Friday, February 01, 2008

The $100 Question

When it's winter, car sales are slow. So I thought it prudent in January to trim back a bit, financially. One of the ways I was going to trim things was to spend less on groceries. When the month was over, I assessed how we did.

We spent $100 more on groceries than usual. What?!? Now I'm left trying to figure out what happened. Could it be in part because I have 2 babies in diapers instead of 1? Could it be that Annika is actually eating enough food that her consumption must be factored into meal plans? I did do a fair amount of "stocking up" this month, was that too much?

These are the facts: 1) we waste very little food, 2) we don't buy expensive food--no pre-grilled chicken strips at my house, or Lunchables, or most name brands when generic is just fine. (Gosh, there aren't many facts are there?)

With how well stocked our food storage room and freezer are, I think that this month I'm going to buy milk, bread, eggs, fresh produce and stuff I run out of that can't wait. (Example: Yogurt can wait, sandwich meat can not. Ice cream can wait, diapers can not.)

Hopefully, March 1st I'll be sitting here having spent a lot less on groceries.


Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Groceries is always where I try and trim the budget and it rarely works for me. Why does it take so much money to feed your family the basics? Good luck with this next month!!

dh said...

i heard that shopping once every two weeks or once a month is the key to spending less on groceries (save for milk; you gotta pick it up whenever you need it). I actually tried it and its true.. we also like whole wheat bread which is more expensive.. so about half the time, i just bake it myself... just thoughts. we are trying to be financially smart as well. :)

*Tanyetta* said...

Sounds like you're making progress! I know March 1st will show improvements.

I like to read this blog:

As long as you promise NOT TO resort to making powdered milk for your family. This is where I draw the line. :)

Celia Fae said...

You should go visit Lorena today. She's got the coupon thing going on. Her link is on my sidebar.

Food is expensive because it is delicious.

Alisa said...

I will have a month where I buy a bunch and "stock up." Then I don't have to shop for a while and things are looking pretty good. Then all of a sudden I am OUT of stuff again and then..another HUGE bill. Maybe small trips would cost more than fewer large ones, I don't know- its those Costco trips that kill me, everything is $10 $20 a pop and that adds up! I don't buy the expensive stuff either-- I'm too cheap and its not healthy anyway.

Jennifer @ Fruit of My Hands said...

I was absolutely floored, floored when I got budgeting software going in my online banking and actually added up our grocery bill for a month. I had one number in my mind, the reality was $300 a month more.

Just by keeping track better, I've found we eat just as well, but spend what I thought we should be spending all along. Staying out of the store has really helped I think. I know planning meals helps too, but that is a new mountain to climb! Something that is hard for me.

anna said...

okay, this happens to me every time i am trying to be cautious with my spending, too. isn't it funny? the only way it works for me is if i decide a dollar amount to spend, have it in cash for the month, and watch the cash dwindle until zero (or darn close to zero). good luck next month! ha ha!