Well, it has come to my attention - mostly through my own looking at how much I'm spending per month and comparing it to frugal bloggers like No Debt MBA and Money Saving Mom (even though I'm not a mom) - that I spend way way way too much on groceries. And that's not even counting what I spend when I eat out.
I am single. I have two rabbits. There is no need for me to be spending upwards of $200 - at a minimum - a month on groceries. None. Absolutely none.
How do I know this? Well, for one, No Debt MBA spends $25 a week for her and her SO. That's half of what I was budgeting for one person (and I wasn't being very good at staying within my budget, in all honesty.) Half.
Secondly, I don't need to. This week was a tight one for me as I came up on paycheck day. I had a few un-planned (and unplannable) hits to my budget this month and I didn't want to take anything more out of my savings account. So I didn't, and this past week I've eaten what I have. I spent a little less than $10 at the grocery store last week because of it.
Therefore, I am giving myself a grocery challenge. With some other unexpected expenses cropping up this month - and there being five weeks between now and when I get paid again - I'm going to have to stick to a budget this month. I am letting myself spend $40 a week on groceries. Yes, that's still a good bit more than a lot of other people, but if I can lessen it month-by-month it won't seem like such a drastic change.
So here are a few rules for myself:
1. Don't spend more than $40 a week on groceries - this includes paper goods and toiletries.
2. Shop around for the best prices. I downloaded 3 apps onto my phone to help with this, though I don't know if any of them will be useful at all.
3. Eat what's in the freezer! I've got a lot of stuff pre-made that I should eat.
4. Use what's in the pantry. There's plenty for several meals in there. (I should take a picture of this, once I organize it...)
5. Buy toiletries and paper goods at CVS/Target/Aldi. Use CVS Extra Bucks to pay for these items as much as possible.
I think those are good goals for the first month. We'll see what happens and how well I stick to it! I'm going grocery shopping on Sunday, so I'll let you know what my totals are!
Do you have a grocery budget? How do you stay within budget - meal planning, couponing?