This week, each of the 4 Moms is discussing Grocery Budgets. Be sure to check out what everyone has to say about it.
As for the Smockity Family, we do not have an official grocery budget or any set amount that we spend on groceries each week, but since we are a single income family of almost 10, we have to be extremely careful with our grocery shopping.
Mr. Smockity does the majority of the grocery shopping because he enjoys contributing to the household in that way, and he peruses the sale fliers to see what is on sale each week. (Incidentally, the front page of sale fliers has the "loss leader" ads, meaning the store is willing to take a loss on those items to get you into the store, so the best deals will be found there.)
After he has noted the bargains, we check our freezer and pantry to see 1) if we have room to stock up on great deals, and 2) if there is anything we are running low on and will need to buy whether it is on sale or not.
Ideally, we like to keep our freezer and pantry stocked so we don't have to buy things at regular prices. This requires an organized household and a mom who is on top of things at her house, so we'll just say that the ideal doesn't always happen. ~ahem
An example of stocking up would be when cube steak, which we use for chicken fried steak, is usually $3.99/lb. but is on sale for $1.99/lb. This happened last week and Mr. Smockity bought 10 packages! Of course, this will only be an option for your family if you have some wiggle room in your grocery budget plus some storage room in your freezer.
This method causes our grocery bill to fluctuate because we might spend more money in a week than is planned, but as in the case I just mentioned, we save money in the long run. We spent $40 for 20lbs. of meat instead of the regular price, which would have been $80 for the same amount.
By employing this strategy, buying sale items in bulk whenever we can, we end up saving quite a bit of money over a period of time.
After Mr. Smockity notes the sales and our inventory, he plans his route. It isn't unusual for him to make stops at 2-3 stores to pick up the best deals. This works out well for us because we have 3 major grocery stores within only a couple miles. Also, we can afford more time than money, so it makes sense to use a little extra time to save a lot of extra cents.
So, while we don't have a set amount of money set aside for our grocery budget, we like to be/need to be frugal in our approach to buying groceries.
Be sure to read about how I shop in my own kitchen, how we loaded up on pizza sauce for 2 cents per can and how NOT to be frugal with groceries.
And don't forget to check out my monthly "What's in Your CrockPot?" carnival on Saturday, April 3!