Friday, July 22, 2011

Budget Update

Remember when I told everyone that I was challenging our household to 2 months of watching our spending? I thought since it's been 2 months, I should do an update!

The first round, we went to Costco and then Kroger and I made those groceries last 3 weeks, with exception to formula and baby food. They do sell the larger formula containers at Costco and those last us about 9 days on average and are about $8 cheaper than the same size online. In those 3 weeks, we also had guests several times.

We have now gone to Costco 3 times and I have made the food last longer each time. I am getting better at knowing what I need from there that I can use to make meals for a month. A whole month! That means I am not browsing the grocery store every week buying things I don't need. In fact all our Target's had upgraded to have more grocery so I really only have to run through there for odds and ends when I am already buying baby food.

Here is evidence of our last haul:

An overview of it all piled up ready to be put away.
 Chicken (breasts and thighs) Pork (loin and chops) Ground Turkey (4 of them), large cans of crushed tomatoes, a pack of diced tomatoes, trash bags, 2 whole chickens, olive oil...
Cheerios (there are 2 bags in there) chicken stock, black beans, green beans, asparagus, red bell pepper, 3 containers of formula, pack of tomato paste. Somewhere in the room is a large bag of potatoes.

These are the staples. I have a few large containers I can pour the rest of a can of crushed tomatoes into when I open it to make something.. (you know, like my favorite meal of all time). I use these to make Spaghetti, Heuvos Rancheros, even tortilla soup.

Now the challenge - putting it away...

Yes there is chocolate in the drawer. And?
All the veggies live in these 2 drawers.
I still have to go to the store later in the day for fruits and odds and ends.

I have had to take over the cabinet above the refrigerator and gotten very creative on how we use the pantry.

All in all, this works for us and it does save us money. Again, I am not in the store tempted by bottles of wine ( don't worry, I still get bottles of wine!) I only get what we need.

There are things that carry over from some trips. For instance, I bought pasta last trip, so we didn't need any this trip. Same with ziploc bags, paper towels, toilet paper, and dishwashing detergent. Then this trip may have things I don't get next time (probably... tomatoes!) I put money from one paycheck in savings and then pull it out before the trip. That way, we aren't blowing $400 out of one pay period.

I think I have our actual grocery shopping down to about $450 a month, including baby needs.
Diapers are $30 a month from Amazon.

Lee still buys his beer. I buy wine but not as much. All in all, we like this method.

What about you, what things do you do to save money?



Chloe said...

With the start of our mortgage just around the corner, we're now trying to save even more, if that's possible!
Today I went grocery shopping, and only spent 25€! And I won't need to go again until next Friday!
Of course I'd have loved to buy some candies and some other things like iced tea. But I thought they were not things I really need to live. So I just bought the basic food.

em said...

Hide it from my husband...just kidding. We are working on this as we speak, but my husband and I don't see eye to eye on needs versus wants, so it's a little difficult for us at the moment. We have gotten better by not just throwing random things into the cart, but for the most part we just avoid certain isles at the stores we go to.

Joshua said...

We tried BJ's (similar to Costco) for a while, but I found we were spending too much money in one shot and just couldn't make it last long enough. When the kids get a little older I might try again.

Holly said...

Wow that's an impressive collection of groceries!

Also, LOL at the chocolate hiding in the fridge drawer. :P

Joyful Sparrow said...

The challenge is always putting it away, isn't it? I love Costco, but it's hard to fit all those bulk items in! Oh well, as long as $ is saved, the goal is met :-}

Happy Sunday!

MK said...

I go to BJs here and sometimes it's a good deal and sometimes it's not. I really have to sit and figure out if it's a good deal vs the grocery store sales. I used to have to get the brands I knew and loved until I realized that store brands are usually just as good. I'm gluten free and there's no way to bargain with that.
Stopping by from Comment Love and I'm LOVING your blog! :)

Marlee said...

Yay for budgeting! Great blog, I'm a new follower!