Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Buying Meat

If any of you have noticed, I don't usually buy raw meat with my regular grocery purchases. How do I get around this? Well, it's easy - kind of :)

I started out my new budget with a pretty well stocked meat freezer, which made it really nice on the budget!!

My grocery budget is $25 a week. Each week I spend somewhere around that - I usually try to go less than that.

I keep track of how much I spent each week, and at the end of the month I total them up. I divide the total by the number of weeks I went shopping to get my average (as long as my average is $25 or less, I know I'm "on target" with my shopping and budget).

I then multiply $25 by the number of weeks I shopped. Then I subtract the total from what my entire budget was.
Shopped 4 weeks, and spent a total of $84.52
$100 ($25 x 4 weeks) - $84.52 = $15.48
The $15.48 (or what's left in my budget at the end of each month) goes into my imaginary "meat fund". As my meat supply starts to run low, I start watching sales for really really really good deals. I try to go for around $1.50/lb on ground beef, and less than $.75/lb on poultry. Then I stock up! Occasionally (and RARELY) I will "stock up" even if I'm not specifically running low, just because the deal is rare and extremely good (like turkey for $.59/lb?? - that's only going to happen now in the fall - once a year). I will make this turkey last several months :)
Usually I only find "good enough" sales on poultry (usually whole chickens). Hamburger is usually on "sale" for $1.99/lb - which is still to expensive for me, so I try and find big family sized packs that have been marked down for quick sale. The money I spend on the meat comes out of the meat fund, and doesn't effect my weekly shopping budget. Just today I started a list of my weekly shopping totals, and how much I have left at the end of the month to put towards meat. Then I also started a list of what goes into the meat fund, and what I spend out of the meat fund.
Things like hotdogs, bacon and sandwich meat do come out of the regular grocery fund. But I don't buy hotdogs or bacon very much, and try to get sandwich meat on sale.
Currently we are fully stocked with hamburger and poultry, and I have $3.99 left in the meat fund! I will need to be extra careful the next couple weeks here in October so that I can add to the meat fund. I try to be "extra" careful each week of course, but there are "drastic" measures that can be made sometimes - called "doing without". Ha ha.
It takes some planning and a little work, but it sure beats running out and having to pay full price for meat!


Homesteader in Training said... [Reply to comment]

Great job on your budget. We have a grocery budget but it doesn't look that good. There are 5 of us and I spend around $600.00 a month on food. I cook from scratch and don't buy junk. I just don't get it. I think it's because of where we live. Things are just more here. Keep up the good work.

Aliisa and Sundy said... [Reply to comment]

From Aliisa:

I admire how you can manage to spend so little on groceries. I know that you had a garden that helped out with that but still its a big accomplishment.

I spend $100 a week for everything and although we are a family of 3, I cook for 4 because my husband takes it for lunch the next day. I know that I could do better, however we are comfortable where we are.
I probably only spend $50 to $60 a week on groceries and use the rest for stocking up on sale items. I only buy ground turkey because its regular price is $1.59 lb. I buy ground beef when its been marked down because of sale by date.
I do spend extra on snacks for my daughter because they have to take a snack to school every day and the prepackaged ones are what the school prefers. Isnt that nice??

Well, its off to make my menu and then to the store I go. I like to do my shopping on Wednesdays because my husband works both jobs and doesnt come home till late. Gives me extra time to get everything done!!

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

Great goin'! I'm still about a galaxy away from being that organized! You will be so prepared whenever you all have kids, you will have so many of your systems figured out and up and running. Things will just run and you will only have to maintain, not figure things out through hard knocks (like me).