Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My name is Jessica and I love to shop for groceries.

There, I said it. Sad isn’t it? The deal is that until about 5 years ago I lived in a ‘financially challenged’ kind of world. And groceries were the only thing I felt like I could shop for without guilt. The family needed to eat, right?
What has become an issue is that we are spending $1000 or more each month on groceries. So, starting this month my long term goal is to cut that number in half. No biggy right? Except for a few challenges.
1.       I’m celiac. This means I need to spend more to get the same stuff. It sucks but it’s true. And since I eat at work 5 days a week I need to find gluten free options that are also lunch box friendly.
2.       I live in a small town. My grocery options are limited. There is no such thing as coupon doubling etc around here.
3.       Mr. Amazing (my husband) and I are both self employed and have 4 children. This means I need to be more creative with my cooking as I work at my dress shop to 6 every night and between my husbands clients, board meetings, kids activities and other general life commitments we can’t be sitting down to eat at 7:30 or 8. It also means that I simply do not have the time to shop at a dozen different places to get the best deals. I need to find the best ‘average’ prices and shop there.

Also, and I know this last one is pathetic, there are certain brands I am loyal to that I am simply not willing to compromise on. Kraft peanut butter, Udi’s gluten free bread, the ice cream we love.  Yes, there are cheaper brands out there. No, I won’t be buying them.

This blog is going to track my tricks, tips and journey on how to get us back to a more reasonable spending limit.  I will also be touching on other ways to cut costs and make life in general more efficient as I find them.  

The rules: Mr. Amazing and I have long budgeted things like toilet paper as a ‘general household’. The rules for our budget state that if you eat it, it is groceries. If it is just used up (i.e. toilet paper, shampoo etc) it falls under ‘general household’ and won’t be included in the ‘grocery’ heading.  The grocery heading also includes vitamins and the supplements I take for early onset menopause, since they are ‘eaten’ and cannot be claimed on our medical plan.

The goal: For the past year or so Mr. Amazing and I have been allocating $300 for ‘general household’ and $700 for ‘grocery’. Every month I am running out of money. So the long term goal is:
-          $150 for general household
-          $350 for grocery
That will put our total payout to $500.
So follow along if you are looking for ways to cut your household spending.

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