Saturday, May 31, 2014

Not Off to a Very Good Start

I needed to pick up just a few items to get us through the next few days, so I decided to stop at Aldi's to do my shopping.  I wanted to buy a quart of yogurt, but the only yogurt they sell in that size is Greek yogurt and sugar-free yogurt.  Even though I drink diet soda, I try to avoid artificial sweetener in most other products (and I am in the process of switching to drinking tea as opposed to soda).  I especially do not want artificial sweeteners in food I give my kids. 

The Greek yogurt does not have artificial sweetener in it, but it costs quite a bit more, so it looks like I will have to add yogurt to my list of items I will still pick up a Dillon's or Target.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Let's Get Started: The Road to a Better Grocery Budget

Like nearly everyone else, I struggle with sticking to a strict food budget.  Typically I spend between $400-$500 per month for a family of four: two adults and two children under the age of four.  I would like to bring that total down to about $300 per month at the most. 

Four years ago, God blessed us with our first child, and we decided that I should stay home with her.  A year-and-a-half later, God blessed us with our son. Being a stay-at-home mom does give me some freedom to look for the best deals at the grocery story, but I find that I struggle to accomplish truly lowering my spending.

I find that I do most of my grocery shopping at either Dillon's or Target.  On rare occasion I will go to Wal Mart or Aldi's.  We have the advantage of living within 3 miles of four major grocery stores, so shopping at different stores is not really an inconvenience travel wise. 

For our family, the grocery budget consists only of the food items.  We have a separate category for grooming and cleaning items.

For the month of June, I plan to do most of my grocery shopping at Aldi's.  The primary exception will be milk and some produce which I plan to still purchase at Dillon's.  I am hoping that I will not only benefit from the lower prices at Aldi's, but also from the more limited selection.  I often will buy items at Dillon's simply because it is on sale, not because we necessarily need it at that time, and this often causes me to go over my current budget.

I usually do my shopping at least once a week, so I plan to create a post for each shopping trip.  I look forward to trying this new experiment as well as looking for other ways to begin cutting back on our monthly grocery budget.