Monday, January 28, 2013

Tips for Managing a Small Grocery Budget

Over the weekend I was at a Women's Breakfast, and the topic of budgeting for groceries came up. We talked about meal plans, coupons, and shopping at Aldi, but it got me thinking, what were some ways that I personally had found to save money on my grocery bill?

Some of you know that a year ago Erik started a new job and that we moved to a new town in the St. Louis area. The fact that we live so close to a big city meant that our rent was significantly higher than it was in our old town, plus the cost of living is a little higher here too.Since I'm a stay at home mom, and Erik was just starting out in a new career, we had to look for ways to cut our budget down. And our grocery bill was the first place we looked.  Since this was also around the time I started learning about the importance of whole foods, and Nourishing Traditions,  I had to learn to stay within a realistic budget while also providing healthy food for my family.

Last year we spent about 75 dollars a week on groceries for our family of six. We have increased it some since then, but I still follow these same principles.

Give every food item a budget category. This was huge for me, and probably my best tip for staying within a tight budget. Basically this meant that I budgeted 30 dollars for meat(including eggs), 20 dollars for dairy, and 15 dollars for produce. Since I have access to Aldi, 15 dollars for produce was stretched pretty far. I used the extra ten dollars for oats, flour, sugar, pasta, spices and sometimes for hygiene products if I had any wiggle room whatsoever. If I had a week where I needed more pantry staples than my budget allowed I had to take it out of a different category(usually the dairy.)

Make as much from scratch as possible. Typically I make bread, tortillas, hamburger buns, chicken stock, pizza dough, and basically any other bread product we eat. We rarely have cereal since a box of cereal in this house lasts about a day, and cereal can really add up. I make a lot of oatmeal and muffins for breakfast. Not only does making things from scratch save a lot of money, it also tends to be healthier!

Use Swagbucks! If you haven't heard of swagbucks, it's a great way to win some gift cards to amazon. By utilizing swagbucks I was able to get coconut oil for free, which is something I definitely couldn't have afforded on my tight budget. I also used my gift cards for bulk purchases like succanat and flour.

Yes our budget was tight, and there were plenty of times I was discouraged. There were plenty of times I was anxious about stretching our budget to last the whole week, but God was always faithful. We were always provided for, and never went without anything.

What are some ways the rest of you have learned to save some money on groceries?


  1. Wow; there's no way we could do that. I used to do pretty well, but as costs have skyrocketed, it has been more and more of a struggle...we've increased the grocery budget substantially and it's still a stretch. (Adding a gluten intolerance into the mix has definitely not helped!)

    Does your $75/week include paper goods, cleaning supplies, etc., or just food?

    1. Hey, Rachel! This was our grocery budget last year. We have increased it some this year partially b/c my husband is suppose to be avoiding gluten too. It would be very hard to be eating gluten free for our size family with this amount!
      We don't buy very many paper products other than toilet paper, and sometimes I included that, other times there was no way I could and had to take it out of a different category. I also mainly use vinegar, baking soda, and water to clean, so cleaning supplies weren't normally a huge factor in the budget. Diapers and wipes weren't a part of this budget though, that would've been nearly impossible! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Just moved back to the States and I am shocked at the prices of groceries! We're spending over 70 bucks a week and I buy no convenience items. The cost of ground beef is 3 dollars a pound. I'm really trying to cut back!

  3. These are good tips! I have a similar budget. :)

  4. Great tips! We have about the same budget. Can you share your tortilla recipe? I tried them once, but they were really dry -well, they were good for the first meal, but the leftovers were really dry. Thanks!

  5. I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of
    clever work and reporting! Keep up the amazing works guys I've incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.
    Here is my web site ; Weight Loss Calculator


I love reading your comments, and I also love responding to them!

Share this!

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
01 09 10