For groceries...$100 a month. First of all, why? Well, since our little one was born, we've decided that Benny's going to cut back his hours at work significantly to only 10 or so a week, so that he can stay home with Raygan. This means that we're going to have to trim our already frugal budget a little more. So, one place where our spending can fluctuate some is groceries. Most months we spend about $140-$160, but we're going to try to reduce this by at least $50 each month, yet still maintain our healthy, earth friendly eating.
How're we gonna tackle this? Well, we'll continue with our regular meal planning, bulk shopping, and using some helpful advice from bloggers like Mavis and The Prudent Homemaker. We'll also cut out some of the extras that we'd been purchasing, like beer from Costco and wine from Trader Joe's. While we enjoy the occasional glass of wine or beer with dinner, they're certainly not necessities and are pricier, even when we bargain shop. We're also going to be cutting back on meat even more than we regularly do, eating more beans, eggs, nuts, and other alternate protein sources which are cheaper. We certainly won't cut out meat entirely; we both enjoy a piece of bacon way too much when we have breakfast for dinner to cut it out for good. And we're going to cut down desserts, something I love to make, to one per week, so once its gone, its gone. The same is true for beverages such as juice, which Benny loves. Why do juice when water is really better for you? We'll make tea when we want something different, using herbs from the garden and black tea bags we purchase in bulk or with a coupon and on sale.
We plan to do more in terms of bulk shopping, like buying our sugar, flour, dried beans, cheese, and rice in bulk from sources like Costco. The savings here is unquestionable and we'll find a creative solution to the storage issue, such as 5 gallon buckets... hmm, wonder where I'll get those? ;)
And of course, we'll make everything from scratch that we can...bread, tortillas, soups, cookies, jam & jellies, sauces, and salad dressings. The Joy of Cooking is a great place to start if you've not done a lot from scratch.
As always, this grocery budget includes toiletries and cleaning products, so we'll get creative here and use coupons, use less (by washing hair every other day and by using a lotion dispenser to control the amount we use of a product). I'll also pair down my makeup routine, which will not only save cash (although being a Mary Kay consultant saves me a bit here anyway) but also time, which is precious with a 7 month old. Since Benny will be staying home, he'll be shaving less frequently, which will cut down on the cost of razor blades and shaving gel/cream. We're already learning to be more careful with things like toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues (remember, we use handkerchiefs and rags any time its appropriate).
So join us on this journey and offer your tips in the comments. Here's to living and saving green!