We were out of a lot of staples for July so I knew we would have an expensive month for groceries. We are still working hard at keeping our food budget well under $1,000 by watching prices more carefully, eating up what we have and reducing our food waste. Our ultimate goal is to keep it under $600 a month for our family of four plus our oldest daughter who is out of the house. She comes over very frequently for meals still and we love to have her so I include her in our grocery budget as a partial member.
We were having a hard time tracking our spending with both of us going to the store since we buy groceries from Costco, Amazon and Target a lot and they all have purchases mixed in the total. In June I set up a Google sheet that we could both enter the grocery portion of our purchases in and it is working amazingly! It is easy to check my total when I am making videos and we can see how far off we are from our goal pretty easily. We are also working on making as few trips to the store as possible so that we don’t get there and find lots of extra items. I am particularly guilty of this during our Costco run. I love Costco and I am easily swayed by fresh produce and new things to try. I am working on it though and we have been doing better so we will continue our efforts in the hopes that by the end of the year we have a streamlined frugal grocery routine.
Our first grocery haul of July was so big I had to film it in three parts. I went to Franz for our periodic stock up and we did a gigantic Costco run. Lots of our regular items were on sale at Costco this month and we stocked up on what we could. Looking back I think the reason our July grocery total was so large was mostly due to this stock up. We really didn’t spend money on too much the rest of the month. We won’t do a large stock up like this one for a while so hopefully we will be able to stick to our $600 budget going forward.
We went back to Costco again a couple of weeks in to get a few things Costco was out of and that we forgot the first time. This run was pretty expensive for what we bought but we did need a bunch of jerky for our kids to eat during camp. They really only get it regularly in the summer so it is rare enough they eat it at camp for a good source of protein. We also had to buy Luna bars to stock up on as well from Amazon.
We did a small haul at Costco and Grocery Outlet towards the middle of the month as well to pick up some fresh fruit and ingredients for a recipe. I didn’t end up making the chicken tacos. My husband was the one to make the recipe and he does not use pre-made taco seasoning so it was made a little bit differently than I had originally intended but I am still going to try and make it myself in the future. I realized my crock pot is way too big to just make a couple of breasts and it was too hot to use the oven for a long time. I will try that recipe again this fall.
Overall we spent a lot this month. We did end up trying the free lunch pickups a couple of times but they mostly had the same food every day and my kids were not huge fans. I felt really bad for the kids that relied on these meals over the summer since there wasn’t really a lot of variety. Universal Free Lunches are over in our area so we won’t be able to participate again in the fall when school starts up again. I guess a lot of families were shocked to hear they weren’t being continued into the fall for everyone. It will be a huge hit to many family’s budgets. We saved probably $200 a month picking up the 5 day meal kits and towards the end of last school year it was so much food we really couldn’t keep up with eating it. We still have a lot left but my goal is to eat through it by the end of the year.
I am proud of our progress these past few months with how we are paying much better attention to our grocery spending. We are getting better at using what we have and not doing much impulse spending. Thank you for reading!