We’re kicking off the year with an 8-week Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge. I’ll be sharing a weekly post here every Thursday with a task or challenge for you to complete/focus on to help you tweak, improve, or overhaul your grocery budget.
My hope is that we can all work together to crowd-source new ideas and fresh inspiration to be more thoughtful and intentional in our grocery budgets + hopefully save some money and instill some practices and principles and habits that will continue to save us money throughout the rest of the year.
In week #1, we talked about setting up a grocery budget. That’s the most important first step in cutting your grocery bill.
In week #2, we discussed why you need to recognize potential roadblocks. Be sure to read through the comments here to hear about others’ roadblocks. I think it will encourage you to know you’re not alone.
Last week, I challenged you to commit to change one thing for three weeks. You can see the comments on the post for ideas of what others picked.
Week #4: Check In on Your Progress
It’s been four weeks since we began this challenge and it’s time to check in and see how we’re doing. How are you doing sticking with your budget? What are you struggling with the most? Are there things that you are finding especially difficult? Has anything surprised you?
Also, have you saved money? If so, how much?
It’s important to regularly check in on your progress. Sometimes, we can think we are making progress, but if we don’t actually stop to measure and quantify it, we won’t know! In addition, take time to re-assess what’s working and what’s not working and celebrate the wins you’ve had and make adjustments or tweaks in areas where you’re struggling.
I went to my usual Kroger this week. There weren’t any crazy, amazing deals, but I did find some deals and markdowns.
All totaled: $95 and some change for all of this.
I’m going to buy eggs from some friends who have chickens and then we’ll roll over what’s left in the budget from being under-budget the past two weeks. (About $23 total.)
I’m loosely planning we’ll have Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole, Sloppy Joes, Barbecued Chicken & Twice Baked Potatoes, Sausage/Potatoes/Carrots in the Crockpot, Bean & Cheese Burritos, and then we’ll have leftovers/fend for yourself night one night and takeout for Kathrynne’s 18th birthday!
Week #4 Project: Check In on Your Progress
Are joining us for the Cut Your Grocery Bill Challenge? If so, I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know how it’s going, how you’re doing with sticking with your budget, and if there’s any area you’re especially struggling with.
Plus, if you have a minute, go through the comments and leave a comment or two replying to someone and cheering them on or giving them ideas for what might work in areas they are struggling.
Need some practical ideas for ways to cut your grocery bill? Be sure to sign up for my free cheatsheet with 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill by $50 This Week!
Mary Stockton says
I have been doing the grocery delivery through Instacart who does Aldi and Dollar Tree among other stores. I also, started cutting out coupons in the ads that come out weekly. I increasing my budget as well for food/groceries as $100 was not enough for the month and have been running out of food and toilet paper etc… Thank you so much for this it is very inspiring and gives me hope that it is possible to save money on food and groceries and to have a plan.
Crystal Paine says
YAY! I’m so happy it has been helpful and inspiring!
Candi Baker says
On my first shopping trip to Kroger trying the couponing and deal-finding I made some rookie mistakes (I had 3 kids with me too). However, last week at Meijer I was under budget (spent $85 out of $100)! I look forward to going back to Kroger to try again, and I want to search for more clearance shelves!
Crystal Paine says
Woohoo!! Way to go!
Meg C says
I’m always jealous of your Kroger clearance finds. We don’t have a Kroger near us & our grocery store clearance sections are dismal because the selection is so small & even on clearance the prices are high. It’s nice that you have better grocery options.
Thanks for sharing your hints/tips & encouraging us to save money, too.
Crystal Paine says
I’d love for you to share what’s working for you and what you’re working on when it comes to saving money on groceries! There are lots of great ideas in the comments if you need some ideas — especially if you don’t have any stores that offer markdowns.
I have been paying more attention to which stores have the best prices of the items we use most. I have been surprised to find the store I thought would be the cheapest has actually gone up the most in price on so many of the staples we use.
Joyce Wess says
I have been using the products that I have in my freezers and pantry for a couple of weeks. I don’t waste anything, I use it all up in some form or freeze it. I send my husband to the store, he sticks to a list, I stray from it. Lol!! I fixed a turkey breast in the crockpot 2 days ago, we had it for supper with mashed potatoes and peas, the next I made a turkey pot pie, with the rest I’m making turkey salad for sandwiches. My mashed potatoes leftovers, I will divide in half, make potato salad and potato cakes. Use it all!!
Some things have changed since last week. I decided to let my Misfits Market service go since they are raising limits and shipping prices for the third time since I have joined. I can save money driving a little further for the items I was getting through them. I also joined emeals and have been revamping my menu planning system to combine favorite meals with some new meals from this service. I am also going to a cash only system in February so I can limit my spending on “extras” that I have been giving in to. I also decided that I will only leave the house one day a week to shop for groceries and if I need something it goes on the list for my next grocery run day. We can make due in the meantime. This has been a really valuable exercise for me so far. Thanks for doing this !
Limiting spending on “extras” is so hard to do.!!
Know what you mean!!
We got this!!
I shopped my freezer and pantry this week and will do the same for next week except We will need some chicken breasts if I can get a good deal on them. I batch cooked last Saturday which will have all my lunches while I am at work for all this week and next week. I had ground turkey in the freeze and made egg roll in a bowl. I made a big batch of potato soup as well. I had turkey breakfast sausage that needed to be used and a couple sweet potatoes, so I had nice hearty breakfast hash topped with eggs this week. Next week breakfast will be oatmeal or a baked oatmeal. Dinners I have been making once and eating twice using what is in my freezer and pantry. My husband has beef stew for lunch and eats his salad with chicken breast for his dinner. Breakfast is either 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or eggs with cheese and sausage. I spent 25.00 this week on grocery staples like milk, eggs, bread and fruits.
I was able to get the budget down to about $130 a week for 2 adults and 3 kids with 2 dogs.
1) Making my own bread for about $2.50 a loaf. (Bread machine)
2) Buying meat marked down and other markdowns on Thursday.
3) Only use about 1 roll of paper towels a week. Bought cloth napkins to keep down use of paper towels. Also created more rags for dogs because they can make messes.
4) Shop only items on sale unless store brand cheaper.
5)Only buying one box of cereal a week, opting for making cheaper breakfast meals myself.
I did garden this year and have some things put away in the freezer plus canned green beans and potatoes in storage.
Waste…..making sure my kids are not wasting food and that leftovers do not get wasted.
Controlling budget busters like meat and milk and eggs.
Just glad that I’m staying the course.
I simplified my menu like I committed to. I haven’t seen a decrease in spending yet, but I believe that is because I waited till we were really low on lots of things before I had to stock back up. I think the rest of the challenge will help me save money.
Emily M. says
I definitely have been saving money. I committed to ordering pick-up so I don’t make impulse purchases. It seems to be working so far & there are a lot of pick-up specific coupons at Kroger too.