I'm always looking for new ideas and ways to help save money. Of course I try to be frugal but when it's a challenge it makes it more fun.
I found this blog called the Grocery Cart Challenge, written by a blogger named Gayle, who devised the "challenge" out of necessity. Her challenge? Feed a family of 6 on $60 a week.
If you're too lazy to go check it out yourself, though I highly recommend you do, I'll give you the basic run down.
- Set a budget for food, she said in the beginning this budget involved other groceries as well (toothpaste, paper towels, shampoo, etc.) but now she has more of a budget to move those off of her food budget.
- Take stock of everything you already have.
- Make a menu. This might include searching recipe sites like food.com or allrecipes.com
- Look and see what you already have for the recipe, make a list of everything you don't have
Next you go shopping (DUH). Some shopping suggestions.
- Try to go shopping alone - aka leave the kids at home, distractions tend to add to more crap in the cart
- Eat a nice sized meal before you go- remember shopping on an empty stomach encourages craving buys
- Learn your stores- Don't be afraid of the discount stores (for people in my area this would be Amelia's, Aldi, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree) these will help you keep to your budget. Go shopping at these places first and then whatever is left go to your large grocery store.
- If you're a two car family (which I'm not) take the smaller of the two for less gas consumption and even more $$$ saved.
- oh yeah STICK TO THE LIST straying from the list will definitely put you over budget. Just because something is a "great deal" doesn't mean you need it, if its not on the list don't add it. If, AFTER you check out, you have money left at the end of your budget go back and grab a few if you must.
I've decided to aim for a $50 a week budget, we do have one on formula so his food cost wont be included until we start solids. Because out money day falls every other Thursday I'll be doing my planning on Wednesday and shopping on Thursday.
We get paid this Thursday so I'll be starting then! I'll make sure to update!