Okie dokie, so we (kind of?) survived our first week of the Once A Month Grocery Shopping Experiment. 🙂 Like I shared last week, my goal was to stock up on the bulk of what we'd need at the beginning of the month, then shop primarily for produce and milk once a week.
What I loved about this is that I had everything I needed and didn't allow myself an extra trip to the store until the weekend. (Which is huge around here!) By doing that alone I saved at least $20, and it was so much easier to have the food we needed in our kitchen before starting a meal.
But, when I went to the store Saturday I still spent $36.95 ($11.95 more than my target “extra” shopping trip goal of $25). And, this morning at Walmart I spent another $3.77 on grapes and strawberries while getting the last of our school supplies. (Their produce looked great and was such a good price – I couldn't pass them up!)
So, here's what my totals look like so far this month:
- Week 1: big monthly shopping trip $223
- Week 2: produce, milk, bread and a few sale items $40.72
I spent more than I needed to partly to take advantage of some new coupons that Kroger sent out last week, as well as to pick up some items for our back to school dinners week. (Our kids get to pick which meals they want, and they specifically requested those Grands Biscuits along with breakfast for dinner.) I had a coupon for free Nutri Grain Bars, as well as coupons for flour, Mission Tortillas, and Planters Peanuts, which I couldn't pass up with the Mega Sale going on this week. They also had a great sale on their Private Selection Bread (Whole Wheat Bread 2/$3), so I was pleased with that price!
While this may not look like a huge success for our first week, I really was okay with it. Here's why:
1) We didn't eat out this nearly as much this week because we had plenty of food at home ready to cook. We normally eat out two times each week (always after church on Sunday and usually one other day), but over the summer I'd gotten lazy (eek!) We were probably eating a quick meal out 3 times each week, but by having plenty of food at home we saved a bundle this week (way more than the extra $15 I spent!)
2) Even if your grocery budget doesn't look exactly the way you'd hoped, even small steps are progress. While I didn't stick perfectly to my goal this week, we did much better than we normally do and still shaved a little moo-lah off of our grocery bill for the month. If you've been working to lower your grocery budget, try determining the number you want to spend and then working to shave off a few dollars each month to reach your goal!
Our pantry, fridge and freezer are still well stocked with plenty of food, and I really think I may be able to lower our bill even further next weekend. So far I really do love the idea of shopping this way, and can't wait to see where our totals end up at the end of this month! If you've tried grocery shopping like this before, I'd love for you to leave a comment and share how it's worked for you.