Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Struggle with a Grocery Budget

This is not a recipe test, but a short vent about our grocery budget. Since the beginning of the year, we have struggled with staying on our very small budget.
Before Daniel was eating solids, we were spending $60 a week for two adults. Now we have moved it up to $70-80 a week for three because Daniel eats so much. However, during most of January we were overbudget so I was beginning to wonder if this was reasonable.
To get back on budget I am currently trying the following things:
buy less meat and cheese- more vegetarian meals
buy in bulk and divide the cost over the number of weeks it will last
get the Sunday paper for coupons (which I have yet to remember to take to the store)
buy all veggies and fruit at a low cost farmers market

Any other ideas would be appreciated. Or post your frustrations here.


  1. Thanks for starting this blog. Have you thought about using coupons? My DH and I just started and so far so good. I watched Oprah a couple of weeks ago and saw this lady saved over 60% from using coupons. Her site is, she even have a free book you can download for instructions on how to save money with coupons.


  2. Yes I am getting the coupons just not remembering to use them. I was really mad though because today's paper had no coupons in it!

  3. Here's how I do coupons, this might help you:
    Get one of those letter sized expandable files with labels for each section. They make them specifically for coupon sorting with food items on the labels, but I just use an ABC file and label the sections myself--that let's me be more specific, for some food categories--like I have a section for "lunchbox food." When I had babies, I had sections for "diapers & hygiene products" and "baby formula & food."

    Label one section "Expiring this month."

    Once a week, when you are cutting coupons out of the weekend paper, go ahead and sort them and also go through each section for anything about to expire.

    When I make my grocery list, I make it on the outside of an envelope and group the items by category and go through my file for any coupons that might be useful and put them inside the envelope. I also go through the soon to expire coupons to see if there are any that I may want to use.

    I DON'T take the whole coupon file to the grocery because I have found that I end up buying stuff I don't need just because I have a coupon for it. I also really think about the expiring coupons before I use them--if it's a staple that I will use or if I want to make a recipe using that item, but I don't just buy stuff because the coupon is about to expire.

    Also, be discriminating about what coupons you cut out. If it's not something you think you will use, don't cut it out--this just encourages you to buy stuff you probably won't use.

    Hope this helps!