Saving money, our $25 weekly grocery budget goal
Last year, our weekly average grocery bill was $25 for two adults. Saving money is my way of contributing to the household.
Ever since we got married, Paul has budgeted $50 a week for our groceries. I tried saving money from this each week to surprise him on our anniversary. (Poor fellow. I give him back his own hard-earned money as an anniversary present and he sacrifices in what he eats to get it!) I don’t remember exactly how much money was saved those first two years when we were just setting up housekeeping and a small garden, but the third year our weekly grocery average was $35. The fourth year, it was shaved down to about $32.
Whenever we talk about saving money, I always tell Paul the only way I know to do it is to cut our grocery bill and he always says, “noooo!” It is somewhat of a running joke with us, but I seriously wanted to try $25 a week – and he seriously did not. Entering into the fifth year and desiring to save half of the grocery “budget,” I asked him again if we could try $25 a week. We needed to clean out some meat in the freezer before purchasing new meat anyway and I thought we could do it. He acquiesced to try $25 this past year.
So, $25 a week was our grocery budget for this past year, “groceries” including the common household purchases such as soap, detergent and bathroom tissue. We didn’t have a lot of company, but what company we did have was fed within that budget as well. If sales were great, I might spend $40 one week, but made up for it by only spending $10 the next week.
We could have just continued saving money on what we could without setting down the concreate figure of $25, but I wanted to save exactly half of the original budget and knew with a fixed goal in mind it would help us stick to it. Besides, I enjoy a good challenge! And a challenge it would be. We purchase a gallon of real Ohio maple syrup and a five gallon bucket of raw honey every other year. (They last us two years.) This was our year to purchase both, a total of about $200. This meant I had to keep our weekly grocery spending as low as I could until I had saved $200 to cover those items. Saving money is almost a game with me. If you have to do it, might as well have fun!
There were two aspects to this challenge, one was not spending more than $25 weekly, the other was keeping Paul fairly content and happy with meals so he didn’t feel too deprived (He can eat a lot and though he loves vegetables, he is certainly not a vegetarian, neither of us are.). At the end of the year, I had enough money left over to indicate that our weekly average ended up being about $24. The other day when we were talking about saving money and budgeting for the new year Paul said, “Well, if we budget $25 a week for groceries. . .” Yeesssss! I silently cheered, for we had obviously met the second goal as well. If he had not been fairly satisfied about our food this year he would not have voluntarily proposed that $25 be our budget for this year as well.
So this year as well we are striving for a $25 weekly grocery budget again. Click here to read part II of the $25 weekly grocery budget goal.