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2.11.2009

My Next Self-Challenge

Strangely I am really enjoying challenging myself and saving money at the same time, so I think I'm going to take it to the next level- my groccery budget. Ever since I've been married, pretty much, I've made a meal plan and a groccery list and bought store brands almost exclusively, but I have never been able to get my groccery budget under $170 a trip (that's for 2 weeks of food). I am going to try to get my 2 week total down to $140. That's abour $70 a week. Now, I have a pretty well stocked pantry since I think one of my problems is over buying, so it won't be too tough at first.

Things I will have to do- avoid the urge to mindlessly stock up on things. However, I WILL have to learn to recognize the difference between stocking up on something that I will eventually use (non-perishables) when they are a good deal and mindlessly buying things only because I either feel I need them or they are on sale. And, if I plan to stockpile things, I am going to have to magically conjure up some place to keep it all! I was planning on having Scott build a pantry type thing for me in the garage (in the dead space above the chest freezer), which would give me a lot more space.

I will have to eliminate most/all processed and convenience foods and focus on four areas and breaking down my budget for each area:

-Produce: $22 a week through the co-op for all organic!, so $44 every two weeks.
-Dairy: Milk, butter, cheese, eggs. I think this could easily be $15-$20 every two weeks if I stock up on cheese when it's on sale and catch milk on sale, too.
-Meat: Focus on buying whatever is on special at Stater's, maybe $25 every two weeks?
-Pantry Staples: Canned tomatoes, canned soups and broths (for cooking), pasta, rice, bread, cereal, peanut butter, flour, sugar, salt... etc. $50 every two weeks.

Keep a sharp eye out for "budget breakers" on sale, esp. B1G1 sales, and stock up on non-perishables or things that can be frozen- Coffee, peanut butter, good bread, cheese, toothpaste, deodorant, baby wash.

And that's $140. If I could just stick with that:)

My problem areas:
Hot Pockets
Snack Foods
Bag Salad (need to buy a salad spinner!)
Impulse spending!

I can live without cookies, right? Won't hurt me at all.

So I've been searching for and printing internet coupons for the last few days... Stater's doesn't take them. BUT I can just do a trip at Von's for any good coupons, as long as I still get my meat dairy at Stater's and am VERY careful (and don't go anywhere near the bakery!) I should be okay.

Wish me luck! And if any fellow budgeters have any tips for me, please let me know!

I'm off to make my coupon binder, thanks to It's a Simplified Life.

1 comment:

LittlePeopleWealth said...

If you have a CVS or Walgreens in your area then you could use them for milk and maybe cheese. You could also use them for your snack foods so you aren't actually spending money getting them.

I have a CVS, Walgreens, and coupons 101 on my site - hope it helps!

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