The other day I was talking casually with my friend and mentioned that our weekly grocery budget is $125 – $150. She couldn’t believe it. Now of course, it’s not the total food budget. The kids eat out Wednesday nights (usually Chick-fil-a) and we eat out as a family for after-church lunch or order pizza with the neighborhood kids at least once the weekend too. All in all, I would say less than $200 a week.
Taking time to plan and make most of our food ourselves is the key to making it work. We spend a the biggest portion along the outsides of the grocery, in produce and meat, but there are some other tricks that are important to mention:
· We pack lunches. Usually sandwich or salad with chips or cookie, fruit or raw veggie, and yogurt. Sometimes I make a soup or roast/sauté veggies because I can heat up my lunch, but that’s not an option for everyone.
· We buy the produce that is in season. Right now we are eating lettuce, winter squashes, citrus and apples, strawberries, asparagus and root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. If you plan around what’s on sale in your grocery ad, you’re usually planning around what is in season and more plentiful.
· We buy a little bit of good meat and make sure to use and eat all of it. Bone-in chicken has more flavor when roasted, and we’re more likely to Eat the leftovers. It’s also easy to stretch a good beef roast or pork roast. A little bit of sausage or bacon goes a long way to adding flavor to pizza or pasta. Also buying on sale and freezing is wallet-friendly if you have the freezer space.
· We buy some items in bulk. Yogurt, applesauce, chips, oatmeal, rice, dry beans, and potatoes come to mind. Those little lunch packs are convenient, but are also full of processed ingredients and can be pricey. (With that said, my kids love Lunchables. I limit it to once a week, but yuck yuck yuck!)
· We make cookies or brownies for our dessert. Homemade always tastes better; Peanut Butter and chocolate chip cookies are my go-tos. And rice krispy treats are always a hit when you don’t want to turn on the oven.
· We plan a night to eat leftovers. We think this is especially friendly for those nights where everyone has to scatter in different directions anyway. And is it just me or does spaghetti always taste better the second night?
What is your grocery budget? Where do you splurge?