Friday, December 10, 2010

Blowing your budget

I got to go out grocery shopping by myself last night! Sophia was going to join me but decided she would "Miss the boys tooooo much!" so she stayed back with them. Funny the things we get excited about as parents. Time alone!!?? At the grocery store?! So much fun. :-)

However, at the end of EVERY grocery trip lately I come home feeling like a failure of a Wife. I have gone over budget the last five times I have gone out. I try so hard to stick to my budget. I don't buy frivalous snacks. I make a LOT from scratch. I didn't buy the grass fed beef last night because of the incredible price difference and wanting to honor my husbands wishes to stay under a certain amount. I put back a few things that only I could eat (filled with gluten) And yet, I went over. By $34. I even had coupons. I never have coupons. Maybe I thought the coupons would add up to more savings? This just isn't a skill area for me. Kevin is a GREAT shopper. At any point in our shopping trip he can tell you, almost to the penny, what your total is. Its amazing, really. But, by the time he comes home from work the last thing he wants to do is go back out again. So, I end up being the primary grocery shopper in our house. Also, since I am doing the brunt of the cooking (although, again, Kevin is the better chef) it helps for me to know what to get. I have done the most research on gluten free options and so that is another reason I go.

I asked on facebook for suggestions from people on not blowing your budget. Got lots of good responses and helpful hints. When I went to look at some of the blog sites I realized that we actually spend WAY less than a lot of families with 4. There was a site that claimed to help people by providing a weekly menu and shopping list with sale items from certain stores. Great idea! Great site. Backed by Dave Ramsey. But when I looked at their regular options and gluten free plans I realized I spend WAY less than their schedules so pay $5/month to get the plan really isn't worth it for us.

So, how do you keep your grocery costs down? Do you coupon? How do you do that without it eating up a bunch of time? Where do you shop? What is your budget? Do you stick firmly to it?


  1. We have a hard time too. :( Sorry no tips from me.

  2. I think you're really doing a great job with the cost of food. I would love elsewhere for where to cut so your budget for food is larger. Good, nutritious food is an investment of health and defraying greater medical cost.

    In places like France, the average family spends 40-60 % of their salary on food.

    Do you have cable T.V.? Expensive cell phone plans, etc...?? We do without a lot of other things so we can have our organic food, high quality meat,and raw milk.

    I'll be praying for you!

    And, "Lord bless Kelsey for being a good wife that seeks to honor her husband and fulfill Your Word. Multiply their resources, give them wisdom, and bless their children. Amen."

  3. We spend $300 a month on groceries. I don't deal with the gluten-free thing, so that's pretty different, I'm sure. My $300 covers some organic produce (but not all), some grass fed beef, non-organic/normal, poisonous (lol) chicken and pork, and staples. For three people, one who eats things like FOUR eggs for breakfast. (Jack.)

    We have a source for raw milk, but I am too lazy to go get it, so I usually end up getting regular from the store. But we don't do much milk drinking, so its like 2 gallons a month maybe?

    I've tried it all too - coupons, buying weekly with cash instead of cards, making a meal plan based on what's on sale that week...I don't know! Any less than $300 and I blow it.

    If I use coupons, its only the store coupons and whatever coupons that come in the paper for stuff I buy regularly. The super couponers stress me out. lol.

    I think my "secrets" for staying in the budget are Trader Joe's, Costco, Aldi and planning meals from ingredients that are less expensive. I have mental "caps" on the price per lb. of my common things: .99 cents or less for fruit (usually 50 cents if I'm doing great), about the same for veggies (or per item), $1.99 per lb. for chicken breasts and other meats. $5-6 per lb. for grass-fed beef.

    Hope that helps a little - I'll quit rambling now. Glad to have found your blog, you awesome mommy you!