As I have discussed in this grocery budgeting post and this pantry stocking post, your food/grocery budget is one of the easiest budget areas to be able to cut costs in without too many sacrifices. After several months of following the guidelines from those posts, I have been able to consistently spend only $35 a week on my grocery budget. While I realize that food prices vary around the country, I am spending 60-80% less than the rest of the country!
A few disclaimers and things to point out about my $35/week grocery budget:
1) This budget is for a family of two (1 adult male & 1 adult female).
2) I cook a homemade meal 6 nights of the week.
3) This budget includes everything that I need to make breakfasts, lunches & snacks for myself as well as supper for both me and my husband.
4) This does not include any eating out expenses. I have those costs as a separate budget item.
5) This does not include my husband’s grocery expenses. He spends $25/week on lunches that he takes to work, and what he eats for breakfast. I have no control (nor do I wish to) over what he spends or buys so I do not include this in my budget amount.
6) I do 95% of my grocery shopping at Aldi. The only time that I don’t shop there is if they don’t have the ingredient/s that I need. I will hit up another grocery store to buy only the missing ingredients that I couldn’t get at Aldi.
7) I eat leftovers for lunches at work.
While there has been a month or two where I went over my grocery budget by a couple of dollars, I was always under budget in another category. Therefore they cancelled each other out.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am really proud of how much money that I have saved by sticking to my budget. My husband and I built a new house last June and are working towards removing the PMI insurance from our mortgage. (You can do this when your principal balance is < 80% of the appraised value.) Trevor is working on finishing the basement and I have been applying any extra money towards principal on our mortgage. Once we have the principal low enough, we will obtain a new appraisal. The reduced principal amount along with the increased appraised value (due to the basement being finished), we should be below the 80% mark! Removing the PMI insurance requirement will help to lower our monthly mortgage payments.
Sorry for the sidebar there but having a goal helps put why you are budgeting into perspective!
Onto the $40/week grocery budget challenge! We recently gained a roommate at our household to bring our house count to three adults. My sister didn’t want to get locked into a long-term lease so she will be staying with us until she graduates college.
This means that we have one extra mouth to feed now!
What does that mean for my grocery budget? Right now I spend approximately $17.50 each week per person. The logical thought process would be to add another $17.50 to my budget, which would bring it to $52.50.
I am not going to do that. In fact, I am only going to add $5 to my budget.
$40/week for three people’s groceries. Am I crazy? Probably… but part of living a frugal lifestyle is challenging yourself to think outside of the box. What can I change about my lifestyle that will save me money?
The Grocery Budget Challenge
– Spend $40 a week or less on groceries for three people.
(same disclaimers from above will apply. The only thing changing is the amount of people. My sister is working at a kid’s summer day camp and lunches are provided for her. She will be eating breakfast and supper at home as well as meals during the weekend.)
– Timeline: Two Months! Last challenge week will be 8/25 – 8/31.
– Eat home cooked meals 6 nights of the week (during the weekends we usually have leftovers or cereal for lunch. I don’t plan on that changing.)
– I will share what we eat for meals each night (I will try to provide recipe posts when applicable) so that you can see the type of food that we eat. I want to point out that we do not eat ramen noodles and toast every night!
– Finally, I will share what I spend on groceries and what groceries I purchased each week.
Check Out Other Posts in the $40/Grocery Budget Challenge: