Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August Grocery Shopping

Well it's getting to that time of the month again and I've been a bit slack with keeping my records up to date. So today is the day to get everything entered into my spending book and work out where I'm up to.

August has been a bit of a "spend up" month for me in the area of groceries. I'm not hugely worried about it and some of it was expected due to my low spending in July. One thing I've noticed though, is the number of packets of biscuits that I've bought. At a rough count up, I've bought 23 packets of biscuits this month. LOL. That's a lot for me as I usually bake my own. Some of those have been due to very good prices, especially on those flavoured savoury biscuits (which I don't make myself). At the moment the cupboard is well stocked with biscuits. :-) And some of those are *hiding* in a box on the top shelf so they'll last a little while.

I also bought 4 tubs of ice cream this month as they were a good price. That didn't end up being the best of ideas though as DH saw all this ice cream and all of a sudden we were going through it a rapid pace. :-) I'll have to hide some if I want to stock up another time. LOL.

Here's where the tally stands at the moment:

August so far: $496.08
July was $302.29 then I did a bulk buy at the butchers early in August (not included in the August tally as it was supposed to be in July) of $65.12

In order to stay under my $100 a week average spend I need to keep my combined spending for July and August to under $900. So far the total stands at $863.49 leaving me $36.51 for this week.

So providing I spend under $36.51 this week, I've achieved my goal. If I can do that even with my biscuit and ice cream blow out, I'll be very happy. Given the fridge, freezer and cupboard are all full, there's no reason why I won't be able to keep the grocery spend to under that amount this week (just 1 shopping day left for the month).

It's been a funny month for discussions on groceries. I keep a bit of an eye on how DH is feeling about what foods I'm buying etc as this challenge is really a *choice* challenge rather than a * necessity* challenge and I don't want to continue it if DH is feeling at all "deprived" or frustrated with what foods I'm buying. Usually he's pretty easy to keep happy.

A couple of weeks ago, DH was teasing me about the fact that I NEVER wanted to fill up our pantry cupboard. When we moved into this house, I had 4 boxes of pantry staples to move (despite my efforts to use them up before we moved lol) and when I unpacked them into the pantry cupboard the cupboard still looked empty. I knew that if I were to ever fill the cupboard, that would be a LOT of food. And yes... most of the time that cupboard is full! LOL. So every now and then DH likes to have a dig at me about the amount of food I keep on hand. :-)

The thing is, he turned around a week or so later and told me that we were out of EVERYTHING. Of course, I just laughed at him for contradicting himself. Obviously I'm not the only one in this family with a tendency to exaggerate slightly. :-) We were out of promite, peanut butter, spaghetti and baked beans and almost out of honey, vegemite and tomato sauce. I guess for a bloke that's used to never running out of anything, it may have felt like we were starting to run out of *everything*. I suspect if we actually DID run out of tomato sauce, I would have had a mutiny on my hands. :-) It's a major food group in this household. LOL. I wonder if that's a reflection on my cooking skills? LOL.

I did have everything under control though, knowing I was going to do a "pantry stock" shop over the weekend. Everything is now right with the world. :-)We have a BIG bottle of tomato sauce, promite, vegemite, 3 tubs of peanut butter as well as a number of cans of spaghetti and baked beans.

I have however decided it's time for a new challenge. My *real* grocery budget is actually $129.23 a week. LOL. I kid you not. I budget monthly so it's actually $560 a month and it doesn't quite divide up evenly when you calculate it out to a weekly amount. :-) I'm quite happy with what I've achieved. 8 months of averaging $100 or less. I intend to continue to track my grocery spending and will still keep it as low as possible. It just won't be my "frugal focus".

I've found through my journey into frugality, that I'm most successful with challenging myself if I limit it to one area of our spending at a time. I work on getting spending down in one area and making those changes into a habit. Then I move on to something different. Our spending will tend to go up slightly in an area once it is no longer my focus, but only by a small amount and usually not up to as high as it was before. It works for me and stops me getting overwhelmed. It also makes it into more of a game and therefore I have fun with it rather than seeing it as a *chore* or *deprivation*.

So what will my next challenge be? Well Rhonda over at Down To Earth is currently running an electricity challenge. So I thought I would join in with that for a few months and see how that goes. I'll post more about my electricity challenge in the next couple of days.

As for the food budget surplus. I intend to skim that off to use for something else. I'll also blog more about that over the next day or so. :-)


Ali said...

I think you shop well for that amount of money and 3 children. I spend a similar amount.

emma.jean said...

Thanks for the idea about focussing on one food group at a time, Jodi - I'll try that. Re. the electricity challenge, it's started to warm up here and the fan on my heater died so I threw it out (cheapie heater) which should help the electricity bill. Have also been more conscious of the little things since watching 'An Inconvenient Truth'.