Shopping: Budgeting for Groceries

Shopping on a budget can be very stressful for  most people. In today’s world we are taught that credit is a good thing, therefore we need to use it in everything, because we can always pay it back later. NOT GOOD!!!! If you have been raised in that mind set, I challenge you to try a cash only policy.

Having a budget seems silly to a lot of people. One will say, “oh yeah,I have a budget,” (meaning they think they have an idea of how much they want to spend a month) or, “I’m a smart shopper.”

Let me tell you a little secret….if you don’t have a written budget, you will over spend! My hubby and I have had a month like that. We used to always have a budget and stick to it, but we had one month where we didn’t sit down and make a budget because we were too busy. We thought we could just do it on our own seeing how we were ‘good with money’ and we ‘knew how much we want to spend.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA……………….that is about all I can say, because we ended up spending about 150% OVER our regular budget. Yes, I did say 150% OVER!

So we wrote down our next month’s budget and decided never ever to go without a budget again!

Alright, now about my groceries. Last year, I decided to give myself a challenge. I could only spend $50 a week for groceries for my family. That is challenging to do, but not impossible. I stuck to it, but in December, I realized that, though we weren’t ‘bad’ eaters, most of the items I was purchasing were very processed (ex: Hamburger Helpers). I was caught in a trap. These processed foods were the items I could get coupons for and stay within my budget!

So new tactic. Raise my weekly budget $15. Okay, done. Now I have $75 a week to spend for two adults and an almost 1 year-old. Buy mostly fresh food, and try to make as much of items I can.

I go shopping on Saturdays with my hubby, because it is always nice to have an extra adult there to entertain the little one. Also we count it as a fun “date” type of outing…yes, we are so a married couple!

Also, I only shop with cash. I have in my hand how much I am wanting to spend, therefore when that is spent, I can’t spend any more. I also encourage anyone who does have spending issues to only bring in cash, after you have made a budget. Leave your credit/debit cards at home. Challenge yourself to only spend what you plan on spending. Know where every dollar is going!

Another thing I want you to know, I didn’t use one coupon for this trip. So it is possible to be on a tighter food budget without coupons!

So this is my shopping trip for this week:

IMG_0627

What I purchased:

Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk                              Plain Soy Milk

Home Maker Orange Juice                                               3 cans of 28 oz Diced Tomatoes

5 lb bag Unbleached AP Flour                                       Bag of sweet peppers

1 1/2 lb Bananas                                                                  6 Avocados

3 Mangoes                                                                              Moore’s Buffalo Sauce (super bowl Sunday!)

1 Cantaloupe                                                                         10 oz box plain Couscous

1lb sliced mushrooms                                                       2lbs Campari Tomatoes

2, 32 oz Swanson Vegetable Broths                             2 Green Bell Peppers

2 cups quesadilla cheese                                                 set of 2 Wire Drying Racks

Hair Conditioner (not pictured)                                   4 pack of 1 lb Salted Sweet Cream Butter

Mission Tortilla Chips

And here are my receipts:

Walmart –  $49.96IMG_0628

Kroger – $10.19IMG_0630

Sam’s Club – $17.36IMG_0629

Total: $75.51    okay, so I went $.51 cents over budget, but that is pretty good!

Meals I plan on making this week:

1. Homemade Pizza – Recipe from A Journey to Becoming
2. My Homemade Tomato Soup and grilled cheese (will post recipe on another day)
3. Cuban Black Beans and Rice with mango – Recipe from About.com Vegetarian Food
4. Flat Bread Pizza (minus the chicken) – Recipe from Lulu the Baker
5. Buffalo Cauliflower (super bowl Sunday!) – Recipe from Daydream Kitchen

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