2009 Grocery Budget Reduction Challenge
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  1. #1
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Default 2009 Grocery Budget Reduction Challenge

    I have been spending a lot on groceries every month. Partly, it is because I include all items that I purchase, including cleaning supplies and such, in my grocery budget; partly, it is because I buy a lot of organic produce; partly, it is because I am not as careful as I could be about buying things on sale, comparing prices, etc.

    So my challenge to myself is to work on that third part and to reduce my grocery spending by 2.5% ($15) every month. If I can reduce it every month, that will be close to 1/3 by the end of the year, which should take care of that third part of why my grocery budget is so high!

    So, since my budget was set at $600 in December, and has exceeded $500 every month before then, I am setting my grocery budget for January 2009 at $585. I think I should easily be able to keep it under that amount. Baby steps!!
    Last edited by madhen; 12-25-2008 at 11:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User kestrel91316's Avatar
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    I set Dec at $100 and I think it's at $110. You can call that 10% over, or you can call it $10 over. I think it's pretty good, considering this is Christmastime with some fancier meals in there.

  3. #3
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    I know how to reduce our Grocery bill....I MUST MUST MUST go back to OAMC. I stopped in the summer, because our eating habits change then. After I've done an OAMC, I can save up to $200 per month. DH and I said yesterday that we must get back on track.

    It's on my list to do BEFORE jan 1, 2009. I've been planning and working on my menus. I am glad Christmas is over and I can now focus on everyday living.

    I always have something left over so it really is worth my 6 hours of cooking.

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    Registered User EmilyD's Avatar
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    I am currently spending $200 every two weeks.

    My goal will be to save $25.00 a pay check.
    EmilyD

    Change/Piggy Bank Jar Challenge (I use it for my clothes allowance)
    All silver change into piggy for 1 year (Oct 2019)
    Household savings account $200.00 monthly, current bal. $2600.00
    My savings: current bal. 100.00
    Pay extra on mortgage/loan/auto $50.00 @ monthly


    Projects for 2018: Done
    Replace wooden pathway with concrete
    Cemetery Plots and burial plot for kitty
    Payments for cemetery products $80.00/$1875 per month x2 yr. begun in March 2017
    Pay off old and closed credit card


    Projects for 2019:
    New porch (from dh's vacation fund, this summer)
    New garage door (next week, $900+tax)
    Hire out yard clean-up, bush trims, weeds ($400)
    Major declutter house (in progress)
    Major declutter garage (in progress)
    Re-decorate my bathroom (in progress)

  6. #5
    Registered User Mavourneen's Avatar
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    I haven't paid anything for cleaning supplies in months.

    You need to start stockpiling.

    For example: small bottles of Dawn dish detergent are usually on sale for .99 at CVS and Rite Aid several times each year. Collect those $1.00 off any size bottle of Dawn - and presto - a free bottle of Dawn. Make sure you have between 5-7 of these coupons so you can stockpile the freebies.

    The same is true with a lot of other things - toilet paper, soaps, cleansers, paper towels - often very steeply discounted several times a year at CVS or Rite Aid.

    Start couponing actively. Buy and trade coupons. Ask anyone you know who doesn't coupon if you can have their coupons.

    Laundry soap - Make your own.
    I prefer powder soap. Always have - and it is being phased out. Go to the store and buy 1 box of powdered borax, 1 box Arm & Hammer washing soda ( can be difficult to find in some areas of the country ) and 1 bar of Fels Naptha soap ( you can also use Zote laundry bar soap; that is what I uses ). Grate the soap on a cheese grater into tiny flakes. Mix all 3 ingredients together in trash bag so it is evenly mixed. You will only use about 1/3 c of this soap - and it is about 50-60% cheaper than Tide or other national brands - and that is if you pay full price for the ingredients!.

    Start playing the CVS game. Google "CVS game" and read up on the techniques. Rolling their electronic bucks over and over you can basically get most anything in the store for free.

    Since I started this about 6 months ago, my grocery bill went from $200 a week for 3 people to just over $100 - and I can honestly admit I'm not doing everything I could to chase a deal.

    Good luck!

  7. #6
    Registered User Sassyclass's Avatar
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    I also include everything in my "grocery" budget. I budget $150 every 2 weeks and I'm happy to say I dropped it down to $100 for this week coming up, so I should come in way under the monthly budget. Stockpiling is a life saver.I hope to continue this into next year. I'd be happy to knock $50 a month off of the budget.

    Cat

  8. #7
    Registered User emily_hope's Avatar
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    I want to slash my grocery budget, also. I didn't even keep up with it the last few months of 2008. We are going to eat much more frugally in 2009 and I am going to utilize my stockpile!

  9. #8
    Registered User Mavourneen's Avatar
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    You've mentioned having animals in other posts - do you have cats?

    Since switching from straight commercial cat litter to cat litter mixed with a lot of play sand, I've saved a bunch of money. Cat litter is expensive.

    I went to Home Depot and bought a 40lb bag of play sand for $3.00. It is clean, "sandbox" sand. I mix 3/4 play sand with 1/4 clumping litter and I'm very happy with the results.

    If there are things like this you are cutting from your weekly shopping list, you WILL cut your grocery bill.

  10. #9
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    No, the only cat I have is a feral who I have recently started feeding. So he has actually ADDED to the budget, as I now have to buy dry and canned cat food!

    I appreciate all the tips. I am sure that it will just take a little discipline on my part. I am only cutting it a little every month, so that I have to time to learn and adjust my spending habits. As others have mentioned, I don't take time to look for good sales, and I have let my OAMC slip during the last couple of months. I don't use coupons much, but that is mostly because I can't find coupons for things I buy.

    I have spent the last three months tracking what I spend, and keeping it on an Excel spreadsheet, incluiding price and whether it is a necessity, luxury, pet item, craft item, or stockpile item. So I can start there and look and see what I buy that I don't really need, and what "luxuries" I should really consider as necessities (and vice versa)!

  11. #10
    Registered User Janbee's Avatar
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    I am going to join you in this Challenge. I want to slowly reduce what I spend on groceries. So I am going to reduce each month how much I spend.
    Here is my plan
    January will be $100 a week
    February will be $100 a week
    March will be $100 a week
    April will be $75 a week
    May will be $75 a week
    June will be $75 a week
    July will be $50 a week
    Aug will be $50 a week
    Sept will be $45 a week
    Oct will be $45 a week
    Nov will be $40 a week
    Dec will be $40 a week
    Last edited by Janbee; 12-26-2008 at 05:18 PM.

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    Madhen, cats don't need both canned and dry cat food. We feed ours only dry cat food. She is 12 and very, very healthy. Canned food can really add to your budget.

  13. #12
    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    I give him canned once a day, and leave the dry food out for him. He may not need it, but he sure lets me know when I forget it!

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    Registered User khjmom's Avatar
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    I want to join this one too. One of our goals is to live on just my dh's base check (not include any overtime of his which can really add up and then my check) with everything else to be put in savings & dd's college expense account. I have been really paying attention to the cost of things as of late and trying to find coupons to use. I need to research that more here...

  15. #14
    Registered User MNmommy's Avatar
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    I want to join this one too. I am aiming to slash it by $150 a month. I used to be $450 a month, i want to go to $300 a month to start with, and hopefully by mid year cut it down to $200 a month.I am also wanting to start stockpiling more and OAMC a few times.

  16. #15
    Registered User walker24's Avatar
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    I need to get on board with this. I just pulled by year to date grocery purchases and we averaged $641 a month for groceries this year. I spent $1600 alone at Costco so I'm not renewing that card at the end of this month. I obviously spend more than I intend to there. This is for a family of 4 (dh should count for 2 lol) and a cat. The last three months we have averaged 485 so I want to cut it down to 400 starting now. That's what I aim for and rarely hit. I just need to do it.

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