Shopping on a Budget

I really hate making a grocery list every week, but it is one of those chores that must be done or we will be eating cereal at the end of the week! I have come to the realization that I must shop with a list or I will forget half of what I need to buy. I also need to plan ahead because I am trying to cut our budget down and save some money. So, after reading a lot of books on being frugal and saving money, here is my list of must do’s (files are located under Household Planning in the Downloads section):

1. Must make a grocery list – I knew I would really dislike this, but I know it must be done, so I took some time and came up with a solution. I listed all of the things that I know I buy every week for my family. Then I looked at this list to see what things could be trimmed to save some money. For example – we always seem to have so many boxes of cereal for three people, so I decided to only have two boxes at any time. Then I made a shopping list in Word, so now all I have to do is print it out, add the weekly sales at my store and go shopping!

2. Keep a price book – I have just started this, so it is a work in progress. My plan is to write down the prices at my regular store for the items I always buy (the items that are on my shopping list from above). That way I can check other stores when I happen to be in them or check the sale flyers and see if something is on sale. This way I can track things and “stock up” when things are cheaper. This works especially well for meats – I have a small chest freezer and I buy hamburger or chicken thighs when they are on sale.

3. Clean out the cleaning supplies – I just had my dh install new shelving in the bathroom closets, so it was a good opportunity to throw away old bottles and supplies. I narrowed down my list of cleaning supplies to the basics because I knew that I didn’t need separate cleaners for the sink, tub, toilet, floors, etc. So, now I am armed with natural ingredients and have even learned to make laundry soap!

4. Plan my shopping trips – I do weekly grocery shopping for basic staples, buy meats in bulk when they are on sale, and shop for cleaning supplies, beauty products, and paper goods every two months.

5. Organized my pantry – I made a list of what I want to keep in my pantry at all times.

6. Make a simple menu - I don't like to plan out every meal, but I keep things on hand for breakfast (bagels, cheerios, oatmeal) and things for supper (sandwiches, soup, or leftovers). For dinner, my plan is Monday - Chicken, Tuesday - Fish , Wednesday - Pork or Beef, Thursday - Pasta or a casserole, Friday - Soup and/or Sandwich, Saturday - Pizza or Baked Potato bar, Sunday - eat out.

Doing all of this has enabled me to cut $100 out of my household spending. Now if I can just get dh to wear a sweater so I can turn the heat down and save some more money . . .

Tonia L

Hey! I'm the owner of Happy Homeschool Nest - a website devoted to helping homeschool moms balance the needs of homeschooling with managing a healthy and happy home.