Declutter Series: Grocery Budget

‘Tis the season to declutter in preparation of greeting the New Year with a cleaner slate. Have you caught the decluttering bug? I believe I have and I plan to overcome it by decluttering one room at a time. I am a bit late in getting started with the No-Spend Month Challenge started by Andrea of SavingJoyfully just this past October. Partly because I was busy focusing on getting back on track with my health. Now, that I am better, I would like to take this challenge on; but, it seems November and December is not the best time, as the gift-giving season is nearing and I’ll likely fail this challenge quite early on.

Instead, I’m giving myself a Declutter Challenge for this month of November, with a focus on the Grocery Budget, as grocery is one of the bigger variable expense in our books. After reading other bloggers’ posts about their No-Spend Month, I am left wanting to improve my budget. I mean, $80/week grocery budget is a bit skimpy for me; but, I can see there’s room for improvement.

My family loves food. We cut back on expenses by not eating out as much; but, in order to do so, we need to cook our meals from scratch. Most definitely, cooking the meals at home is a great way to save, in comparison to eating out, yes; but, it does still put a dent on the budget, regardless, depending on what cravings we are experiencing at the moment, ie. steak or a fancy dish that requires a thousand ingredients – Okay, a thousand is a bit exaggerated, but you get what I mean. I’ve accrued quite a bit of ingredients from trying new recipes out, some of which have not seen the light of day since the first time I used it. Now, I want to declutter this kitchen of mine by utilizing ingredients already residing in my home. I would really prefer not to waste them and instead work them in my daily meals. In doing so, my grocery expense should slim a bit.

So, here’s what I want to happen with this Declutter Challenge:

  • Declutter the pantry and fridge/freezer by utilizing food already taking space in there.
  • Reduced my weekly grocery expense by at least $25 the first week (so I have a goal to focus on and go from there)
  • Post weekly updates on the blog of food I prepared for myself (vegan-friendly) and for my family (may not be vegan-friendly), along with the total grocery I spent that week. I’m targeting every Monday for this post, so be on a look out for it.
  • Post the difference in savings

In a way, this is an opportunity for me to revamp my meal menus and learn to be creative while being budget savvy.

How I plan to reduce my grocery cost:

  • Work in ingredients in daily meals already in the fridge/freezer and pantry first.
  • Utilize weekly grocery sales offered at different stores; freeze items if need be
  • Utilize rebate apps to earn additional savings
  • Plan the meals for the week before grocery shopping (This, I think will be the hardest for me. Will have to tame the cravings for this.)

*LemonBlessings gave me a great idea to plan my weekly family meals to save on grocery. She also participated in the No-Spend Month Challenge. I am not a meal planner myself; but, I can definitely see how meal planning can help reduce grocery cost and so I will be adopting this technique.

Limitations on grocery expense calculations:

  • Anything that’s not food is not included in the budget. (ie. Shampoo, paper towels, etc.  Dog food is also not included.)

A little history on my grocery expense for the month of October:

  • 16 grocery related errands
  • 6 grocery stores
  • $600.17 monthly grocery bill
    • includes: organic/non-organic, vegan and non vegan-friendly items (the majority of which is fresh, not previously frozen or processed, food)
  • Pantry and fridge/freezer filled with forgotten meal ingredients (What can I say?  I love to shop, especially for food, and we love to try different recipes.)

I can definitely trim some excess if I put some effort. I have been catching up on some blogs and it’s definitely putting me in the spirit of saving and decluttering.

I have created a month-long weekly vegan food diary in an effort to nurse myself back to health last month.  I am a believer that food affects our health greatly. Food consumption doesn’t have to be strictly a vegan diet. I’m vegan and my family is not. I just believe eating less processed food is a step forward towards a healthier body and mindset and so I want to continue on with that as much as possible.

Creating the food diary was a tremendous help for me and it’s something I want to continue doing. You may read my food diary at your leisure to give you a picture just what a vegan diet entails. Here’s my first, second, third, and fourth week posts.

You may also find many of my vegan-friendly meals posted on Instagram. I’d love to connect with you there as well.

Final Words

This Decluttering Challenge I’m starting this November is a mini version of the No-Month Spending Challenge started by Andrea last month.  Think of it as a trial run to get me more prepared for this big challenge I’m planning to take on in a couple of months. I plan to take her challenge on January; and for the meantime, I’m doing something proactive in my own little way. I realize this feat will take quite a bit of effort and I am hoping will rearrange my spending habits into something more budget-friendly.  I’m looking forward to the savings.

Side note:  My pantry is in the form of a cupboard cabinet for plates, just twice as long.  It’s a pain to reach food in the back. So, decluttering it will be a big bonus for me.)

Perhaps you’d like to join me in this quest to revamp your budget savviness. It’s always better and fun with a friend. I’d love to see the meals you prepared to make your grocery budget work for you and your fam. If you have tips to help me make this month-long challenge a success, do share.

Until next time.

4 thoughts on “Declutter Series: Grocery Budget”

  1. I’m glad you’re feeling better. This challenge is honestly a great idea. I definitely want to do some decluttering around our house before December hits us. Reducing your grocery costs is a great idea. We used to spend £100 per week on grocery shopping which I feel is ridiculous for just 2 adults and a toddler. So we had a look at where we were going wrong and we changed our weekly supermarket. We now only spend £45 per week on groceries (not including pets’ food or detergents and so on) and have plenty of food for the whole week and sometimes actually have food left over from the week. We cook everything from scratch too. Honestly, I highly recommend doing this 🙂 Good luck with your challenges, lovely

    Jessica | jessthekween.co.uk

    1. Oh my gosh! That is a tremendous saving! I love that. Maybe I can get our grocery there too, in time; but first, let’s start with a little change and create the habit and go from there. We got some decluttering to do with our budget for sure.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your mark on my blog. Appreciate it.

  2. Hi Daisy! I completely agree with you that food has a large impact on health! The detail in your food diary is incredible! This must be a great way to keep yourself accountable to your goals as well as help keep track on how the things you eat make you feel physically. Can’t wait to hear more about decluttering your grocery budget. I really think this is an original idea! I always think decluttering is something we do with “things.” But you’re also showing that decluttering is a mindset as well. Love it!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your mark on my blog.

      Reading so many different blogs since the start of going live with mine, I am certainly picking up helpful tips to improve life in general. I get inspirations from them as well for topics to write about on my blog, while trying to stay original, as you say.

      I do agree that posting my weekly food diary held me accountable and kept me in check with my food choices. It’s amazing how going back to more homecooked meals nursed me back to health. Food did that for me. It also helpful when the doctor ask about my food habits 😅.

      Take care.

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