Tuesday, May 26, 2009

three weeks on $150

This post has been 21 days in the making. On May 4, Husband and I bought $145 worth of groceries, intending to make it last for three weeks and establish a new $50-per-week grocery budget. Here's how we did:

For the sake of full disclosure, I have to admit:
* On day 5, I picked up a block of cheese. The veggie lasagna used up a lot more than I expected, and we eat a whole lotta cheese around here. So, that was about $7.
* On day 9, I picked up milk and coffee cream, for a total of $6.
* We also had dinner out twice.

That said, the total grocery budget was actually $158.

A few things to consider:
* Don't buy three weeks worth of groceries at once. It just doesn't work out. Yes, we were doing it as a budget experiment, but we found a lot of things ran out quickly, like milk, cheese and fresh fruit and veggies.
* You can't always trust that there will be enough leftovers for lunch the next day. Because Husband is a substitute teacher, he was left scrambling some mornings because he isn't allowed to take peanut butter to work on these days.
* Breakfast is really important and it can't always consist of cereal when you run out of milk. It's time for us to learn to get our lazy butts out of bed earlier on weekdays to make eggs or smoothies or other filling day starters.

So, the plan has been revised. We're raising the budget to $60 per week, and also picking up small amounts on a more regular basis, rather than loading up on everything on a bi-weekly basis and expecting to make it last. Overall, we're pretty pleased with the results of our experiment, and we're looking forward to saving a little more in our household budget.


  1. I'm kind of glad to hear that it wasn't possible -- it was making me feel guilty that we spend way more than $50 a week on groceries. Keep posting your grocery tips! I clearly need to learn from you.

  2. All the experts on the morning shows say that frozen fruits and veggies are probably more nutritious than "fresh" as they are usually frozen within hours of picking and fresh, but not local, are often days in transit, thus losing a lot of food value before arriving at the store. Frozen are often less expensive and have a longer shelf life. This might help for long-term shopping.