Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year...means New Budget

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years! If you are like me and spent a little too much over the holidays and want to cut back but don't know where, here's a great place to start~your food budget! You may or may not know, I try to keep my weekly grocery bill at $50, trust me it took me awhile to be able to have enough in my stockpile to be able to do this, but I was able to do it for many months, until Christmas rolled around :c)  Sometimes, I'm over, but this is my goal.  So here are a few suggestions if you want to cut back on your grocery bill!

1) Keep track of what you spend for an entire month. I know this can be cumbersome, however if you just throw your receipts in an envelope and at the end of the month put them in an Excel document after the month's through, you'll realize how many little trips really do add up! This will give you a great starting place for your normal monthly grocery budget. Then for example if you find yourself spending $150 a week, see if you can decrease that by just $25 per week to start with! So your new weekly budget would be $125. Just that alone will save you $1,300/year!!!

2) Start a stockpile, and what I mean by this is when there is an item that is a really great deal buy quite a few of them! Then you won't be running out when you NEED them and paying full price! For example, I had some coupons last year for soup, and cereal that made them FREE, I stocked up on them and I didn't pay for them for many months! While this may not seem like a lot, if you can do this with a few items, you'll see your grocery bill continue to decrease!

3) Don't count out those drug stores like CVS and Walgreens. You'll be surprised what you'll find at these stores and pay either very little or in many cases nothing! Last year, I didn't BUY shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, listerine, or toothbrushes because I was able to get them FREE at the above 2 stores!

4) Try to always combine a sale price with a coupon. If you just go into the store with a coupon, you will be saving, but the way to maximize your savings is wait for the item to go on sale and then use the coupon on top of the sale! You will find that I rarely shop at Walmart, while they may have the lower overall price on grocery items, they rarely have items on sale. So I just wait for the item to go on sale at Meijer or Kroger and then use my coupon!

5) Here's a big one that I fell into during November and December...We were running through the drive thru way too many times. I would be out shopping and the kids would say they were hungry, so I'd swing by McDonalds. That's why I say you truly don't know how much your spending unless you keep track of it for an entire month! Instead, I need to throw some healthy snacks in the car and when the kids say they're hungry give them these to tide them over until we get home!

I hope some of these little tidbits make help you think of ways to decrease your budget.  If there are any topics that you want a little more clarification on or are interested in, just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll touch on those topics on the blog! Thanks so much for tuning in!

No comments: