$250 Grocery Challenge

In order to make any sort of progress on paying down our debt, I know I need to cut our budget even further. We have a fairly sparse lifestyle already (one car, no cable, we rarely eat out anymore), but the numbers are there and the numbers aren’t working. It’s clear that we have to sacrifice something and I think I can make a dent, albeit a tiny one, in our budget by eating a little less and eating a little less grand.

Now, maybe “grand” isn’t the word I should use for our menu. We eat red meat about once a month, but a lot of our meals are meat-based – chicken, mostly. We eat a lot of bread and I’m used to finding it for about $2 a loaf, but I know if I wait out some deals, I can get it for $1. And we snack. A LOT. I willing to give up the snacking because I don’t think I really need the extra calories outside of meals, but I think Thomas does need more than I make for dinner.

So in the spirit of making poverty FUN, instead of desperate, I’m challenging myself to a $250 grocery budget for this pay period, June 15 to July 15. To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible, but that’s the challenge! Here are my guidelines:

  • Make a list. Do not deviate from the list unless I find a cheaper alternative. Any savings from finding a cheaper alternative, I’ll use to buy snacky food for Thomas.
  • Personal items, cleaning supplies, etc. are not included in this challenge, though I usually include these things in our budget. The good news is I don’t need much in this way.
  • Stashed food is allowable. I knew this pinch was coming so I served some very simple meals the last week or so and kept back 3 pounds of ground beef, a whole chicken and 10 chicken breasts. I also have kept back a few bags of frozen vegetables. We had a little money left in our account yesterday (the day before pay-day) so I bought some canned tomatoes, cat food and toilet paper that was on sale at SDM.

To make it even more challenging, Thomas has invited a friend and his wife over for dinner later this month. She has about a million food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities so I am very limited about what I can serve. Check back later to find out how I managed (or if I managed).

Here is my grocery list:

  • 4 L milk x 4
  • 500 g cheese x 2
  • eggs
  • hamburgers
  • hotdogs
  • bread x
  • tortillas
  • crushed tomatoes x 3
  • diced tomatoes x 3
  • pasta x 4
  • tuna x 6
  • canned cat food x 12
  • special diet dry cat food
  • Kraft dinner x 6
  • frozen veggies x 2 bags
  • frozen fish x 2
  • frozen pizza x 2
  • cocoa powder
  • crackers x 3 boxes
  • spinach x 2
  • bag of onions
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • sweet potatoes x 6
  • 5 lbs. potatoes
  • ramen noodles
  • corn
  • avocado
  • strawberries
  • hamburger buns
  • hotdog buns
  • bananas
  • beans
  • other fruit
  • other veggies
  • toilet paper
  • cat litter
  • granola bars
  • cereal
  • canned soup
  • peanut butter
  • tomatoes

I’ve added a page to the top right corner to record my progress. Wish me luck!



Filed under Food & Meal Planning, Frugal Living, Times of Trouble

4 responses to “$250 Grocery Challenge

  1. Good luck to you!! It’ll definitely be hard but hopefully you can do it!! I need to cut down our grocery bill too, but only ’cause our cupboards/pantry are OVER-FLOWING and the kids are always whining that there’s “nothing” to eat.. uh huh. lol!

    Amy, I sent you the GC to Indigo/Chapters a couple weeks ago, could you please email me and let me know if you received it ok? It was sent via email. Thanks!! 🙂 The rest of your prize is in the mail.. late. Sorry! 😦

  2. Good luck to you! I think it is possible if you use coupons correctly. I’ve only started about a month ago and saw that our grocery bill dropped quite a bit (about $50 – 60/wk and most of it is juice, fruits or vegetables).

    We are meat eaters here as well – mainly chicken too – and wait for it to go on sale and then load up. Metro had some good deals as of late (not sure if you have one near by)?

  3. Good luck! You can do it!

  4. Monica

    Good Luck! FYI 12 Pack of Kraft Dinner is on sale starting Friday at Wal-Mart for $6.97!

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