It feels good to save money with very minimum effort! I am happy to report our March Grocery Spending was pretty decent. Full disclosure: we are not aiming for extreme frugality (but we could if we had to) so no extreme numbers to look at (just in case you are new to the blog!). So how did we do this month? We are ALMOST THERE!
We are a household of five (three grown children). We don’t eat out very often. One of my daughters is celiac so we buy gluten-free products (flour, pasta and bread mainly) which are more expensive than regular products. We have one small dog and two cats. And we host a family dinner every Sunday with 10-14 people depending on the week.
The 2018 Challenge:
My 2018 grocery spending challenge is to reduce our spending by 30% to $200 per week. We started back in September with an average $280 per week.
While reducing our cost, I also focus on:
- Reducing waste as much as possible
- Eating well and maintaining a healthy and balance diet
The goal is not Extreme Frugality unless we HAVE to. Lucky us, we don’t ! I can sense a new challenge coming up once I reach this goal!!!
Related Post: Monthly Grocery Spending Report – The Beginning
March 2018 Grocery Budget:
Our March spending was 10% lower than last month! Crazy to think $24/week savings is the equivalent of 10% of last month’s average spending! We basically saved $1,248 per year.
Assuming you make minimum wage (in Ontario it’s $14/hr) with a low tax rate of 18%,
$1,248 is the equivalent of 108 hours of work!
Or 3 weeks!!! Based on a 35 hours work week.
Pretty awesome gig if you ask me. You get extra time and money with very minimum effort. You should try it!
Our average per week this month was $225 for ALL groceries and $207 for food only ($897 per month for our family of five). My goal remains at $200/week, subject to change of course! Since my partner and kids are not always on board with this challenge, I think
I am we are doing AWESOME!
Here is the detailed grocery spending for March (4 weeks – March 3 to 30):
And my charts (the love of Excel at work!)
- Meat/Fish: We did really well this month and still enjoyed fresh salmon and roast beef. So what did we change? Sunday dinner menus ! I am looking at cheaper alternatives and it seems to work. I mean we do feed up to 14 people on Sundays! (Even if two of them are really small). For example, we had chicken thighs once instead of chicken breasts, much cheaper and still really good on the BBQ.
- Bread & Bakery: My partner loves his Costco bagels but they are so much more expensive. Unfortunately, not much I can do there, as he always reminds me, he doesn’t mind being frugal when it comes to groceries but if he really wants something he will buy it! And HE does.
- Snack & crackers: We didn’t need to buy much this month since we bought extra in February, on sale. We still have one more box.
- Oil & Condiments: It was time to stock up, we were low on everything! I make my own vinaigrette with oil and red wine vinegar and my kids love it, so we usually run out pretty quickly. I need to look into buying bulk. We buy the Olive Oil bulk but I use vegetable oil often too.
Change This Month:
In addition to:
- Planning meals as much as possible.
- Checking Flipp.
- Sticking to the list
- Maintaining the spending spreadsheet weekly. It is a habit now, what will I do once I reach my goal???
Check out all my other tips for saving on groceries: How I Plan to Save $60 a Week on Groceries
We NOW only go to Costco every two weeks! What? You went every week? Well, with the big family dinner on Sunday and the five of us, it made sense to us. But in March we decided to get some of our week-end back and plan better. We buy our meat for the following two weeks and everything else we feel is cheaper there (cereal, coffee, HIS bagels, household products…). So far I think it also contributed to our additional savings, less temptation! But best of all, we get that one hour back on our week-end! Our next goal is to try to go every three weeks and then eventually once a month.We just need to plan better.
I am happy with our progress this month and can’t wait to see our numbers for April. Keeping track of our grocery spending, by category, has been very helpful and I love making the charts. I am such an Excel geek! Also, because we all like to reach our goals, I am considering not feeding my kids in the last week of April if I need to, in order to reach MY goal!!! Extreme?
Desperate times call for desperate measures:)
How about you, how well did you do this month? How many hours are you ready to get back by saving on groceries?
GYM didn’t do too well! Go check out her post An Analysis of Our Grocery Spending: This is an Intervention. And don’t forget to check out Kris’ March update over at Chronicles of a Father with Cents .
You can find all my previous monthly grocery reports here.