How do you like this layout? I thought that plenty of green would be appropriate to a blog that is all about saving money.
We have a couple of weeks before the All You Grocery Challenge begins, so I thought I'd share some information about how we shop (and save) in our home. To tell you the truth, I could go through the entire challenge without spending a penny and we would eat quite well, but I want to help others by sharing the strategies we use to save. So my plan is to do exactly what I have been doing all along. I hope you are able to learn some tips that will save you some hard-earned money too!
In our home, we have an envelope system in place for spending and keeping within our budget. It's been around for years, most recently promoted by Dave Ramsey. Since envelopes don't hold up very well, I went to Goodwill and bought a lovely red leather wallet and used a sharpie to label the categories I carry with me: Groceries, Clothing, and our daughter's spending money.
At the beginning of the month, we start with $140 for 'Groceries'. At our house, that includes food, household items (cleaning supplies, paper toweling, etc.) and toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc.). There are three of us - two adults and a little girl who is almost four years old.
Most months we have money left over! We eat a wide variety of foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meats, beans, frozen items, and some canned foods as well.
We use several strategies to keep our costs down. We buy some items in bulk from a food co-op. When something is on sale, we stock up. We shop in supermarkets, ethnic stores, superstores - a little bit of everything. We raise a garden, and we keep a few hens. I use coupons when it makes sense to use them. Often, coupons allow me to get things free or nearly free. Most of the time we plan a menu (lately I've been a slacker in that department), and I do a little bit of Once-a-Month cooking. I'll go into each of these in more detail between now and the beginning of the challenge.
Do you have a budget? What are your strategies? I also want to know what YOU want to know? Got a question? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to get you answers!