I’ve been making a lot of efforts to save money lately. I switched my car insurance to save about $20 a month. I switched my homeowners insurance and will save around $100 a year (and I got higher limits so it’s an even bigger savings really!) I cancelled my gym membership because I wasn’t using it and don’t REALLY need it; that will save me another $33.50 a month. I also started logging into mint.com regularly so I can categorize and track my spending and really take a look at where my money is going.
Last week was open enrollment at work, and I’m now facing the cost of my health insurance doubling each month. I’m not even going to get into how enraging this discovery was, but it has caused me to look at my finances even more closely. I’m already on a fairly tight budget so unless the increase in my health care costs comes with an increase in my pay things are going to be getting even tighter around here.
One of the areas I really seems to struggle to control my spending is food. My grocery budget is kind of out of control – especially in November. I spent almost $350 on food this past month. As far as cutting spending goes, I feel like food/ groceries are the place to start.
So here is it the My Grocery Spending is Insane and Must Be Brought Under Control Challenge
So here is my challenge for myself. For the month of December I will spend $250 or less on food and groceries. My goal is to make this my monthly food/ grocery budget. This gives me just over $60 a week for groceries. For the most part, I feed just myself* so $60 a week should be totally reasonable.
I’m going to be on vacation for the last week of the year so ideally I’d like to spend less than $200 for the month of December. However, with holiday baking, parties, etc. I figured I’d allow myself the full $250 to account for the additional groceries/ supplies I’ll likely be buying.
And the plan of attack is…
- Thorough meal planning. I generally plan dinners but not breakfast and lunch. I’m going to plan at least lunches as well. (Breakfast is usually oatmeal or eggs both of which I always have on hand)
- Grocery shop weekly
- Only one breakfast or lunch* out per week.
- Coupons – I hate coupons. I have no problem using them, but I’m not very good at collecting them. Any coupon gurus out there please share your secrets!
- Save all receipts, price compare, and try to determine the best place for buying staples.
- Report back weekly with my spending
Ultimately my goal is to save money without having to sacrifice the things that are important to me such as buying more ethically produced eggs and meat, organic produce, and Greek yogurt.
I welcome you to join me in my challenge!