Monday, September 3, 2007

The Grocery Game is Over!

Whew... I will be glad not to have to keep up with those receipts this month. But seriously, I did learn a lot from tracking my spending. So here are all the weeks added up (they may not all be in order but you can click here to see all of the posts together.

$84- This is for the final week that I did not post here. It actually was exactly $84 once all of the extra expenses were taken out.

Total- $331

Now this is way more than I had budgeted for but not as much as I suspected it was. I also did not count the very first spending spree my husband accompanied me on because I know we bought a lot of stuff that was not related to grocery shopping. Plus it came out of his budget and I will continue to shop at least once a month from "his" money. (we don't really keep it seperate, but I do keep it seperate from my own budget)

So what did I learn? Here are some of the best things I learned.

1. Budget more. It will save me a lot of trouble in the long run having to transfer money in and out of my accounts. Plus if I have any extra at the end of the month it can be added to the next month's budget or put away into savings.

2. Buying store brands saves cash. I only tracked it once but the savings from one grocery trip was over $6.00 That was on my usual purchases too. Stuff I buy all the time, so I know I can continue to save that much by buying store brands.

3. Pay attention to how you are feeling before you go. Everyone knows you should not go shopping if you are hungry. HOwever I would like to add a few more. Don't go if you are- with your children and you are not able to say NO a LOT... with your husband/wife if he or she is an impulse buyer (mine is a HUGE impulse buyer).... not feeling well, be it morning sickness or a runny nose, if you don't feel well you will just be wanting to get out of the store.

4. Definitely go with a list. Also, make yourself stick to it. You should only put something in your cart if it is something you really do need and just forgot to add to the list.

5. Keep track of it for a month. It really will open your eyes. Not only do I now budget more to my grocery shopping but I have also added an "other" category for things like shampoo, dog food, etc. THose things that we don't buy every week but somehow they bust the budget every month.

6. Maybe this will only works for me- Shop one week at a time. I used to try to shop for two weeks,but let's face it. If you have two weeks worth of snacks in the house the kids will eat two weeks worth of snacks in a couple of days. I may try buying my meat and baking stuff for two weeks but I will still need to go once a week for snacks and produce.

While I will not be adding weekly updates to the grocery game this month, I will be keeping track and hopefully I can post it at the end of September. If you have any tips of your own please post them. I am sure we can all use some more tips.

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