Thursday, April 08, 2010

Saving Money on Groceries

We've been working hard the last few months to really focus on tracking our grocery spending habits and try to reduce our average monthly bill below $300. While $300 isn't terrible for two people, it's still more than I want to be spending. We tracked our spending for last month and figured out we came in at around $230! Plus our monthly average $100 eating out expenses went down to under $30! We saved $140 on food in just one month compared to our averages, and that was in a longer month. Of course, we spent money on a parking permit for work and a new operating system for The Man's computer, so we didn't come out ahead, but those weren't things we could do without (life or death we could have, but life is much easier with those two things).

How did we manage to save $140 on food last month? Planning, coupons, sales, and remembering to eat cheaply. The oddest thing was that we spent a lot of money on expensive food like vegetables and fruit, name brand cereal, and pop. I remember splurging on deli lunch meat more than once last month. Having a meal plan is incredibly helpful. Neither of us have to ask what's for dinner, and we can do lots of shopping at once to minimize trips to the store (when cravings kick in and impulse buys take over). The meal plan also gives us fewer excuses to eat out since we know we have the food a plan.

I'm not a big couponer, but they do help. I bet we saved $5 using coupon last month... coupons we don't get from a newspaper since we don't subscribe to any. They're from the Internet or from products we already bought (like inside cereal boxes where I'd much rather find a prize). We also took some pop cans back and saved about $7 that way. The rest of the savings was from sales and eating cheaply.

Now if only we can keep up the savings longer than a month!

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