Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An update on the $25 grocery challenge

I am happy to report that so far the $25 grocery budget has been a success!  We're in week six and so far have not run out of anything and have been having healthy, filling meals with no problems.  We've even been replenishing pantry basics like flour, oatmeal, and spices that are irregular purchases as we go.  Here's how our spending has worked out for each week:

Week Produce Grocery  Total
Week 1 $10.00 $8.38 $18.38
Week 2 $9.50 $13.97 $23.47
Week 3 $10.00 $13.68 $23.68
Week 4 $10.00 $13.19 $23.19
Week 5 $8.00 $16.29 $24.29
Week 6 $0.00 $18.83 not done

We never actually got an envelope to use in a cash envelope method, but I've had no problem just putting it on the credit card and keeping a tally.  Since it's a weekly budget we usually only make three shopping trips each week (produce, other groceries, and a oops we forgot/ran out of milk trip) and it's been easy enough to keep track of. There's a market near our place that offers really good deals on produce so we stock up at the beginning of the week with lots of fruits and veggies.  This week we had a ton of leftovers that we needed to use up (we got about 5lbs of broccoli for $1 last week among other purchases) so we decided to skip the market.

I am currently debating if the potential "rollover" money from under spending in previous weeks will be fair game to spend later.  On the one hand we've been doing pretty well without it.  On the other hand it would be nice to stock up on a few basics and a small indulgence or two.

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  1. That's pretty amazing! What are you guys buying, and where do you shop?

  2. Amanda - We buy a lot of beans, eggs, brown rice, pasta and tortillas at the cheap local grocery store and take advantage of whatever produce is on sale at a near by market each week. Combine to get Mexican, Indian, Italian etc for dinner.

  3. But what is the breakdown of what you buy and how much you spend? I would love to see it and only spend that much on food!

  4. I would say rollover the money. By doing this you can build a stash for those special occasions that can go over $25/wk (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover,etc) and splurge without breaking the budget.

  5. It's always nice just to put the roll-over money in a different category for the date nights, or other special occasions so you can treat yourself every now and then, or a finals celebration.

  6. MaeMae - Good point. I've written a little more about what we buy here: http://www.nodebtmba.com/2011/05/how-we-make-our-25-grocery-budget-work.html but maybe a more detailed post is in order.

    Bethany - Makes sense. I hadn't thought ahead to holidays...

    Anonymous - Another good approach. I've got a little money earmarked for dining out and entertainment separately, but using rollover money would make it completely guilt free.

  7. Do you live in the Midwest? The South?

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