Sunday, January 29, 2012

Food Sucks–Plan of Attack

Food prices suck and they just seem to get worse.  Back in October, I was shocked when I realized that I spend over $260 a week on food.  To put that into perspective that is $520 a paycheck – My mortgage payment is only $482 a paycheck with taxes.

Since November I have tried new things: using coupons, shopping at different stores, and having a different focus on my shopping list.  My weekly costs have gone down but with 3 birthday parties in November, Holiday parties and baking, I really can not provide a good food cost per week since my October analysis.  I do know that regardless of what that number is, I can improve.

This week I will update on my adventures of couponing, the Aldi’s redemption, shopping the sales, and provide some helpful money saving tips.


From January 20th to April 13th my goal is:

  • Spend only $200. a paycheck for 6 paychecks or 12 weeks
  • Equals $1,200 or less bring my weekly average down to $100
  • The $160 weekly savings over a year would equal $8,300

I don’t know if this is possible to spend only 1,200 but its worth the effort to try!!  My previous $260 average would cost me $3,120 over 12 weeks so anything under that is going to be a savings!

So what is included in the the $200?  This is the part of the challenge that can make it or break it.

  • Weekly grocery shopping items: food, meats, cleaners and paper products
  • Purchases from the farmers market
  • Drug store purchases
  • Food purchases from BJ’s and Wal-Mart (receipts will need to be itemized)
  • Food purchases from Nice N Easy or other convenience stores
  • Dunkin Donuts (purchases after my gift card is depleted)  and K-cup purchases
  • Eating out was the hardest part to decided about.  One dinner at Red Lobster and we are eating noodles and carrots for the rest of the week. I decided that I will count the following:
    • meals for when I am too lazy to cook
    • lunches from Ted’s at work (example)
    • If I take the kids to McDonalds or for pizza

Now some of you may say that’s cheating but really David and I don’t go out to eat that much.  We really don’t have the time.  When we do go we usually have a gift card.  But I will track all dinners out and let you know how much I spent when we do the final analysis on April 13th.

I decided that the easiest way to do this is, on payday Friday pull $200 cash from the ATM and keep it in a food only wallet.  Physically seeing my cash go out for food will help control the foolish spending we all do!  Only the hard cold cash that I had to the teller will count towards the $200.

    • If I purchase $10.00 at Rite Aid and use $6.00 in ups rewards I only charge my Grocery $200 the $4.00 I gave the cashier.

Will my family be eating beans and rice for the next 12 weeks. nope. I will cook good balanced meals for my family.  Maybe even share a recipe or two!!

Each  week will post a FS {food Sucks} update as of (Date).  It will include a break down of what I purchased that week, at which stores, any key savings, and the meals I plan to cook that week. 

Wish me Luck!!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Sounds like a good challenge. How about using cloth napkins and kitchen towels. Not buying paper towels saves alot!