Let me start this out by saying please don’t assume that just because we can get by on the figure I’m going to list that you can also. Each family has different needs. Different parts of the country have varying costs of living. This is what is working for us – you will need set your budget at levels your family can live with.
Our 2011 grocery budget is $100 a week.
We cut out all eating out until further notice because we were spending a couple hundred each week. I used to eat out every weekday for lunch. We used to eat out as a family once a week before we went to the grocery store for a total of up to $70 (including tip). Yeah it really added up.
Now that I’m sticking to our $100 a week budget for our family of 5 (plus 2 dogs and 2 cats) – I’m doing most of our shopping at Aldi’s. First of all, I plan out our meals for the entire week paying special attention to what I have on hand and what’s on sale. I include breakfasts, lunches, dinner and snacks. Second, I stopped using my debit card to make sure I stay under the $100 limit. Last but not least, I bring along a calculator. I make sure I deduct the exact amount of each item as I go throughout the store. That way there are no surprises at the checkout.
We’ve been using this $100 budget for about 4 weeks now. It’s been tough at first, but it’s getting easier. At first we felt really deprived, but it has forced me to get creative with our meals and snacks. Now we are focusing on eating low cost meals that are actually healthy. It’s easy to eat low cost meals that aren’t very healthy for ex. $1 menu at most fast food restaurants.
I finish this post off with this week’s menu as an example:
Hamburgers with french fries
Chicken nuggets (kids)
Cheese Quesadilla (me)
Leftover pizza (hubby)
Chicken Fajitas with green peppers and onions
Mama Cozzi’s pizzas (Big Girl’s Bday party)
cake and ice cream
Chicken w/French Fried Onions
Generic toaster pastries, cereal, mini-bagels, and yogurt
Sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, soups, leftovers