First off, let me say thank you Angel, for introducing the world to your budget plan. It is amazing! You have taught me so much, and helped me get back on track.
This month has been my first month on the $300 a month grocery budget and it's going great! As I've said before I used to be a whiz at budgeting but after being a working mom for a bit it was hard finding my homemaker side again. I do think this challenge was exactly what I needed. I have quickly found myself again and learned some new tips and tricks. I would like to share some of the things I do to save with y'all now!
*One thing we grew up doing and I can't do without is my LIST! Without the list I can't go to the grocery store and feel productive. With so much to drool over temptation takes over and I end up with a cart full of over priced nothingness, and its not healthy usually!
*If over spending is a problem, leave the debit/check/credit cards at home! Once you've made out your list and priced it out (according to the store of your choice) you know about how much your going to spend. Go to the bank and get out that much then leave your cards at home. Worst case scenario you get to the register, go over and have to pass on something. Okay, no biggy, it'll be there next time and you can plan for it.
*Take your calculator, or get to know the one on your cellphone. Every time something goes into the cart, you enter it's price. This works for three things. Number one, it keeps track of where you are in your budget. Number two, it helps you remember how much things were. Number three, once you get everything on your list you could have some money left in the budget for one of those yummy treats you saw earlier but passed on!
*One big thing to remember is it doesn't have to be name brand. The mind set of "brand name is better" is, for the most part, an advertising ploy. If there are one or two things that you really must have the brand name of then by all means get it. The money disappears all to quickly when you get all brand names.
*Make it yourself! Homemade is not only better for you, but you can make so much more for the money and you can customize it as well. Little Jr doesn't like peas? That prepackaged meal has them though. So look it over and figure out what all you need to make the same thing. For example my pizza pasta was inspired by a Homestyle Bake. I can make a LOT more for the money and it's healthier and tastes better than the Homestyle Bake (that barely feeds my family with one box).
I hope this helps some of you get your grocery budget under control too, and thank you again to Angel for being such a great inspiration!