A few years ago my husband and I realized we were in deep doodo. We were massively in debt and with only one income, and an low ranking enlisted income at that, we were one major emergency away from some serious trouble. We decided to get our act together and found the Dave Ramsey plan. I love Dave! He speaks to you like a normal person and you don't feel like you need a finance major to be able to follow his plan. Lets face it if we were smart with money we would not have been in debt to the tune of $60,000! So we jumped on the bandwagon and followed his baby steps. It took some time but we are now debt free with a healthy savings account, two fully funded retirement accounts, and some serious breathing room.
One of the major things we did was start a budget and actually stick with it. Don't get me wrong those first few months were hard. We wanted stuff and we wanted it right that second. Telling ourselves no was a hard lesson to learn but we eventually got the hang of it.
When we started budgeting the first area we looked at was our grocery budget. At the time there were just the 4 of us; hubby, 2 small kids and myself. I thought "well there is no way we could be spending a ton on groceries but lets add it up anyways". Turns out with groceries and eating out we were spending $1,200 a mth! That is INSANE! We are now a family of 7 (soon to be 8) and spend $400 a mth on food. Serious change!
I get a lot of "how do you do that" when it comes to our grocery budget
which usually leaves me with a blank stare and takes me a second to
think how I do it. I mean I have certain principles that I have shared here on my blog before but they
are so second nature by this point that it takes me a while to come up
with them and I am sure I am forgetting to share a lot of them. So I thought it might be educational for me to track some of our meals
monetarily for a month. By breaking them down into meals and sharing them here I am sure I will remember a lot of the tricks I use on autopilot and share them here.
Dinner is the biggest money suck in our house
since it always takes the most ingredients and the most meat for sure.
We do however usually try and stretch the meal into lunch for the next
day or as a remake for the next day so that helps. So I will for sure
track the dinners and will add in the other meals as I can, some things
like muffins are hard to calculate but I will try
Yesterday was the big once a month grocery shop day
Groceries for the entire family $415 for the month. After I subtract
out all the non food items we get a total of $356.75 That averages out
to $11.73 per day for a family of 6 (at the moment. Will be 7 again when
dh gets home.....and we are down to single digits on that countdown ).
So I guess we can start with yesterday's dinner since it was the first
meal of the month and the first meal out of this months grocery
We had a rotisserie chicken, green beans, and muffins. The chicken was
$5.99, I could have gotten it cheaper if I had went at the end of the
day but since I went before lunch it was still full price. We ate half
of it and saved the other half for tonight's dinner.
I also put the stripped bones in my crockpot last night and woke up this morning to homemade chicken broth. So for no extra money and really no extra effort I have 16cups of free broth to use as I please.
Green beans $1
Total for meal: $5.99 or $0.99 per person
Tonight's dinner is this Mexican chicken dish with some rice
Chicken $2.99 (half from the night before)
Seasoning powder $0.05 ( I buy the MASSIVE container at costco)
Enchilada Sauce $1.21
Cheddar cheese $0.50 (got a bag on sale for $1 and only needed 1/2)
Green onions $0.39
Rice $1ish (I buy the 10lb bag for $10)
Total for meal: $6.14 or $1.02 per person
If you have any specific questions please let me know and I will be happy to answer them.