Part of preparing for our new home has involved looking at our budget. We haven't really stuck to a budget since I quit working when Drew was a baby, so it was time for us to look into budgeting again now that we're back to one income and two mortgages. I enjoy reading All You magazine and their December issue features the winner and some finalists in their Grocery Challenge. For the challenge, readers limited their food budget to $25 per person per week. That includes everything - food, drink, even meals out! That a whopping $3.57/day per person. After reading the article I thought "We can do this!" After actually doing it I'm thinking "How do people do this?!"
I started on January 3rd with a food budget of $110/week for our family of 5. I decided to only give Mallory $10/week to cover her milk, but may rethink that in the coming months. I'd always used coupons from the local paper and thought I was conservative when buying food, but I've definitely cut back on my usual spending to meet the new budget. We didn't have any left over money the first 2 weeks, so no eating out. Andy insisted on celebrating the new house with a meal out on Monday, and I'm trying to conserve on groceries to keep under budget this week, but think we'll be over. I've been buying whole foods like bulk carrots & potatoes, dried beans for soups and long-grain rice instead of instant. Fresh oranges and apples instead of bags of chips are the new snack for the kiddos. I'm using up my huge stockpile of canned goods, which is really good since we'll be moving soon!
Andy and I have both lost over 5 lbs already this month with our conscious effort to eat better and save money. I challenge you to look at how much you're spending on food and try the $25/person/week budget. Let me know some ways that you save money on food, I'd love to hear them!