Thursday, June 21, 2007

Challenge to my Grocery Challenge

The arrival of the cold weather seems to have increased all the appetites around here. So my $100 a week (on average) Grocery Challenge is coming under some strain. With only 4 Wednesdays in June, I need to keep my spending under $400 in order to maintain my spending goal.

So far this month I have spent $246.84, leaving me $153.16 until the end of the month. Ordinarily that would be plenty but tomorrow I have the opportunity to shop at Coles which is cheaper than the local supermarket. It makes sense to take advantage of the lower prices as long term this will save us money. It's still hard to compromise my current goals to do so though. :-)

I'm still reasonably well stocked from last months pantry stock up shop so it is possible with my smallish list that I *might* come under this months goal. At the very least I guess it'll give me an incentive not to give in and buy too many impulse purchases. :-)

My original goal was to maintain this level of spending until the end of June. Basically because I can easily keep our grocery spending down for a month or two due to the stockpile of food we keep on hand. But I didn't think that would give me a true picture of what we truly consumed in dollar value per week. I was figuring an average over 6 months would give me a better chance of a true spending figure.

I haven't decided yet whether to continue my challenge past the end of June. Rising dairy and fruit and vegetable prices are increasing the challenge of the challenge. Plus of course the rising appetites mentioned at the beginning of this post. That's okay though. I always said that I would only continue the challenge all the time that I found it fun. If it came to the point where it was too much of a struggle and just not fun any more, well I'd know it was time to stop. :-)

I will see how my shop goes tomorrow and how things travel in the first few weeks of July and then make a decision.


Anonymous said...

Hey Lightening - I would be interested to know how many you feed on this budget? I have: 2 adults, 2 children and a dog and don't know that I could stick to that. Have been trying to have more meatless meals and when I say meatless, I mean just bacon instead of beef or something (my DH is a meat & veg man!) This has certainly helped.
Madly Saving

lightening said...

Hi Madly Saving,
We have 2 adults and 3 children aged 9, 6 and 3. We do have animals as well but I don't count their food in my grocery budget.

My DH was a meat and veg man too. I've just been making very small changes like adding more vegetables with smaller servings of meat. Then adding beans and lentils etc to meat. The only meatless meals I've successfully implemented have been various types of soup. I tried a vegetarian pizza and he thought it would be great with some meat on it. LOL. Same with the lentil loaf. I'm not worried though as we're consuming less meat than we were before. Instead of focusing on no meat meals, I just work on having more "low meat" meals and figure the end result is the same. My biggest motivator for this is health reasons - saving money is a great bonus. We would have probably 2 low/no meat meals a week (usually Thursday nights and Sunday nights).

Anonymous said...

You have done so well Jodi! Pat yourself on the back. Just wondering if you include your toiletries, loo paper etc in your monthly totals or is it just food items?
Have fun shopping at Coles tomorrow!

lightening said...

Hi LS,

Yes I do include non food items in my grocery total. That being said, I haven't needed to buy cleaning products so far this year. I use a lot of concentrated stuff and around March last year I bought what I thought would be a year's supply - it's still going strong. I don't buy cleaning cloths - I just use rags, old facewashers and handtowels etc.

What I don't include are medical items like band aids and panadol which I may buy at the grocery store. Since I already separate my grocery spending into treats, fruit and veg, general groceries and non food - it's not much extra to separate off medical items as well.

I also don't include things like new mop heads though - they are categorised as household expenses rather than non food groceries.

Non food groceries include things like tissues, toilet paper, paper towel, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, garbage bags, snap lock bags, alfoil, gladwrap, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent and other cleaning products. That probably covers most of what I can think of that I *do* include. Just to give you an idea, I currently budget $40 a month for non food items but so far I've only spent around $20 a month (average) on these items. So they currently don't make up a huge portion of my grocery spending (about 5%).