week (cost divided by 52 weeks), so I think I'm ok there as long as I can keep this average going :)
A few things that have helped:
First off, I haven't had to buy any meat. I had stocked up quite well on meat in July, plus the pork we already had. It has been hard to pass up some really good meat sales in August and here around Labor Day, but I don't need it. I still have plenty of chicken and hamburger in the freezer. I actually considered buying a few more whole chickens to cut up (they are on sale for $.77/lb), but I had to tell myself that I already have 4 whole chickens in the freezer waiting to be used - I can use them whole or cut them up if I need pieces - and that is not the VERY best sale price I've seen in the past months.
Menu Planning! If you've read any of my previous posts, you know that I do this. It's not the most looked-forwards-to part of my week, but I do like being able to look at the calendar and seeing what to make for supper, not trying to figure it out at the last minute! I try to plan meals around things that I already have, or things that I need to use (this week it's celery and sour cream).
Planning Ahead. I have also started marking on my calendar when I need to re-stock on something. Last week I knew my AP flour was really starting to run low. I also knew that I had enough to last until I go shopping this week (tomorrow since today is a holiday). I marked on my calendar that I need to buy another 25 lbs. of flour. I also saw that Daniel's breakfast cheese was going to run out over the weekend. I marked that on the calendar. I have marked a few other things that I need to get by a certain time, but don't need to buy RIGHT NOW. I figure up when I need them by, then mark them for the Monday's trip before that.
So there's just a few things that have really been helping me stick to our budget. That and making almost everything from scratch.
And my favorite new quote: "Frugal does not mean poor".