Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Grocery Bill

I have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping.  Some weeks I love it, I am able to stay under budget and I get some great deals.  I come home very proud of myself for buying mostly healthy foods and not spending a fortune.  Then there are the weeks where I barely stay within budget and come home wondering how I managed to spend so much and come home with so little. 

I read about those who are extreme couponers and wonder how they do it.  I would love to be like that, go to the grocery store and spend $10 but come home with over $200 worth of groceries.  For me the reality is that I cannot be like that right now.  I simply do not have the time to spend looking for that many coupons.  On top of the time issue, many of the items I buy do not regularly have coupons and my local stores do not give overages that I can put towards those items.  So for I will not be an extreme couponer.

I do want to cut back on my grocery store bill.  There are items I purchase that we can live without or that I can make at home for less money.  One item I have already done this with is cleaners.  I now make my own window cleaner using vinegar, dish soap and water.  I now use borax for cleaning the bathroom.  And I use baking soda in the kitchen when cleaning the refrigerator as well as the cabinets.  And we bought a steam mop to clean the floors which only uses water.  I am amazed at how much money I save by using a few simple ingredients for my cleaning supplies.  Plus I am able to control and cut down on the chemicals that are used in my home.

Currently we spend on average $95 a week for a family of 6 (although I don't think Wyatt really counts right now since he is only 3 weeks old).  That doesn't mean I spend that much every week.  Some weeks I spend much less and other weeks I spend more.  Weeks where I stock up at BJ's are weeks where I spend more on groceries.  But overall the amount I spend averages out to about $95 a week.  My goal is to get that number down to $80.  With costs going up this will be a challenge, but if I can do this I will save $15 a week, or roughly $60 a month. 

I will be tracking my spending on groceries beginning next week.  Hopefully by writing what I spend here I will be able to see where I can cut back.  I am also going to be reading up on how to cut back on grocery bills without becoming an extreme couponer.  I am hopeful that over the course of the next month I can identify ways to save money at the grocery store.

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