So Close

I almost made our grocery budget. So close.

Budget: $250

Actual: $280.79 – $18.06 (for iron pills that I didn’t know I needed and therefore did not budget for) = $252.73

I’m going to call this a win because it’s so darn close. This is how I did it:

  • $11 on a grocery gift card
  • $30 of Optimum points at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Went through my cupboards, threw away expired food, including many items that I have packed and moved more than once, meaning they were at least five years old. I had tea that expired in 2009. Knowing what I had and what I needed to use up helped immensely.
  • Free food from our church and leftovers from gatherings. Sometimes we eat some strange combinations at dinner but it works.
  • Bought just what I needed from a bulk store. I got this from The Saved Quarter. There’s no point in buying a whole jar of a spice that you can’t use up before it goes stale. It may seem silly to buy $0.17 of curry but it does help the budget.
  • Ate more lentils and beans.
  • Ate less cheese and meat and ate less overall.

Included in our grocery budget is anything consumable (disposable diapers that we use at night, cat food, toilet paper, cleaning products, etc.) as well as food. That’s why my iron pills are paid out of this tiny allowance. Stocking up when items go sale goes a long way. I haven’t bought laundry detergent in almost a year.

Here are some of our frugal meals from the last month:

For breakfast we ate toast, cereal, eggs and fruit. For lunch we ate mostly leftovers, also cheese and crackers, soup and sandwiches.

Some of our frugal dinners:

  • pasta with tomato sauce
  • coconut curry noodles
  • coconut curry chicken rice and broccoli
  • butter chicken with rice
  • barbecue chicken thighs and broccoli
  • salmon patties and roasted sweet potatoes
  • chili and tortilla chips
  • eggs, sausages and toast
  • shepherd’s pie and mixed veg

We snacked on microwave popcorn (bought on clearance), homemade muffins and brownies, chocolate (bought on clearance), apples, oranges, blueberries, cheese, avocados and bananas.

Next month I’ve rearranged our budget and increased our monthly grocery budget to $280. This will pay for my iron pills and stocking up on some night time diapers that I have coupons for that expire at the end of March. The “offsets” for this month (i.e. gift cards, points or anything that I can use to spend less) are some good coupons for dairy products, 5 meals worth of chicken and 8 meals worth of ground beef in the freezer from good sales last month and trading some formula coupons for some cat food coupons.

I am so happy that I made this work… finally.

Join The Saved Quarter Challenge!

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3 Comments

Filed under Money Saving Monday

3 responses to “So Close

  1. Wow!!! Very impressive! Good for you! 🙂

  2. Just found your blog, and have enjoyed reading your back posts. Sounds like you’re doing a fantastic job. Keep up the good work!

  3. Good for you!! I really need to work on reducing the grocery budget. That’s my problem – buying in bulk and then forgetting I have them (meat, vegetables, fruit) in the freezer. And I have to stop buying spices in bulk too!

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