As most of you may have read, I am doing a Money Saving Challenge for 2017. In January, my challenge was to create a grocery budget. More importantly, I wanted to create one that I could stick to.
First, I’ll give you a little background info. I’m single, I try to eat healthy 80% of the time, & I like to do all of my grocery shopping at Aldi. Sometimes I’ll hit up Shop & Save or Giant Eagle for something small if I am short on time & just need an item I forgot. I also don’t really cook. I know, I know. But – one reason is that I don’t like cooking for just me! I’ll make something every so often, but I’ll rarely eat all of it (even if I eat leftovers for the whole week, its rare the entire amount of food gets eaten) & I also don’t enjoy a lot of hot food. Don’t ask me why – it’s just what I like. I also don’t eat a huge dinner. My biggest meals are breakfast & lunch. Since I’m normally working out after work, I tend to eat a small dinner – sometimes just some yogurt & fruit & it satisfies me.
As far as the budget goes – I printed out my bank statements for the past 3 months & highlighted my grocery spending. What I came up with was pretty low, & I think it’s because of the holidays & the fact that I was eating out so much due to being short on money & for whatever reason, I was programmed into thinking that eating out is cheaper than buying food – NEWS FLASH: IT’S NOT. In line with the “new year, better me” in 2017, I’m getting my shit together & doing my best to being a better adult.
Right now, my budget is $120/mo. This is a super flexible budget – let’s call this my trial run month since I have no idea what I’m actually spending each month. We’ll see how $120 goes, and if necessary, I will re-adjust for February. I normally only spend around $30 each time I go, so this should work – but TBD.
Here’s how I plan to stick to a grocery budget:
Shop at Aldi – I swear this place has such great prices. Their produce can be iffy if you go at a time where they haven’t gotten a shipment in a few days, but if you shop there enough, you can usually time it right. Plus, I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem telling you when they get their fresh stuff in.
Meal prep – I use the app “Out of Milk” as a grocery list. As I think of things I want to eat/make for the next week, I add it to the list. Sometimes it’s hard to think of meals & things, but I want to try to make more of an effort. Again, I’m not so much of a hot food person, so usually I just like to stick to making some chicken in the crockpot & making wraps for the week, or getting creative with a salad.
Take advice from others – Thankfully I have some friends who are way better at being an adult than I am, so I reach out to them frequently. Whether it be for meal ideas, budgeting ideas, shopping ideas – I’ve always got someone to turn to.
Take advantage of sales! – This is a big one. Aldi DOES send out their flyers but I’ll be honest, I never read them. Everything is such a great price there that I almost never look at their sales prior to going in there. I’m going to see what that’s all about & if I benefit from it – great! Or if I choose to stick to just going in blind, that’s cool too.
Does anyone else have a grocery ‘budget’? It’s kind of fun challenging yourself to stay within the limit you have set for yourself. Let’s talk if you have any other helpful ideas!! I could always use advice on how to be a better adult 🙂