Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mother Hubbards Cupboard Has Now Been Restocked

Not that you could really say that my cupboard (or fridge or freezer) were bare, despite going almost 2 weeks without shopping. In fact, I was quite surprised at how easy the challenge ended up being. I obviously have a tendency to keep plenty of food on hand without even realising it.

In the end the only one who really noticed my lack of shopping was my 3 year old when the apples ran out. He quite happily eats oranges but he LOVES his apples and usually eats a couple a day. He ate the last apple on Sunday morning so Monday ended up being the only day he had to go without an apple. Despite being allowed to take pocket money and buy lollies at the supermarket yesterday, I think mum buying apples was the highlight of his day. :-)

I was expecting to spend around $100 to stock up again yesterday so was quite pleased when the total came to just under $80. DH made a comment on how much food I came home with. I even bought a 900g tin of milo and a packet of Nutra Grain (school holiday treat) within that total. Plus a few meals of meat. It did help that both potatoes and oranges were on special this week. Nearly half of what I spent was on fruit and veg though. I do look forward to the day when we can produce at least some of these from our own yard. It's a pity I've had such a struggle with growing broccoli (although fingers crossed I'm finally winning the war against the bugs) as it was $9.99 kg at the supermarket. I bought one floret and that cost me $3.05. I probably should have looked at the frozen broccoli but we much prefer it fresh.

To be quite honest I'm actually scratching my head a little as to why my grocery bill seems to be staying low so easily at the moment. I keep kind of waiting for the axe to fall where I suddenly have no choice but to spend more money in order to "catch up". I don't really know... we still seem to have a lot of food on hand. We do need cereal and some meat and will soon need to buy up on some spreads like Vegemite and Promite.

Oh well, it doesn't actually matter. It's a good problem to have I guess. I just don't like the unexpected. So I don't want to be thinking everything is travelling along fine, only to discover I've been kidding myself. LOL.

We do have a separate take away budget which does help with the grocery budget. At the moment we allow $100 a month which usually buys us 3-4 meals depending on how we use it. And we all get pocket money (DH and I included) so I don't have quite the same *need* to buy treats with the groceries (although I still do from time to time).

This month will actually be easier too as we'll be away for a few days and that is going to come out of a different budget. I find it more relaxing if I don't have to think too much about budgets when we go away. So at the end of each year, a certain percentage of any money in the budget that hasn't been spent gets set aside as "blow money" for the following year - we'll use some of that for our few days away.

So, 2 shopping weeks to go this month and about $300 left in the kitty if I'm to keep below $400 for the month. I'm feeling pretty confident about making it. Can't wait until August though - that should be a fun month as there are 5 shopping weeks (since my regular shopping day is Wednesday, I count the number of shopping weeks by how many Wednesdays in the month) even though the number of days in August is the same as the number of days in July.


Kin said...

Well done! I was wondering how you were managing.

I'm on a "keep under $125 a week" mission at the moment, and doing quite well. Having stocked up on meat it leaves me $85 a week for everything else, and I'm doing really well. not once in 7 weeks have I gone over that. And there's only one more week to go before the meat needs to be restocked (and to be honest, I will still have 5 meals or so left at the end of the 8 weeks).

It's not been as hard as I've though. If I worked at it I could probably manage under $100 a week. Especially when we move next year and groceries are cheaper (despite feeding an extra head ;)). We'll see what happens.

lightening said...

I think that's great. I can imagine things would be more expensive where you are. It'll be interesting to see what happens once you do move.

And to me it's not about spending the least amount when compared to what anyone else spends (although I know direct comparisons can help formulate a bit of a goal or idea of what *can* be done). It's about analysing your own spending and deciding if there's room to move. My goal is to get the spending vs fulfilment equilibrium right so we're spending the least amount of money but still finding life enjoyable if that makes sense.

We all have different things that are important to us as well as different challenges and opportunities. So the best comparison really is with yourself isn't it. I used to spend $X and now I spend $X. Or - the family is expanding and growing, prices are going up, but my spending hasn't increased. To me, all of the above are things we can be proud of ourselves for achieving.

You know, I would hate for anyone to say cut their grocery spending from $200 a week to $180 a week and think to themselves it's not significant because Jodi only spends $100 a week. Of course it's significant because there's $20 a week that's not being spent unnecessarily. :-) (I've just pulled those figures out of thin air as an example).

Everybody's progress on the journey toward frugality counts in my opinion. I feel the same way about environmental issues. Every change people make counts. Small changes add up to big progress. :-)

Kin said...

That's very true. When it was DH and I our grocery spending rarely topped $80 (we ate out 3 nights a week due to dancing commitments), and even when it was just 3 of us (not that that was very long) we didn't reach $100 a week.

$125 is quite a lot for me, having not tracked much before. Although with a few exceptions (meat choices mostly) I think I'm on quite good ground with our groceries.

Although it's alwasy more when I'm working outside the home, because I use bought snacks for the kids daycare. When they're at home I just feed them fruit or homemade snacks (that I can't send to daycare). I am enjoying making "baked treats" (some are even healthy) since I've been home this time

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are really going well! Excellent. My aim at the moment is to try and stick to a budget and even aim below that if possible. In fact we are just trying to aim for everything to be a bit lower - electricity, petrol, etc!

lightening said...

That's how you do it - you just try to go a little bit lower each time. I find it easier to focus on something small each time. It might be the electricity bill one month or how much we spend on meat another month. Just babysteps until things become habits and you wonder how you used to spend as much as you did. :-)