My Food Challenge

My Food ChallengeThis isn’t a surprise, but I spend way too much on food. Yes, long gone are the days when we spend $1,500 to $2,000 on food a month. But right now between going out to eat, drinking and grocery shopping, we are spending around $1,000 a month.

And yes, I have been keeping that a secret from you.

Spending this much honestly makes me feel horrible. Because of course we still spend a lot on clothes, vacations, etc., and this is one area that I know I can control better. I don’t know why I have this thought in my head that restaurant food is a thousand times tastier than the food I cook at home.

We have been spending too much. There really is no other reason except pure laziness. My goal for the rest of June is to spend no more than $200 on food. This includes both eating out and groceries. This is most likely an easy task for most of you, but for us it just doesn’t seem to happen.

Also, I would like to aim for no more than $150 for the rest of the month, but a more realistic goal is $200. I’ve already gone grocery shopping a couple of days ago and bought a ton of food, so for the most part I should be good for at least 10 days.

Of course, I still want to treat myself as well. Food is something that I definitely enjoy, and something that I don’t hate spending money on. All work and no play is never good! Champagne can never be a bad choice :)

I asked some of you yesterday to give me any quick tips on saving money on groceries. Whitney and Money and Faith both gave me good tips and I wanted to post what they said.

What I plan on doing:
1. No eating out.I will fail this weekend, as my friend is coming in town. But I plan on keeping in cheap. Her and I both love using Restaurant.com gift certificates, so we will probably use one of these.

Other than this, I will try and vow not to eat unless I have a free coupon or something. It was recently my birthday and I still have a lot of free entree coupons leftover which don’t expire until exactly a month from my birthday. I will also try to sign up for dinner mystery shops. That will help as well.

2. Trying frozen meat instead of fresh meat. I’ve never bought frozen meat. But I have heard from plenty of people that they are a much better deal. Have you ever done this? I am looking forward to trying this though. If it truly does save me enough money, how could I say no?

I’m also thinking about freezing my vegetables and fruit after I buy them as well so that I don’t waste them as quickly. Does anyone else do this? I never have. Any tips?

3. No waste. I have so much food in my pantry, freezer and fridge that need to be eaten. We waste so much food in our house it is ridiculous. My goal is to eat everything that we have and find a use for it.

4. Creative meals. I am pretty boring with my meals, but I know that with this challenge, I will  be forcing myself to be more creative. If you have any frugal meals that you’d like to share, please go ahead and share!

5. Shop at Aldis. Aldis has REALLY good prices, but I usually don’t go because I have to drive slightly out of my way to go there (it’s only like 5 miles out of the way, but I am lazy so it seems like a lot). Aldis is also great for their fresh fruit and vegetables. I can usually find strawberries for only $1 at Aldis, but at normal grocery stores, they are between $3 and $4. Other fruits and vegetables are priced similarly as well.

6. Meal plan and STICK TO IT. I usually make meal plans, but I don’t usually stick to it. I need to make these more realistic with recipes that I can actually create.

Not only will this challenge save me money, but it will also help me be more healthy. I won’t have a ton on junk food around the house to eat. I look forward to the end of the month to see how I do. Who else wants to join my food challenge?

 

What tips do you have? 

How much do you usually spend on food in a month?

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