Saturday, December 4, 2010

December Challenge: Cutting Our Grocery Bill...Again

Over the past several months we have made serious efforts to cut our grocery costs (including things like baby supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc) for two reasons. Firstly, we had gotten lazy and stopped keeping track and when we finally added up one month we were SHOCKED by the amount we had spent. Secondly, since going on one salary it is no longer a choice, but a necessity that we cut our costs, and since we live very frugally in every other regard, the only place left to really cut back was on our grocery/household bills. 

So, since August we have managed to cut $470  off our monthly grocery bills. Sounds great, right? But we are still overspending and still spent $130 dollars more than our monthly budget last month. I am absolutely determined that for the month of December we WILL be on budget. 

But it isn't so easy. We are determined to still eat healthfully and well and I  have basically run out of ideas to creatively cut back. So I think it will just come down to brute determination and keeping track of how we are doing throughout the month. I find that the biggest challenge is that it takes more time to be so careful and plan everything so that little goes to waste and we still eat a balanced and varied diet, and time is something I seem to have very little of between looking after Luc, going to school part-time, cleaning, volunteering, taking care of the dog, etc etc etc. 

 I will post with how we have done at the end of the month! 

Some of the ways we cut out $470 so far:

- I bake all our bread (works out to be about 50 cents a loaf plus I can make what I feel like plus its preservative and additive free)
- Switched to store brand diapers
- Make even more DIY cleaners than before
- Eat less meat and use less pricey cuts
- Freeze anything that can be frozen and might otherwise go to waste
- Carefully plan out weekly menus 
- Started shopping at cheaper stores (although the customer service certainly leaves something to be desired...)
- Buying more items in bulk
- Shopping sales
- Shopping local seasonal produce (not just for financial reasons but ethical ones as well)
- Only buying organic items for those which are most contaminated (this is the only one so far that has bothered me but it necessary for the moment) 
- Making all my own broths and stocks
- Switching brands on some toiletries 
- Using more coupons

and quite a few more...any other ideas would be very welcome!


  1. Hi Michelle,

    I love your blog and really appreciate your tips in cutting down our grocery bill. As you know, we are going on one income right now and we will certainly be looking at doing the same. You know what, I think in the end of the day our children will be able to appreciate more life when we lead by example and are concious about what and how we buy our things. Miss you and Luc!

  2. Thanks so much! I'm new to this blogging thing so it is very much a work in progress. Living on one income is harder than I thought, everything looks better on paper but life is a little more messy no matter how hard you try to stick to a budget. The hardest part for me is having to think about finances all the time. My parents always had discussions about money with me around and I think it was helpful. Not complaining about money or anything, but discussions about financial priorities, saving, etc. I think it helped to make me more financially responsible. Hopefully, the same will be true with Luc!


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