Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Since my husband has taken his new job, we've taken a serious pay cut. He did some summer work but the extra pay from that has stopped. So now I'm looking at ways to cut our spending budget.
On average, we spend between $450-500 on groceries, including home supplies like toilet paper and soap. That's for a family of four (and a cat) and shopping primarily at Walmart. We do have two local grocery stores, but prices are outrageous. We also have a dented can store that we check out about once a month or so. So basically we make two trips a month to Walmart, driving about an hour each way. I shop once a week locally for perishables like fresh produce and milk, unless it's Walmart week.
I try to do the majority of our cooking from scratch. I make our own bread products and desserts. I don't buy convenience foods like prepackaged frozen meals or precut produce, no boxed meals or potatoes either. We don't buy junk food: no chips, sodas (pop)/flavored water, Little Debbie cakes, or anything from the candy aisle. We buy lean means (like chicken and turkey), chicken thighs and legs, and lean hamburger. No pork and beef (other than hamburger) only for special occasions. I don't buy canned foods very often, and occasionally canned soups like cream of chicken and mushroom but I foresee that coming to an end if I can learn to make my own. Our veggies are frozen but I'm hoping that next year I'll be able to have a garden to provide our own.
When it comes to household products, I don't buy commercial cleaners or laundry soap, except for dryer sheets. I buy multipurpose ingredients to make my own cleaners/laundry soap or make them from basic cooking items like vinegar and baking soda. We do buy disposable diapers, though. The only cloth diapers I have ever been able to find are the kind that you have to use pins for but I'm considering learning to make my own for the next baby. We also buy cat food/litter and fish food. And anything in bulk, if it's actually a better deal, is always good.
So I'm curious, how do you shop? How often and where do you go? What do you buy, what do you spend, and what size is your family?