Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Little Frugal Math

So I decided to do my food budget for the year for $1500. Hmmmmmm. I'm only 10 days into the year. I am already worried.

$1500 -- how does that break down? Well, if you do it by the day -- and there are 366 days this year -- that breaks down to about $4.10 a day. That makes it about .60 over for the year, but I think I can swing that.

10 days into the new year, and my new budget, and I have spent $40.65. Not too bad. I am only about .25 over. Of course, I have not made a huge spree yet, but give me time, I will get to it, I promise.

Got any hints on how to keep the budget down? Share them!


Rebecca said...

Good luck with the grocery budget. I'm wanting to get ours down to. We have a family of 5. I'm not doing so well with 3 birthdays right off the bat. I'll be following how you do. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith said...

Yes, I wanted to ask you about the math with this.

Are you calculating the gross amount of money you spend toward family groceries, after coupons?

Or is this the net goal? In other words, are you subtracting the earnings (selling your freebies) in order to reduce the total out-of-pocket cost?

Gina said...

Meredith, I am counting the gross amount. All monies made from my extras will go towards my mortgage.How awesome would it feel to have your house paid off by the time you turned 35? I soooo wanna find out!

Rebecca, Thanks for the well wishes. I hope you do well, too!

Arden said...

I looked at it by the week and got$28.84 for 6 people. Even with a steady diet of beans and oatmeal, I'm wondering if it's possible to follow any guidelines at that amount.

You have got me thinking though, about my own total of $150 a week for everything for our family of 9 plus dog, cats, fish. At first I didn't think I could do it - now you have me super inspired to make that total work.

Gina said...

Arden - I have a huge super stocked pantry with tons of canned goods, and a freezer full of veggies from last summer's garden to get me through until spring comes and my own garden comes in. Meat is very sparing around here, but you will know when I buy it, because I will buy tons at once. I freeze it, and then may not buy anymore for 3 months.
Oh -- and all those canned veggies, I got them at Kroger a while back on a deal that worked out to make them .07 a can -- so yeah, I think I can do it.
My only problem is that right now there are SO many great deals out there that I actually need. It is going to look rough for a little while, but it will all work out. In a few weeks deals will dry up for a bit, then my budget will seem a little more sane. Thanks for your concerns, though.

Appleby said...

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said

"It is going to look rough for a little while, but it will all work out. In a few weeks deals will dry up for a bit, then my budget will seem a little more sane. "

Its a cycle thing, and rather than seeing the smaller picture (i.e day to day, or week to week) you need to see the larger picture, as some months you will be under budget, some months you will be over budget. In the long run though you will make it work, as you are so focused and determined.

It also helps that you have been working on this for a while, so you know the cycles and the tricks of the trade, so to speak.

I think for someone who had never coupon shoped or shopped just specials, they would fail, I don't see that happening with you.


Jasmine's Journey said...

I am the wrong person to be asking about food budgeting. I am great about finding the sales but I buy way too much. We have a deep freezer though so not much gets wasted.

Anonymous said...

I just posted on your most recent post, and then I read this. I'd love to know your thoughts on doing it more frugally without being able to buy processed foods as much.

There are foods I'm not able to eat so I'm not able to use coupons as much for food. I use them mostly for HBA and paper goods (CVS). When it comes to cooking, I cook from scratch.

I think your $1,500 annual goal is amazing though. Looking forward to hearing more.

Frogdancer said...

It's summer here, and my vegie garden is keeping us fed. Lots of tomatoes for pasta sauces and pizzas, zucchini, potatoes, cucumbers, etc. It's hard work doing this in a drought, (we're only allowed to water twice a week, so bucketing used shower water happens a lot), but we save heaps on food. I have a big freezer, which is my best friend. I'm harvesting so much and freezing it, and bulk buys of meat are popped in there too.

Personally, I find that if you're conscious about keeping waste to an absolute minimum, then the food budget goes a heck of a lot further.

village mama said...

You are inspiring! Truly!!

Do you bake a lot? If so, you can cut back on eggs by using baking soda & baking powder, etc. Vegan cookbooks (from the library) can help you learn replacement techniques.

Quinoa is the highest protein packed grain, so it's a great alternative to meat and pricier legumes.

Can you invite yourselves over to family and friends' homes for meals? Or organize potlucks - there are always leftovers!

Red lentil soup (check out my blog for this recipe) goes a long way, especially if you thicken it with potatoes, squash and tiny pasta noodles.