Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monthly Challenge – Unprocessed Groceries

I’m a little late in posting this, but I decided to give myself and/or my family a monthly challenge. I thought it might be fun to have a goal to work towards each month.

After reviewing last month’s grocery spending and realizing that it was WAY over budget, I thought that a grocery-based challenge might be a great place to start. Over the past few months, our grocery spending has been all over the place. For some reason, it is one of the most variable areas of spending in our budget. I think that it is primarily because I find myself stocking up on groceries when they are on sale, which then results in higher food bills.

So this month, we will not be purchasing any prepackaged goodies, snacks, cereal, and the like, in hopes of lowering our grocery spending and eating more healthily. We already eat a primarily process-free diet, eating a majority of our meals at home, made from scratch. We will really just be cutting out some of the extras. It shouldn't be too much of a loss. I plan to buy in bulk (from our natural foods store), make all of our snacks (such as granola bars), and try to do some preserving of goods from our garden.

According to a 2007 USDA Publication about the average food costs of individuals and families, it is suggested that our food costs should fall between $631.20 and $1236.10 each month for a family of our size. Now, these figures are for the thrifty plan and the liberal plan. In our efforts to keep to the most frugal ways possible, I would like to see our grocery costs fall between the thrifty and the low-cost plans. The low cost plan would put us at $820.40 per month for our family of five.

An average of the thrifty plan and the low-cost plan puts us at $725.80. My goal is to get our food costs down to $650. I think that is an attainable goal. Let’s see where we are at the end of the month and see what adjustments we need to make.

So far this month we have spent $115.07 on groceries. I’ll keep you updated.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Our monthly food bill varies a lot too, like sometimes by several hundred dollars. I need to do this challenge for myself, except I rarely buy anything packaged at all so I have recently started buying more non-organic (but mostly local) produce.