No Spend Challenge- Beating the Grocery Budget!

This was
the first week of the No Spend Challenge! How did you do? Were you able to avoid temptation, spending only on necessities?

I do miss my weekly Starbucks treat, but used the home coffeemaker this weekend instead. Hubby had it easy because he was on a business trip all week and so his expenses were company paid.

We are still eating out of the fridge at this point and it’s not too painful…yet. Creativity will have to set in as the month wears on.

Speaking of groceries, this is probably the toughest area of the budget to control. You have to eat, so what are you supposed to do?

This was a hard area for the Peterberries to navigate and cut down. When we started our budgeting journey, we would spend $700 or more a month on groceries. Our family made two big changes:

1. The biggest change I made which cut our bill almost in half (we now budget $380 a month) was to change where I shop. For our family, that means shopping at Aldi.

I used to turn my nose up at this store, thinking that was for “poor people.” BUT ~ I was wrong! They have a great selection of no-name brands. And really…once you are making a recipe or putting it in your mouth, can you really tell a knock off brand?

What I like about Aldi is the low-cost and low-gimmick. I never overspend here because there aren’t a million options for each type of food. But, there is enough selection for me to get everything I need. So far the only thing I haven’t been able to find there is ricotta cheese…otherwise it’s there. And I’m not tempted to throw other random things not on my list in my cart, which is what we were doing before this change. Aldi even has organic, gluten free, and low-fat brands!

2. The second change seems silly, but it also drastically helped cut our budget. My husband no longer comes with me to shop. We found that he was shopping with his stomach and not the grocery list. Even when we switched stores, the one time he joined me, the bill was larger. For our family, this means I create a list with everyone’s input and then make the trip by myself or with Tyler. The key take-away, stick to the list!

Bonus Tip: The one other idea I hear a lot, which we were already applying, is to cut down on the amount of meat you use for protein. In our house we already focus on meat alternatives. I make a basic meat dish on the weekend so that my husband can still eat meat. But the rest of us enjoy meatless alternatives to help save money. We think of our meat as a tr
eat :).

What can you do this month to slash your grocery budget? Wouldn’t you like to put your money towards something fun instead of in
your mouth?

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3 Responses

  1. Can you point me in the direction of the paint brushes that you used pretty please? Your kitchen looks gorgeous! I am about to paint my cabinets white with chalk paint, too. They were painted black before we bought the house. I cannot WAIT for them to be white and bright!!!

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