My New Year’s resolution is simple, but it won’t be easy! I want to find ways to cut our grocery budget in half. This is pretty ambitious, and to be honest, I’m not certain I’ll manage to do it, but it’ll be fun to try! I know there are a lot of people who are able to have a much smaller budget with a much larger family. So why not us?
A little background about “us”: there are two adults, a teenage girl, and a preteen girl who make up the household. My husband has allergies and food sensitivities, so our grocery purchases will reflect this. In addition, we are all focusing on eating better. This means eating more “real”‘ food and less processed foods. This is where I think the real challenge lies. How can a family eat healthy and not go broke?
A quick disclaimer: we also have two dogs and a cat. However, I will not be including pet supplies in the total budget. This is mainly because they are on special diets due to one having food allergies. Because of this, one bag of dog food would be two-thirds of the weekly budget. As much as I love my pets, on the weeks they need food, I’d rather not go hungry.
So ground rules: each week, I’ll allot myself $100 with which to do my shopping. Once the money is gone, no borrowing against next week–I’ll have to scrounge and get creative with meals. On the other hand, if by some miracle, I am under $100 for the week, I’ll roll it over to the next week. I am planning on using a checkbook register to track my progress. I’ll start with a $100 “deposit” and go from there.
In addition, my week will run Friday to Thursday. With my schedule, this is just what makes the most sense for me, but feel free to modify however you wish.
Finally, what items will be included in my new budget? Food, paper products, toiletries…pretty much anything that I buy at the grocery store/super center/butcher/specialty shop. I won’t include clothes or meals out.
So, what do you think? Is a $100 budget reasonable for a family of four to live off? And not just live, but live well? Or does that seem like a large budget?