Have you been keeping track of your grocery budget so far this year? I'm so excited, because we stayed within our budget this week for the first time in ages, despite a few kinks in our expenses.
We typically take out a lump sum in cash every two weeks to cover groceries, dining out, and any “extra” expenses, including $85 that I budget for groceries each week. However, this week we enjoyed lunch with family that was a little more expensive than our regular restaurant meals, had a sick little girl at home (so $10 bought a new thermometer. . . ), and a local student was selling dining coupon books for $20 which I decided to buy. Needless to say, all that eeked out money from my grocery account! I was able though to use coupons at Publix to stay under budget, and my hubby and I even have enough leftover to enjoy lunch together (using coupons of course.) Success!
Here's what I spent on groceries this week:
- Aldi: $11.93
- Publix: $41.10
- Total = $53.03
- There will always be things that pop up that can really impact your budget, so if possible, try to have enough wiggle room that you won't go over budget too much when those things do arise. Our budget is pretty tight (my husband just can't see why we don't eat now for the same price we did ten years ago. . . ) but by carefully shopping at Publix today I stuck to what money we did have left. We also have more room in our checking account in case we really do go over our budget, but I think my hubby likes to see just how much penny pinching I can do. 😉
- As you grocery shop, keep a running tally of how much you're spending. Over the last year I've become so lazy about this, as I just wanted to get whatever we needed and not have to worry about making an extra trip back to the store. I realized today though that by adding up how much I was spending as I shopped, I knew how much “extra” money I had to work with for to grab anything not on my list. Some days it's hard to bypass great deals to stick to your budget, but it really does help you reach your long term financial goals!
- Consider checking out your pantry and freezer for things you can make at home without spending any money. I was so surprised when I opened up my freezer to tons of veggies, make-ahead meals, and even meat that I'd completely forgotten about. I'm really going to work on using those items to make up our meals using what we have on hand, and also have enough “quick” food that there's no reason to head to the drive thru!
- Keep a spreadsheet showing how much you've spent and saved each week. This year I made a simple excel spreadsheet that includes the date, store, amount saved, and amount spent at the grocery each week. I'm excited to have a way to track my saving and spending in 2013 (so far I've spent way less than I've saved ~ woot!)
If you need to change your grocery budget in 2013, this is the PERFECT time to start, and I promise, you. can. do. this. (really!) Determine today how you want your year to look, set realistic goals, and decide to take control of your finances instead of allowing them to control you. I can't wait to hear how you're doing on your goals, and am excited to see how we'll do in 2013 to pinch those pennies even further. You can share your goals by clicking HERE ~ I love hearing from you!
New to budgeting and don't know where to begin? Here are a few posts that might help you get started:
- Don't Sacrifice What You Really Want For What You Want Right Now
- Budget Check Up Week One: Have You Determined Your 2013 Grocery Budget
- Are you on an all cash budget?
- New to couponing? Here's where to start.
- How Does Your Grocery Budget Look?
- Extreme Coupon Fraud: What You See On TV Isn't Always Real
- Are You Spending Within Your Budget?
- Save the Way You Can Save: Penny Pinching Is Not A Competition
- Are You Satisfied With Your Penny Pinching?
- You Do Have Time To Coupon (But You Don't Have To Do Everything. . .)
- Are Coupons For Everyone?