The Frugal Canadian

A frugal spender seeks to find new ways to save money and increase her net worth.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reducing our Grocery Bill

I used to be very good at managing our food budget, but it has increasingly become a larger and larger expense each month. A recent analysis of our expenses showed that for a family of 3 we're spending close to $900 a month on groceries. This includes our 2 year old son, who at this point, really just eats scraps. I've set a new budget of $500/month initially and would like to get it down to $400.

I plan on doing this by setting a weekly menu and do one big shop. Our busy lifestyle has left us with last minute meal ideas and many trips throughout the week to the grocery store. Without a plan, we often would pick up convenience foods, or buy a few items on our way home without a real plan. The result is a higher cost for prepared foods which are undoubtedly higher in sodium and less healthy and a lot of wastage food. We'd buy items on a whim without any plan for them only to find them waste away in our fridge. We once thought that picking up a few items each night for dinner would help reduce our bill but it's had the opposite effect. We often pick up extras adding to a higher bill and it doesn't address existing leftovers in our fridge. So what I'm hoping to do is set a weekly menu which will list out all ingredients for the entire week. This means that if I have a stirfry on Monday which has broccoli, I'll plan later in the week to have another meal with broccoli so I don't let half a head of broccoli go to waste. This will help me know exactly what i'm spending on each week and also eat a better diet. Also, once I have a spreadsheet of prices, I'll be able to better budget as I'll know exactly what items are costing me. Wish me luck!

I'm back

It's been over 2 years since I've made a post but I'm finally reviving this blog. Much has changed over the past couple of years and I've been kept very busy with our 2 year old. Over the past two years our family has been not so frugal, focusing mainly on convenience for our changing lifestyle. My husband and I are expecting our second child in January at which point will be looking to upgrade our house. I'll be on maternity leave leaving my husband to cover most of the bills, so I'm looking for ways to reduce our monthly costs and return to the life of frugality.