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5 Proven Ways to Save Money On Groceries – February 2018 Grocery Budget

Back in September when I started my grocery challenge. I kind of knew how much we spent but never tracked our expenses in too much detail. I figured we had to eat regardless, so as long as we were within a reasonable range (meaning we could afford it!), why would I care? But after reading monthly expense updates on other blogs, I realized we were almost wasting money on groceries. And to save, I didn’t have to change our eating habits, all I had to do was change our planning and shopping habits! 5 Proven Ways to Save Money On Groceries – February 2018 Grocery Budget

So we started implementing a few changes and have been making great progress since. We didn’t reach our ultimate goal yet but getting closer.

Our eating habits haven’t changed much, we still eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but for less money. We did cut back on snacks and junk food. Overall, I we are becoming smarter shoppers.

5 Proven Ways to Save Money On Groceries:

When I started this challenge, I posted a list of ways I was going to save money. Several months later, here are the ones that had the most impact on our budget :

  1. Plan your meals for the week (doesn’t need to be complicated). I always plan for a leftover meal too! Check the sales on Flipp  before deciding what to make.
  2. Make a grocery list and stick to it! I am not kidding, you have to stick to the list!
  3. Do a quick inventory of what you have at home. That one was big for us, I always thought I knew what was left in the fridge and then we would get home to find out we already had whatever we just bought! And usually perishable products too!
  4. “Make do” with what you have. Unless I really have to (it happens), I won’t go to the store during the week. The extra trips were a killer for our budget. I would stop on the way home to buy one missing ingredient and would end up buying a lot more!
  5. Know the price of the food you buy. We spend a large portion of our budget on fruits and vegetables (a lot less now). I thought I was getting great deals at Costco but, once I did the proper conversion (takes a while at first, Costco doesn’t have the price in lbs, most other stores do) I realized we could, sometimes, get better deals elsewhere. Costco is still worth it for us for other products but we buy a minimum amount of produce there now. I always check Flipp for the weekly sales before I go shopping.

Our February Grocery Update:

Our February spending was slightly lower than last month. Slow and steady wins the race! The average per week this month was $249 for ALL groceries and $219 for food only ($950 per month for our family of five – three grown children).   My goal remains at $200/week, subject to change of course!

Here is the detailed grocery spending for February (4 weeks from Feb. 3 to March 2):Did I mention I love Excel and charts? Isn’t it pretty?  And because a picture is worth a thousand words!

 

February Highlights:

  • Vegetables & Fruits: We started doing better in this area as soon as I stopped buying everything at Costco. We get more of a variety now, less waste and we save money.
  • Meat/Fish: Just when I thought it couldn’t get higher! We did enjoy salmon, roast beef, cold cuts and Costco sells this amazing chicken salad…what can I say! Have you ever tried it?
  • Pets: We bought their food last month so just a few treats this month (yes, we buy them treats!)
  • Snack & crackers: We bought extra boxes of Oats & Honey bars on sale, we shouldn’t have to buy any in March. My son went to a few “chill” parties so we bought several large bags of chips for him to bring over.
  • Frozen food: This month is back to normal.
  • Baking goods: Stocked up on gluten-free flour. I only bake gluten-free goodies so my daughter (she is Celiac) never feels left out, but it is more expensive.
  • Household: We stocked up last month but still needed more toilet paper! Sometimes I really wonder what the kids do with it!!! Do you have that problem too? We also had to buy Drano…for the toilet! Just kidding:) The shower was plugged. Oh, and my partner likes to use Downy softener, I think it is a waste of money but I try to keep him happy. Still $80 for household products, seems like a lot!

Over To You, How Do You Save Money On Groceries:

Have you ever tried and successfully reduced your grocery spending? How much were you able to save? What worked best for you? Is there anything you tried, you wouldn’t recommend? How much do you spend on groceries on average each month?

You can find all my previous monthly grocery reports here.


If you like going thru monthly expense/food budget reports, here are a few others you should check out:

16 thoughts on “5 Proven Ways to Save Money On Groceries – February 2018 Grocery Budget

  1. Good Morning!

    All great tips here, and realizations too. Mr. DS and I recently went over our last month’s food bill and even though we don’t eat out in restaurants, it was still pretty high. I chalked it up to we’ve been making fruit and veggie smoothies like crazy these past winter months, and it’s really the factor of the cost of healthier foods. Sooo I was looking into joining a food coop this spring to help out.

    If there’s one thing that we can cut out though – it is the baking items! Those are expensive! We had quite the round of birthday celebrations over these last few months (I’m the family member that always makes cakes for everybody). It’s my gift to them…but yeah, those costs add up and at least we’ll have another break from those before the birthdays start coming around in the fall.

    I love your excel charts btw — excel is my favorite! Turning numbers into a beautiful colors can really be eye opening too!

    Have a great day Caroline!

    1. Hi Mrs. DS, another Excel geek!:) We should have our own club! Yes the baking can add up quickly, try baking with Gluten Free flour, hard to find it cheap anywhere. At least you are getting a break until the fall…until you wanted to bake me one for my birthday?? In May! Cheers

  2. Hi Caroline, Funny, I was just looking at our spend categories (gosh that sounds kinda Corporate) yesterday. I’m still amazed we cut our grocery bill by about 40% over the last couple years mainly as a byproduct of moving and not having access to the high end grocery store that was near our former house. We do miss it though. I wish it were close enough to get some of their premium seafood and meats, but not close enough where we do all our shopping and overpay for commodities and produce. Tom

  3. Thanks for the shout out Caroline!! I’m an avid Costco shopper and from experience not everything there is a good deal. Like you said their are definitely a great amount of items that are a good deal but their are other places like Amazon that have better deals on certain items.
    Yes yes, the love the pie chart for your food category, you can see a clear breakdown on which categories are taking a huge chunk of your food spendings and which ones are not. I use Excel too for my monthly income reports, gotta love Excel!!

    1. Welcome to the Excel Geek Group:) You have to love the charts!
      We are still avid shoppers at Costco but much smarter than we use to be. This month we are also planning better and limiting our grocery trip on the week-end, we will see how that works out.

  4. #4 has been the number one biggest change for us. If you read my grocery budget post, we used to go to the grocery store practically every day and we spent SO much money that way. We’re doing so much better going once a week or so and making do in between.

    1. Agree with you entirely, it’s amazing how much more stuff you can buy when you go often. I know some people prefer to do it that way and only buy what they need but it didn’t work for us. You guys did amazing on your grocery savings!

  5. Thanks for the luv Caroline! For our groceries, we really don’t plan. I fly by what’s good on sale and work around that. But everything else we do do often. Cutting out wholesaler clubs actually gave us more variety and lowered the grocery bill for us. I suspected it as much…because now I’m buying fly by last minute mark downs and there’s more variety!

    Not so sure if I’m so hyped about bulk buys now. They seem expensive.

    1. Wholesaler still works for some items but I agree not for all. We definitely stick to the week-end trip otherwise I get sidetracked and buy too much extra stuff!

  6. Great job for the groceries! I’m a bit scared to tally up what we spend. I batch cooked yesterday and it was exhausting but glad I did it haha. Do you shop organic for certain items?

    1. I am always impressed when people batch cook, you would think by now I would get into the habit…well not yet. I am not that organized I guess.
      I don’t often buy organic food but always buy gluten free food.

  7. $250 a week ain’t bad for five people. We took it a step back by just eating out less. That has been the greatest bang for our buck.

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