Friday, December 7, 2012

The oft discussed grocery budget

In accordance with my plan in December to really dissect our 2013 budget & areas for cutback, I'm posting about one category per day.

Today's topic is a hot topic in the world of personal finance - groceries!

We're lowering our grocery budget. This will be tricky for us, an it's been a constant area of improvement and focus, but I feel like there's more to do here. We actually spent $680/month on groceries in 2012 (assuming December remains similar to other months), & we'd like to lower this to $540, or $125/week. I'm hoping by breaking it into weekly amounts, we'll track this more closely. Here are my initial ideas for hitting this goal:
  • Finding alternatives for a few things we're currently buying, & make on my own. This will be 1-2 snacks, and hopefully. . . bread. I'm not a great baker, so we'll see how this goes.
  • Become more vigilant about using our freezer food, freezing leftovers before they go bad, and taking a monthly inventory about what we have available.
  • Reduce our purchase of cheese. This is one area where we tend to not eat it before it goes bad. I like variety, but it's not cost effective.
And, a little analysis of the "why" we're making changes to this budget category:

We want to make smart choices that benefit our health, & making more at home is one way to do that. By trimming our budget, I'm hopeful that it will force us to be less wasteful with what we do purchase.

If you have any easy (like, stupid simple) bread recipes, please share. We're currently using bread in the following ways in our house: bagels for breakfast (shared between the kids, served with other stuff), sandwich bread for lunches, sandwich rolls (for M's lunches). Also, if you have great favorite snack recipes, please share those as well. One of my favorite homemade snack options are granola bars from The Frugal Girl. I use craisins & chocolate chips in ours.

What is your grocery budget for 2013? Are you planning on increasing, decreasing, or keeping it the same?


  1. I mentioned before it's going up by $10. I started my budget right after I moved out, and I assigned a random number that I thought sounded good: $60/2wks or $120/mo. Overtime, while I can make it work, it's not very healthy, so I'm increasing it by $20/mo to help me bear better with my new food choices and raising costs!

    1. I think it's smart to raise it to allow for healthier options! We could certainly go lower, but I'm trying hard to keep our produce spending even & not cut anything.

  2. my plan for 2013 is to continue trying to keep my food budget at the level it is now; 350$/month for two people. this budget also includes toiletries, cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent etc.

    1. That seems totally reasonable for two peopl, although I'll admit that I'm impressed that it includes toiletries, etc. Those can quickly add up!

  3. Have you tried a recipe like this? It was the first bread I baked.