This whole debt journey really makes you scrutinize spending! It’s good, blah blah blah, also it’s annoying. Here’s our most recent discovery: we were budgeting $680/month for groceries, but really spending $1,000-1,200. That’s a pretty good discrepancy. We didn’t know which number was reasonable, so I did some research (meaning I asked on Facebook). You guys gave me some great tips!
Here are the current steps I’m taking to see what is reasonable – both in terms of budget and purchasing decisions.
1. Meal planning. I’ve always made a meal plan, but I’ve never started by seeing what meat is on sale. The Kroger ads come out on Wednesday, so I’ve begun looking there first THEN making the meal plan accordingly. I was super excited this week to see chuck roast was buy one get one free! Score! (Thank you to many!)
2. Weekly trips. The near-daily trips for produce that has gone bad, the random spice I’m out of, I forgot to thaw the meat…are o-u-t. Before I went every 2 weeks, and I can’t really go 2 weeks in between buying produce, but I can go 1 week. And then I force myself to NOT make those one-off trips to the store. I always end up buying more than the one stupid thing. (Thank you, Sheri!)
3. Kroger ClickList. This one I’ve done before, but never as a means to see what I will be spending! If my cart is over budget, something has to go. (Thank you, Cari!)
The craziest thing is starting to happen – I’m excited to see how much I can save! I WANT to see our grocery spending go down. I WANT to know what is reasonable, and then budget that much, rather than just spend whatever I want.
I have to admit, this has been a little hard to transition to. I used to be the momma with a baby on her hip and one more on the way, buying formula with WIC checks. That’s a bit of baggage that’s hard to get rid of. I’m not that momma anymore, so I don’t want to limit my grocery spending. However, with that realization comes the need to think on what is true – I still need to be responsible.