Family Living 4 Less

Saving Money Without the Sacrifice!

Re-thinking our Grocery Shopping Habits

Posted by flsquared on March 4, 2009

After spending most of this cold, cold winter either sick or lethargic, my husband and I decided to take a second look at how we were fueling our bodies.

Granted, having a newborn and an 18 month old can run anyone ragged. Piling on top of that the stress of Grad School, looking for a job, and not seeing the sun for days on end can make anyone want to spend the day in bed. Unfortunately, our sons do not give us the choice.

We found that most days we were eating meat twice a day. Good, lean meat, like chicken or pork, but still meat. And many times we were so hungry from all of the day’s activity, we would eat several portions at one sitting.

We also did a lot of “impulse” grocery shopping.  Mostly by being unprepared for a recipe, or just “craving” a certain dish.

This was taking a toll on our bodies and our pocketbook. We were spending upwards of $20-$25/day on groceries! (Now, this does include wine, diapers, our weekly take-out pizza, etc).

Oscar had been fantastic at taking care of me while I was pregnant and doing much of the cooking and grocery shopping. However, now that our youngest was 3 months old and I had recovered from the birth, it was time for me to take it back over.

I decided that I would try to get our grocery spending down from $600-750/month down to $450/month. Here’s the catch–We actually had to eat more healthy foods, and I didn’t want us to feel as if we were sacrificing.

The approach:

  • coupons (I don’t have much time to dedicate to this, but I figured if I saved a couple of dollars/week, I would at least pay for the newspaper)
  • buy what’s on sale
  • spend one day/week cooking 2-3 meals to freeze and nuke for the following week(s) for when Oscar gets home late and we are both exhausted
  • increase our intake of fresh (or frozen) fruits and veggies
  • still have our evening glass of wine with dinner
  • still have take out once/week (if we would like)

Will this work?  I’ll keep posting what is working and what is not.  

I will give you a hint….I started this 3 weeks ago and we’ve already decreased our spending 15% (or $17/day).  We’ll see if I can keep it up!

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3 Responses to “Re-thinking our Grocery Shopping Habits”

  1. Erik said

    Good luck! I think many people’s wallets and bodies are suffering from the bad weather and bad economy. This is the kind of wisdom we all need to be aspiring toward.
    -Erik

  2. girlsgoneveggie said

    You could try adding more beans and legumes into your diet. They are an excellent source of protein and fiber and are very economical. Green smoothies are another way to get a big bang of nutrition for your buck. I all them salad in a glass.
    You might even find yourself cutting back even further once you start to eat more nutritionally. That would save you even more.
    Good luck!

    • flsquared said

      You read my mind! Our diet usually consists of a lot of legumes (lentils, garbanzos, etc) since these are the “comfort foods” for my hubby. We had gotten away from that, for no better reason that we kept on forgetting to soak the beans overnight!

      We’ve been doing better and I’m going to post some of my favorite recipes–I would love to hear some of yours!

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