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Less is Best!

I am ready for the challenge.  We have hit on this before.  With the economy like it is everyone is looking to find Genny Esterlineways to save money.  Readers have given us their tips for saving money.  Gerry and I both have committed to looking for ways to cut expenses, be less wasteful.   I really thought that I had trimmed everything I could.  Then last week I was watching Suzy Orman on Oprah talk about increasing your emergency fund and cutting costs.  She challenged the audience to cut their monthly spending in half.  The shocked looks on all of the faces was almost comical except that it is serious business.  Her point was to do it now so that if something bad happens, like layoffs, portfolios and 401ks losing their values or whatever else unforeseen, you would be better prepared.

I have been trimming my expenses for months so could not think of where I am wasteful or could cut more…then it hit me.  The grocery store.  I looked at what I have been spending for 3 people for food and household goods at the grocery store and discovered that I have been spending about $47.00 a day or a whopping $1410 a month on groceries.  This did not include the Costco run a month or eating out.  An eye opener isn’t it. 

First I had to figure out how I was doing this because I thought I was already cutting back in this area.  I realized that because I was not planning the meals in advance I was going to the grocery store 3, 4, sometimes 5 times a week.  YIKES.  I use to plan my meals out when my children were young and I knew that I had to prepare balanced meals for them.  Tired of the meal planning, I felt that I deserved to come up with whatever I was in the mood for that evening, of course trying to make enough for a leftover meal.  The problem with this method is that I found I would always pick up a few other items that looked good to snack on or have later.  A lot of waste and unnecessary spending.  Back to the basics.  Planning does save time and money.

I am up for the challenge.  My goal is to spend $200 a week on groceries, a savings of $200-$600 a month depending on the week count. 

First week has gone extremely well.  My daughter helped me plan out the meals and create the grocery list.  Making it a family affair helps to insure the outcome you are looking for.  Two visits to the store and by week’s end I have spent $189.47.  Success, but having to admit that I was able to use a lot of what has accumulated in our cupboards over the past months.  This accumulation will dwindle and then we shall see what the bottom line is.

My goal is two-fold.  Cut my grocery bills down and create better spending habits.  A win-win!  Stay tuned for updates on my progress through the aisles of life.  Are you up for the challenge?  What are your grocery bills like?  What tips do you have for cutting the food bills down in size?  Comment below, share with our readers. 

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