I posted in an earlier blog that we would be accessing our grocery budget based on the book I bought called Your Grocery Budget Tool Box. In the book the author claims she can buy healthy, some-what organic groceries for her family for less than $300 a month! Well, rather skeptically I have set-out to find if it is possible for us to do the same thing without extreme couponing!
Here are the steps I’m going to follow over the next few months:
1. Observe: Where are we currently?
The first thing I had to create when I embarked on this crazy journey was a tool to track our groceries manually. I usually use the Spending Plan tool on my bank website that allows me to categorize charges in my account but most of the time we tend to buy toilet paper, paper towels, etc when we go to the grocery store, and there is no option on my Spending Plan to divide a charge into separate categories. This means the grocery dollars on my Spending Plan on the website are slightly over estimated.
To solve this issue I created a spreadsheet to help me out. Here is my little spreadsheet to help track the expenses. It’s nothing fancy but it gets the job done.
So far we have spent $71.08 on groceries in January as of 7:45 tonight lol. We are trying to eat through a lot of stuff in the freezer so I have a feeling this month will be on the low end of our average, but hey, maybe we spend less money on groceries than I originally thought!
2. Identify: Where are the cheapest prices?
After about 2 months of seeing our average spending I will start tracking where the cheapest prices are for the items we buy. This will require some research and coordination especially since the Mister does most of the grocery shopping.
3. Modify: Organic vs Conventional
After we have minimized our budget as much as possible, we will look into working in more organic foods to the mix. I am new to the whole organic/natural way of eating and need to do more research on it, but I could see buying organic vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list and conventional from the “Clean Fifteen” at the least. More to come as I research that topic!
4. Observe: How did our budget change through the process?
The best way to make sure we achieved our objectives is to re-assess our final product! Somewhere in the middle of this process I will see if we’ve made the new budget a habit or if it were all for not.