My husband is determined to stay way under my original $400/month estimate for groceries. This estimate includes water and alcohol but not household supplies or toiletries. Despite a few splurges like seafood and leg of lamb, our goal seems definitely do-able thanks to smarter shopping and increased price consciousness. While we have always tried to stock up during sales and shop at lower-priced markets, we’ve never put ourselves on a budget. My husband is quickly realizing that a $5 box of cereal or $3.99 crackers is not the best way to spend our money. It’s amazing how little purchases add up.
Right now, our fridge and pantry are pretty full so we should be able to stay out of the markets until February 1st. We haven’t done any cheating, i.e. dine out more in order to reduce the grocery budget. However, on his last grocery trip, my husband bought fewer bottles of extra olive oil. I also went out to lunch twice this past week. It’s been an interesting experiment and we plan to continue doing this for several months. If we continue to save $75-100 per month, that’s significant savings in one year.